What we do

Custom Database Solution Development

Web (internet and intranet) database-driven solutions

Systems Requirements Analysis

Enhancements to Existing Custom Software

Training and Mentoring

Our Philosophy

At Renaissance Information Systems, Inc. we believe that the money you spend on your business software should be an investment, not an expense. Our time-proven approaches, years of experience, and use of the latest technologies ensure that your custom Renaissance solution will continue to pay dividends for years to come.

Take the Lane Series, for example. They have been an RIS client since 1997. In 1999 they wrote this about the ticketing application they are still using today.

"From the beginning, we were impressed by how thoroughly RIS learned the business of the Lane Series - how it operated, what information was important, and how the information was to be used or potentially used. The resulting database...appears to fit every need identified and outlined in the planning cycle. In addition, it was written so that future 'upgrades' or additions to the information were possible."

Please continue to browse our data-driven website and then contact us to see how a custom solution from Renaissance Information Systems, Inc. will meet your needs today...and tomorrow.



Feature Cards

Renaissance Information Systems, Inc. has been using something we call Feature Cards for project estimation and management for a few years and have found this approach to be a valuable tool in managing the project scope and ultimately cost.

All of the functional business requirements for a project are broken into individual features and a Feature Card is created for each. While there are cases where some features are dependent upon one or more others, the goal is to provide individual requirements that can be prioritized for implementation at the customer’s discretion. Each Feature Card is presented on a half-sheet of paper. This allows the customer to evaluate each feature individually. We often recommend that three or more piles be created when prioritizing the features and the half-sheets facilitate this process.

Projects managed in this manner are implemented in multiple phases. The features with the highest priority and those that are required for the application’s foundation are grouped together for the initial phase. At the end of each phase, the features implemented result in a limited but useful functioning system. By implementing the features with the highest priority first, the greatest benefit is achieved at the beginning of the project. Further enhancements to the core functionality are then added as the project progresses.

At the end of each phase, that status of the project is reviewed. The remaining feature cards are re-prioritized often with new features being added and others removed. The highest priority features from the remaining cards are used to drive the next implementation phase. This process continues until the project reaches maturity or budget constraints prevent further development. If a project is stopped for budgetary reasons, a functioning solution is still in place that can be augmented at a later date.

An estimate summary accompanies the feature cards to show the total project cost should all features be implemented. When assigning a time estimate to each feature, we evaluate how well we understand both the business requirements and how the solution will be implemented. If we believe we have a solid understanding of both those facets, then we have a high level of confidence in our estimate. Experience shows that actual development time generally varies by no more than 20% of the estimate.

If we are unclear on either the business requirements or their implementation method, then we are only moderately confident in the estimate. Features with moderately confident estimates are given a 40% variance. If we are unclear on both areas, then the estimate is given a low confidence level. If a feature’s estimate has a low confidence level we recommend that more time be spent on analysis and design so that a better estimate can be given, but it is sometimes helpful to get that "ballpark" estimate up front to help gauge the feature’s priority and viability.


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