UA Lowe’s Capstone Team

On February 2, 2010, Lowe’s representatives visited the University of Alabama to promote Lowe’s, learn more about the MIS program, and meet potential new hires when they gave an AIMS presentation to over one hundred MIS students. The UA Lowe’s Capstone team took this opportunity to speak with Lowe’s IT upper management about our Capstone project. Tom James, Vice President of IT Operations, Shane Marsh, Director of Production Services, and Lonnie Harrold, Director of Service Desk were excited to learn about the progress we had made on our ORBIT Process Streamlining project. We discussed our understanding of ORBIT as it serves as a quality assurance check for IT projects prior to deployment into Lowe’s 1700 stores nationwide. Furthermore; we clarified our goal of catching issues early in the project lifecycle, decreasing both time and cost of implementation.

The Lowe’s representatives were able to help us define scope, milestones, and best practices for working with Lowe’s methodology and its technical environment. They were able to provide the UA Lowe’s Capstone team with a high level overview of what the ORBIT solution needs to provide and to let us know that our project has high significance and value to Lowe’s IT Operations. While analyzing the current ORBIT process and brainstorming with Lowe’s, we were able to identify that we will provide a SharePoint solution for the capture, review, and retention of ORBIT artifacts. The Lowe’s decision makers also helped to refine our requirements to make sure we are impacting the business with an implementable solution. They reassured us that our solution needed to incorporate workflows for document review and approval, track data, and provide access to reports detailing the status of projects in the ORBIT process.

The UA Lowe’s Capstone team is participating on a pilot project in the ORBIT process with our faculty sponsor. Karen Harmon, who we work with for daily operations, will be our main point-of-contact to Lowe’s upper management to ensure that we provide an auditable solution which will facilitate IT projects progressing throughout Lowe’s systems development life cycle.

The University of Alabama MIS program allows students to work on real projects that provide real value to real companies. Students learn to leverage people, processes and technology to solve problems and meet the challenges of today’s businesses head-on. For more information, call 205-348-5525 or visit http://cba.ua.edu/mis.

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