Case Study: Pathways for Children


Pathways for Children sought a Project Manager for the design and development of a new website for the organization.  Pathways is a leading provider of education and care programs on the North Shore of Massachusetts serving over 500 children and their families from 13 communities.

At the beginning of this project, Pathways’ website was built on outdated, unsupported software which presented many challenges for communicating the activities of the agency.  As a non-profit with a community-centric mission, Pathways sought a comprehensive, affordable, timely, and seamless transition from their old website to the new, while adhering closely to the agreed-upon budget.

OBS proposed working with Pathways in two distinct phases. In Phase I, OBS conducted needs analysis, software and hardware analysis, interviews with stakeholders, and researched and recommended software options, hosts, and development vendors. Our deliverable for this phase was a comprehensive Project Plan which outlined not only recommended tools and partners but also customized workflows based on Pathways’ unique needs and personnel.

In Phase II, OBS acted as Project Manager in the implementation of the Phase I Project Plan. We developed a schedule, negotiated contracts with vendors, oversaw migration of content, collaborated in design and navigational decisions, identified customizations, provided detailed notes and documentation, managed the testing and go-live processes, and ensured that the project was completed on time and on budget. We were happy to surprise Pathways with a condensed timeline so that their new website was live well in advance of the anticipated date.

OBS continues to handle updating and maintenance work at the Pathways website, allowing our client to focus on their core business.

“After interviewing many project management firms, we chose OBS to oversee our website construction because of their expertise and attention to detail. During this project, we received regular ‘burn reports’ which allowed us to closely manage our budget and re-allocate time as needed to stay on target. Laura, Marina, and the OBS team were exceptionally responsive to our questions. OBS helped shape our vision, while giving professional suggestions and guidance throughout the process. Due to OBS’ diligence, we were able to launch our new website ahead of schedule, with no downtime between our new and old site. Pathways is thrilled with the finished product.” —Bernie Romanowski, Pathways Director of Special Projects and Services

OBS’s Role:

Phase I Project Plan:

  • Conduct needs analysis and software, hardware, personnel, and workflow analyses
  • Interview stakeholders to identify needs and goals
  • Research & recommend new software, host, and development vendors
  • Recommend changes in workflow to streamline & consolidate website management

Phase II Implementation:

  • Negotiate contracts with selected vendors
  • Establish and enforce schedule with all parties
  • Schedule regular meetings & status checks
  • Provide detailed documentation and notes
  • Consult on industry standards regarding design and website layout
  • Research and identify plugin customizations; oversee their implementation
  • Oversee structure of parallel live and development sites
  • Create test script, oversee testing process, and collate results
  • Manage go-live process
  • Complete project on time and on budget!


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