IT analyst at BallotOnline, a company providing electronic voting solutions worldwide. Your proposal to begin migrating systems to the cloud has been approved.
BallotOnline has now initiated the procurement process to migrate its web services to the cloud by posting a request for proposal (RFP) to an internet RFP repository for potential cloud vendors and has given prospective vendors three weeks to submit proposal responses to that RFP.
In this project, instead of acting as an employee at BallotOnline, you will switch and become the bid and proposal manager for a cloud migration service vendor interested in helping BallotOnline migrate the company’s web services to the cloud. Your final deliverable will be a Cloud Migration Proposal in response to BallotOnline’s RFP.
graphic showing that your organization, which is the cloud migration service vendor, is an intermediary between the the customer, BallotOnline, and the AWS cloud service provider.
Check the Project 1 FAQ thread thread in the discussion area for any last-minute updates or clarifications about the project.
Now that you are aware of the requirements for this project, click on Step 1 to get started. The project will take about four weeks to complete.
When you submit your project, your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below. You can use the list below to self-check your work before submission.
Step 1: Review the Procurement Process
1.7: Create neat and professional looking documents appropriate for the project or presentation.
5.1: Evaluate the Business IT needs of an organization.
5.2: Propose strategies the organization can employ using cloud solutions to enhance organizational effectiveness.
6.1: Articulate the systems architecture of the cloud – cloud infrastructure, cloud service, cloud platform, and cloud storage.
6.8: Review, evaluate, and utilize emerging technologies related to cloud to support business needs.
7.2: Examine industry best-practices and standards.
9.4: Acquire cloud service / Manage cloud procurement project.
9.5: Design virtualized network infrastructure to meet business needs.
9.6: Design cloud storage infrastructure to meet business needs.
Procurement refers to the process of selecting vendors, establishing payment terms, strategic vetting, selection, the negotiation of contracts and actual purchasing of goods, services, and other work vital to an organization.
A request for proposals or RFP is part of the procurement cycle. It provides an overview and background of the company, the relevant financial information, the define the requirements section, including availability requirements and business requirements, and the administrative information about the bidding process. The RFP specifies the type of contract that you wish cloud vendors to respond with (firm-fixed-price, cost-plus, or cost-plus-award-fee).
A subset of the RFP, the statement of work (SOW), lays the groundwork for the project. It includes and defines all aspects of the project, such as activities, deliverables, and the timetable, and any relevant information on the existing technical environment.
Define the Requirements
The RFP document must include all of the requirements for the project, including system, service, business, and functional requirements. This helps to avoid problems with scope creep and cost increases later in the project.
As part of the procurement process, and prior to writing the RFP, the stakeholders should define all requirements.
One way to accurately capture requirements is to have a requirements gathering session, where the stakeholders can articulate requirements for the project, and prioritize. There are many ways to have a requirements gathering session, but a couple of suggestions are as follows:
Use a whiteboard and allow all stakeholders to write suggested requirements on the board. The stakeholders then rank each requirement and categorize it.
Give each stakeholder a different colored sticky notepad, and have the stakeholders write requirements on them. After all requirements are captured, the stakeholders organize them into categories on a large whiteboard. Stakeholders are then given a limited number of stickers to indicate priority requirements. Each stakeholder then uses those stickers to rank the highest priority requirements, and stops when he or she runs out of stickers. The stakeholders can use as many stickers as they want on a particular requirement, but they are limited to however many stickers they were given at the start of the exercise.
The requirements documentation serves to connects the needs of the stakeholders to the system to be built to ensure that the system meets the performance needs according to the set schedule and costs.
Requirements should be specific and complete, traceable to specific business needs, mutually exclusive and consistent with each other, understandable to all stakeholders, measurable and testable, realistic, and uniquely identified (Florence, 2002).
They should be written in the future tense with close attention to wording. For example, the word “shall” indicates a binding provision. If a specification is not something that must be implemented, it can be written with “may” or “should” (Florence, 2002).
The following are examples of well-written requirements:
Requirement 2.6a: Software shall be loaded onto the operating system only after it has been tested and approved.
Requirement 3.5.8: The system shall allow provide a checkpoint to ensure that users enter the a valid credit card number.
Requirement 5.1: The vendor must employ no fewer than three software engineers certified on the proposed core products.
Requirement 7.3: A report with information derived from data within the past 24 hours must be able to be generated for all systems worldwide, or any subset thereof, and must be able to be run in a scheduled manner by authorized staff.
Requirement 7.4: A report with information derived from data within the past 24 hours must be able to be generated for all systems worldwide, or any subset thereof, and must be able to be run in an ad-hoc manner by authorized staff.
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