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School district builds own software to handle student data, defies doubters | 297 comments | Create New Account
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School district builds own software to handle student data, defies doubters
Authored by: tknarr on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 04:32 PM EST

A lot of the expense of "enterprise" software is overhead. Managers to manage the managers who manage the developers. Analysts to sit between the developers and the people who know what the system needs to do. Project managers to manage schedules. Processes whose sole purpose is to slow down development and prevent the system from being changed to match user requirements. And none of that contributes to actually producing the software. With a project like this I expect the district's not going to bother with all that overhead, so if they get some decent developers who're interested in turning out a working product they'll have no problem getting it done better and faster than an "enterprise-class" project could, and for a lot less money.

Yes, I've worked on exactly that kind of "enterprise-grade" project, and boggled managers by taking a problem that's been bouncing around unresolved for months and solving it in 2 days by the simple expedient of throwing out the PMs and analysts and getting the users and the developers on the phone together. The users explained what they wanted, the devs went "Oh yeah, that's easy enough. Let's write that up and do it.". Next day we had a neatly-written comprehensive description that the users agreed exactly described what they needed and the devs agreed laid out everything they needed to implement it. The only "problem" being that it was a nice type-written document not in the Project Management Office's mandatory format, and I resolved that by handing the PM who brought up the problem an action item: rewrite the document in the required format and submit it for review by afternoon next.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

The search for a student information system to replace BCeSIS
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 27 2013 @ 04:15 AM EST
The B.C. government has identified 16 companies that it says have the expertise to create a new student information system to replace the unpopular and expensive BC enterprise Student Information System (BCeSIS).

If interested, those companies have until Feb. 14 to submit bids, but the [.PDF] Request for Proposals says they will have to prove their financial strength. Proponents should have a minimum of either $100 million in annual revenues or $10 million annual net income in each of the last three years, it states.

That probably lets out little Saanich school district, which has developed software that district officials say can do the job for cheap.

Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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