With all the hype around Agile, I feel compelled to state the obvious: not all IT projects are Agile. (And not all should be—although it’s easy to get that impression from Agile champions!) A waterfall approach is still a viable option for many IT projects.(more…) Read More
Commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) software—not custom software—continues to be the preferred option for many firms, especially for ERP and CRM solutions.
The benefits of COTS solutions have been publicized widely and revolve around reduced time to deploy, cost avoidance, standards based, best practices included, solution maturity and platform flexibility, to name a few. However, many COTS deployments end up being disappointments, if not failures, once in production. Thus, many of the touted benefits are not being realized.
A critical success factor in a COTS solution deployment is the fit/gap analysis. COTS solutions are not ‘plug and play’, no matter what their marketing materials say. During the fit/gap analysis phase, decisions need to be made about customizations and functional configurations.Read More
The User Acceptance Test (UAT) is a critical component of any IT implementation. The goal of a UAT is to validate if a system or solution will meet the needs of business users in their operational environment.
The outcome of this phase sends the project down one of two paths. If all goes well, the project moves on to the Go Live phase. If it’s a flop, the project faces many challenges ahead, the Go Live timeframe is at risk, and the credibility of the project with the business may be tarnished. Obviously, the stakeholders want the UAT to go well. So how do you secure a win?
Let’s explore the 10 key ingredients of a successful UAT. We’ve seen this recipe work across a wide variety of IT projects.Read More
There is ample evidence that, in general, “software customizations are bad.” (So much so you might have nightmares where software customizations are vampires, haunting you, refusing to die in peace.)
But consider the other side of the coin: the risk of an organization going along with canned software functionality. This can downgrade an organization’s business practices to “average,” causing them to lose out on opportunities to improve performance.Read More
Across the board, successful IT projects follow a certain recipe for success. Time and time again, however, you’ll see organizations skip this step, or that step, and the result can be less than satisfactory.
One such example is the Requirements Definition phase, which answers the most basic questions: “What needs to happen?” and “Why does this need to happen?”Read More