In an automation project, you must ask if the right people are involved from all business units affected, and if adequate due diligence has aligned goals and objectives with the needs of end users.
We think you should poll end-users on project deliverables and features required. Ask IT to define the technical feasibility of your goals, and ask end-users about what they need.
We think you should ensure you deliver a powerful, jargon-free presentation to the project team and management that highlights business value such as customer retention, renewals, and increased worker productivity. You can also have them assist with the creation of value-proposition statements and measurements.
Regular status meetings scheduled up front to deliver short, concise project updates make the management team more confident. Demonstrate the risk factors and additional requirements from resources outside IT.
Using proven tools and techniques is quicker than reinventing the wheel. It can also simplify maintenance. Templates that map critical processes in a project can be joined together, using non-invasive IT business process-automation technologies.
Mapping and modelling the processes to be automated allows the project to develop more quickly and means your deployment can easily be repeated. Reducing manual hand-offs and automating process steps, such as managing external interfaces, can also help things move more quickly.
Review your project at regular intervals with those responsible for each key element of the project. Give them responsibility for quality control and inter-team communication.
Development projects or major IT projects often fail if you try to combine two key components too late. A mistake not caught early on may wreak havoc. Fine-tuning should not be left to the final days or weeks. Do regular unit and system walkthroughs to reduce the risk.
Incentives can be offered to team members if they meet milestones, create bug-free code, improve end-user satisfaction and the like. This is proving popular in some major projects.
Remember to review team members’ availability, technical expertise, and business skills before involvement.
If the end-users and management are involved and have agreed on project deliverables at the outset, the chance of scope creep is diminished, as is the risk of not meeting project expectations.
Breaking up a project into smaller, quantifiable phases makes it easier to assess your success as you go on.
In addition to the technology, it is essential that people are on-board and processes established. Failing projects will have a direct impact on company performance.
Alan Smith is senior vice president at UC4 Software
Joe Macri says the vendor saw 20 per cent of its UK growth come from its Cloud Solution Provider programme last year
Pure set for further acquisitions, with a focus on the south-east
Reports claim BlackBerry is in talks over a $1.5bn deal