Office of Federal Student Aid

The Phase One team supported Federal Student Aid in the development and implementation of the Lifecycle Management Methodology (LMM), which emphasizes rapid results when applied to IT program deployments of all sizes. The LMM is built upon elements of proven rapid development approaches and is designed to be dynamic and flexible according to specific initiatives. It features user guidance and training that facilitates the application of a tailored set of artifacts that aim to ensure program viability and success throughout all lifecycle phases. It also places emphasis on the achievement of holistic project outcomes aligned with program and individual metrics that balance speed, quality, effectiveness and compliance. The rapid realization of program objectives and active enterprise leadership involvement in making real progress serve to minimize the risks traditionally associated with large IT solution development projects.

Why This Matters To You

The President has made it clear that post-secondary education is critically important to ensuring the nation leads the world in developing the next generation of innovators. Achieving this vision depends directly upon the successful implementation of Federal Student Aid Information Technology (IT), which delivers and manages a portfolio of approximately 100 billion dollars in student loans and grants.

The history of implementing IT initiatives at Federal Student Aid has trended towards long development timeframes, insufficient results, and cost overruns.

The Lifecycle Management Methodology mitigates these trends by:

  • Identifying and prioritizing goals, objectives, and outcomes
  • Implementing Integrated Project Teams (IPT) comprised of stakeholders from across the enterprise
  • Rapidly delivering sets of tested functionality to users through planned management and technical stage gates
  • Continuously measuring and validating results in terms of achieving initiative and enterprise goals and objectives

With shorter development cycles, the LMM drives incrementally towards the ultimate success of IT initiatives. This is paramount to meeting the rapidly-growing college funding needs of current and future generations of students.

How We Helped

The Federal Student Aid Technology Office had a vision for transforming its approach to implementing new IT initiatives and managing them throughout the solution lifecycle. The Technology Office approached Phase One to evolve its methodology by adopting best-practice rapid solution development principles. Phase One has been a central part of the LMM Integrated Project Team that was created to plan and execute the implementation of the LMM at Federal Student Aid.

The team collaboratively:

  • Defined the LMM lifecycle phases and processes
  • Designed technical and management project stage-gates
  • Developed the implementation roadmap, training programs and collaborative work groups
  • Determined LMM roles and responsibilities, including the governance structure

Once the overarching methodology was established and vetted, the team focused on artifacts inherent to life cycle stages and worked with subject matter experts throughout the enterprise to standardize each of the artifacts. This included actively conveying knowledge to various stakeholder groups throughout the agency. The team has worked side by side with Federal Student Aid stakeholders, effectively facilitating the enterprise-wide rollout of the LMM.