Positive Deviance Team


The Vision of the Positive Deviance Team is to be the primary Information Technology provider to Commonwealth Medicine (CWM), whose charter as the health care consulting division of the Medical School includes the design and implementation of programs, processes and systems around health care policy and reform, health care financing, pharmacy and laboratory services and world-class leading-edge research and development.


To support Commonwealth Medicine’s stated goals of:  1) lowering health care costs, 2) providing more access to health care, and 3) providing better health solutions and outcomes, the Positive Deviance Team will:

  • Provide solutions that are highly-flexible and can be brought to market quickly and easily
  • Adopt the “Agile” business development and information technology methodology for solution development
  • Deliver only web-based applications that use the Microsoft product stack
  • Deliver data to the end user anywhere, anytime on (almost) any platform
  • Incorporate non-structured into all application (e.g. documents, X-rays)
  • Secure users and data at all touch-points in the end-to-end application, whether in-motion or at rest
  • Focus on selected targeted groups: 1) that lie within the CWM organization,  2) interface with CWM from inside the University system or elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Use a variable, competitive pricing model when bidding on all work
  • Use third-party resources as a platform (e.g. the cloud) or partner (e.g. TP Systems Inc.) when necessary

Tactical Implementation

Adopt a Development Methodology – “Agile”

  • An iterative and incremental software development framework
  • Focus is around a team of self-organizing UMMS IT Engineers
  • Defining proposition is to deliver a marketable product as soon as possible
  • Driving timeline is the two-week time interval (sprint)

Target familiar client base

  • First phase (six month horizon): Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA)
  • Second phase (12 months): selected individual CWM departments

Web/Mobile Solutions

  • Web-based solutions
  • Mobile platforms included as necessary
  • Database at the application core
  • Ability to access data anywhere, anytime
  • Secure all data always, whether at rest or in-motion
  • Off-the-shelf components for lower layers (e.g. operating system, network)

“Build” instead of “buy”

  • Internal knowledge of the business
  • Relationships with the client
  • Strong product knowledge for the underlying platform
  • “been there, done that”

Scalable Pricing Model

  • Variable & customized pricing model
  • Per-project/bid basis

Utilize all available resources

  • Hire contractors to smooth resource demands
  • Use the cloud for technology spikes or bottlenecks
  • Partner with competitors to provide complete client solutions when necessary