USDA Post-Implementation Review

In the Fall of 2019, Niyam IT received a firm fixed price purchase order from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to conduct Post Implementation Reviews for its two primary business systems, the Integrated Management Administrative Resource Tool (iMART) and the Production, Supply, and Distribution (PSD) System. This was procured through our GSA IT Schedule 70.

The Integrated Management Administrative Resource Tool (iMART) provides a single, centralized, customer-focused, operations management system. The primary benefit of iMART to FAS specifically, and to the Department in general, is the unique ability to manage and integrate USDA’s strategic planning with human resources, logistics, and financial activities associated with overseas operations. The Production, Supply, and Distribution (PSD) system underpins the critical analysis and market intelligence that is foundational to the FAS mission of expanding U.S. agricultural exports through trade policy initiatives, marketing activities, and trade capacity projects. The PSD is the primary data system for global agricultural production, trade, consumption, and stocks.

The Post Implementation Review (PIR) is conducted during the Evaluation phase of the Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) process, as depicted below.

CPIC Process
CPIC Process

The objectives of the PIR are:

  1. To objectively assess the degree to which a project investment has achieved the expected benefits in terms of improved efficiency and effectiveness;
  2. To assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the system development process; and
  3. To evaluate the investment decision-making processes that were followed in terms of their impact on the success rates of IT investments.

More specifically, the purchase order statement of work (SOW) tasked Niyam to do the following for each system:

1. Investigate the following system elements:

  • Mission alignment with FAS goals according to present requirements and adaptability to future requirements
  • IT architecture, infrastructure, security, and internal controls
  • Project management processes and structures that govern the system’s design, development, and implementation
  • Stakeholder, customer, and end-user satisfaction
  • Support of critical FAS business processes to help decision-makers improve investment decisions
  • Efficiency of new systems compared to old systems
  • Systems’ costs against the baseline budget

2. Apply the results of the investigation to conduct and report the results of an assessment of the system in terms of its:

  • Impact the investment has on stakeholders
  • Ability to deliver the IT performance in qualitative and quantitative measures
  • Cost and return on investment (ROI) to date
  • Actual funds received from planned funding sources
  • Baseline and actual investment schedule
  • Approach to enterprise architecture (EA) standards
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Adherence to the Department’s telecommunications standards and performance measures
  • Investment risks and how they were managed or mitigated
  • Security risks and how they were managed or mitigated

Team Niyam organized each PIR in four phases:

  1. Planning, which involved developing a work breakdown structure (WBS) and project schedule;
  2. Information Gathering, through researching Government-furnished information and public online resources, conducting stakeholder interviews, and issuing end-user surveys;
  3. Analysis, which forms the body of the report; and
  4. Reporting, which required a draft version of each PIR report for Government review and approval, and a final version for Government review and acceptance. These phases progressed concurrently and iteratively. The team received documentation and identified additional stakeholders for interviews on an ongoing basis and identified the need for additional documentation and follow-up questions through the analysis process.

Niyam delivered both final reports one day early, which were accepted by the government as written. 

The high degree of customer satisfaction with Niyam’s performance is reflected by comments received from the FAS Contracting Officer’s Representative: ”Great job by you and your team!” and the FAS PSD Project Manager: “Thanks for the high-quality effort and results!

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