I have worked on numerous projects spanning multiple industry sectors across 4 continents. The projects ranged in complexity involving Business Intelligence, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Relationship Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning. Some projects, I was involved since day one. Many projects, I was brought in late stage to fix a project that was horribly failing, or in many cases, had already failed miserably and needed a complete re-do.
So why is it that some companies complete highly complex implementations while others struggle? Regardless of the planning methodology utilized, project leaders need to make sure the following items are well-executed throughout the implementation cycle.
Winning! 8 Characteristics of a Successful Implementation
- Getting from A to Z: Project Planning
- Risk Mitigation: Risk Planning
- Right People at the Right Time: Resource Planning
- Building your Foundation: Blueprinting
- People, processes, information and technology: Managing Change
- Watchdog: Quality Testing and Quality Control
- Flicking the Switch: The Cutover Plan
- Looking in the Mirror: Analysis without Paralysis
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of the Project
You’ve got a great plan, but have you checked it lately? Just like a routine medical appointment, projects need checkups at regular intervals as well. This helps keep your finger on the pulse of the project throughout the complete life cycle. In countless projects, I have seen a severe lack of analysis throughout, and that’s where the project can change course and run into a wall, fast. If your project is exhibiting any of the items below, it’s time to take a step back and do a routine analysis to determine if a change of course is necessary.
Warning: Many Sleepless Nights Ahead
- Lack of control on project and task plans
- Unstructured meetings
- Unscheduled meetings
- Tasks go beyond deadline
- Company/ Consulting Bureaucracy regarding roles and responsibilities
It is important to plan, execute and deliver, based on the project plan. Use strict controls along the way to reduce risk and achieve success. Keep your finger on the pulse throughout, and change direction only when necessary and in a controlled manner.
Beware of the warning signs to avoid sleepless nights and keep the implementation on track and successful.