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Program/Project Management

Intelligent Information Systems

Independent Verification and Validation


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Health IT
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Independent Verification and Validation

For highly complex systems; systems based on state of the art or first of its kind technology; systems with a large number of stakeholders; automated critical decision systems; and mission critical systems, IV&V pays for itself. For these systems, particularly those that can impact the health and wellbeing of individuals (e.g., Electronic Health Record, DHS, DOD, DOE, DOJ, NASA, NOAA), poor quality and value means data, financial, health, quality of living, and/or life loss. Contractors creating such systems may (consciously or not) behave as if these risks haven been transferred to someone else post deployment. It is the responsibility of the IV&V contractor to ensure that such risks are eliminated as much as possible and as early as possible during the creation and maintenance of such systems. IV&V is a cost effective approach to address both the severity of the consequences of a system failure and the likelihood of such a failure.

IV&V cannot be performed like a cookie cutter. It must be tailored to the system (e.g., hardware, software), the environment (i.e., standards, practices, policies, organization, external constraints, available resources) and its stakeholders plus be flexible enough to respond to inevitable changes in management, technology, environment, best practices, changing stakeholders, stakeholder needs and expectations, requirements, etc.

IV&V not only ensures that the system was built right and the right system was built but, if properly integrated, provides value engineering through the deep analysis of processes, requirements, data, and operations. This approach generates real beneficial process improvement enhancing the overall value provided by the system, whether planned, being developed, or in operation and maintenance phase. The judicious use of modeling techniques (e.g., process modeling, data modeling, multivariate statistical analysis, time series) in associating with statistical sampling techniques and targeted integrated metrics can help identify, qualitatively prioritize, and quantify risks and their potential impacts minimizing expenditures while maximizing system’s performance, integrity, and quality; enhancing what works and eliminating what doesn’t.

The use of an independent entity provides the ability to objectively generate out of the box concepts for increased cost effective solutions and/or enhanced value (i.e., meeting the extended needs and expectations of the stakeholders) for the same or less cost across the entire system lifecycle, not just the delivery of the system. Unburdened from maximizing the ROI for the prime contractor, the IV&V contractor is able to focus on maximizing the total lifecycle ROI for the direct customer and all the other stakeholders. The IV&V contractor can efficiently evaluate and address, via an adaptive systematic mentality, the needs and expectations of stakeholders that may have little or no influence during the concept through delivery phases but must live with the resulting system (e.g., secondary stakeholders).