Listed below is a short summary of some of the types of services Means To An End has provided.

Systems Engineering/Architecture

Systems Engineering/Architecture is a big subject. They are grouped together here because they are often so intertwined. Also, in most cases Systems Architecture and Information Architecture are intertwined as well.

The systems engineer and the architect may be one and the same person or the may work hand in hand to define, design and implement the solution. They support the Project Manager and the needs of the greater organization from a technical perspective by defining how things can be done. It is their job to address such issues as:
  • The development, testing, training, and production environments.
  • The computing infrastructure.
  • Configuration management procedures and processes.
  • Backup procedures and processes.
  • Disaster recovery procedures and processes.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs), both to the customer and from suppliers outside the organization.
  • Data protection requirements.
  • Etc. etc.
System Design


The information architect will address such issues as:
  • Defining the mission and vision of the application/system.
  • The content and functionality of the site.
  • Data taxonomy.
  • Application/system organization and components or modules.
  • A plan for future growth or retirement of the application/system.
The systems engineer will also likely be an advisory member on the application/system Change Board.

Van Chesnutt of Means To An End has assisted organizations within Boeing IT to reach CMMI Level 3.

Business Analysis/Technical Business Need & Requirements Gathering & Options Analysis

Gathering requirements is more than finding out what management wants a system to do. It is also more than asking users what they want. It includes things like:
  • What is the operational environment?
  • What other systems does the application need to interface with?
  • How many users are there? Do they need access 24x7?
  • What are the service level agreements with other departments?
  • What are the data protection requirements (e.g. SOx, HIPPA)?
  • Etc. etc.
With answers to these and other questions, some analysis needs to be done. We ask ourselves, what are our options? Are there trade-offs?  Can we buy an off-the-shelf product and what is its long-term viability, or do we need to build this ourselves?  Who is going to support the system? All kinds of answers are needed before a recommendation can be made.  Means To An End has experience in this area with recommendations for software development project that have gone forward.
Requirements Gathering and Analysis

Business/Technical Process Improvement

For there to be process improvement, there first has to be a defined, repeatable process. Ones that are documented and are being used.  Often this is not the case. Many times there are disparate processes being used within the same organization.  Process improvement activities may be as simple as evaluating all the different process and/or procedures and determining which is best of finding a new way altogether. A key force in improvement activities are the Policies, Procedures, and Processes  that are used to define the success of a project, an organization, or a company.
Analysis for Process Improvement

Program & Project Management

The three legs of the Project Management stool are: Schedule, Resources (people, money) and the Product or end result (driven by requirements).  But management of system projects often include other things that don't necessarily fit neatly into one of these buckets: interfaces, certain design elements, security, testing and training to name a few.  And, there are risks  associated with most components of a project.  Because system application projects change over time, sometimes dramatically, a key question that needs to be kept in mind is, "What does success look like?".  This focus may make the all the difference in determining whether a project is successful or not.

Application Development/Coding

Means To An End also  provides application development/coding services in the Microsoft .NET environment, for both windows  and web applications. This includes coding/development services for the database(s) that underlie the applications.  These applications range from simple websites for small business to things like the complex Cancer Surveillance System for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  This experience only serves to enhance the skills brought to the other disciplines described above.