So you have completed the evaluation process and are about to commence implementation of a new enterprise application, IT infrastructure suite, or other technology platform. You now have a plethora of items to consider:
- Will you implement this as a sole application or infrastructure change, or will you be using this to drive a larger Business Transformation or Business Process Optimization effort?
- Will you be implementing the technology “out of the box” with minimal customization or will you tailor it to your unique needs? How many other existing systems will you need it to integrate with? Can you defer integration—or will this create too much disruption for your business?
- Will you be hosting the solution yourself or will be a SaaS implementation? If is SaaS, will the primary vendor host it or will you use a vendor partner?
- What level of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery will you need? Who is responsible for this?
- Will you implement a single instance for everyone or allow different business divisions to have their own (with their own customization, hosting and support and maintenance windows)?
- Will you implement the new solution to everyone at once or will you gradually phase it in over multiple phases (and if so, what is your phasing strategy?)
The answers to these questions will not just only affect you timeline and budget. They will also drive the level business stakeholder involvement, change management, and program management required. However, with the answers to these questions—and many others—you will be ready to plan and execute your implementation.
Steve McConnell of Microsoft has written that while there are only a limited number of things that can go right on a project—while there are an unlimited number of things that can go wrong. Unforeseen details that were not accounted for will emerge over time. Potential risks will also come to fruition. All of these can quickly derail the best-made program plans, something we have experience first-hand implementing a wide range of enterprise application and IT infrastructure programs for over 15 years.
We have overcome these challenges by incorporating enterprise-optimal Agile methods, active risk-based project management and nested governance models into our program management approach. We would be happy to provide this experience to you: managing programs on you behalf, supporting your program owners, or teaching our best practices to your staff.