Implementation Standards, Best Practices and Guidelines
Implementation of Enterprise Applications on the cloud has many challenges and many advantages also. Implementation challenges and opportunities in the SaaS environment are covered here. The discussion’s highlight includes global standards, best practices, and guidelines for Enterprise Application Implementation practiced in large projects.
Implementation scope, team, methodology, and specific strategy contribute to the project’s overall timeline, cost, and outcome. Usually, the project will have an ROI to apprehend the result’s cost-benefit analysis with a timetable, which is called the scope of the project.
The project’s range decides the size and skill of team members in terms of technical, managerial members included in the project team. The methodology typically focuses on the checkpoint, milestones, quality assurance and controls, stakeholder views/feedback, and finally, the solutions’ usability.
Implementation strategy focuses on what needs achieving at what timeline and what purpose. Typically strategic decision applies to medium to long term project, which will have multiple deliveries before arriving at the project’s closure.
Typically recommend following agile, iterative implementation to ensure that the deliverables keep coming in short intervals. The phased iterative implementation helps in getting users to feedback quickly and also evaluate the result Vs. The expectation, at a functional level. The implementation scope is further worked out at a granular level to help customers understand and challenges the propositions.
- Entry-level scope in the first iteration
- Clear identification of mandatory and optional scope
- Divide the entire project scope into a series of quick wins
- Identify team members for each iteration scope of implementation
Team members are identified based on specific technical skillset and managerial scope of the project. Typical roles are allocated with the title to ensure the members and the whole team understand the content. The implementation team includes members from Vendor/s and Client/s, and the role of both members are as below.
- Vendors Team
- Project Leader
- Project Director
- Enterprise App Expert
- Software Developer / Tester
- Customer Team
- Single Point of Contact (SPoC)
- Steering committee
The Enterprise Application Implementation can be done in various ways depending on the project’s scope, size, and duration. The phases of an Enterprise Apps implementation project and their relative durations are:
|ROI Analysis||10%||ROI analysis, phasing & budget.|
|Kick-Off||5%||Align stakeholders on methodology + regular training.|
|Implementation||75%||Series of cycles: analysis, development, validation, key-user training.|
|Go-Live||10%||End-user training, bug fixes.|
|Second deployment||Variable Broaden scope or add custom features.|
The implementation strategy focuses on the Gap Analysis observed during initial requirement gathering. However, before the gap analysis, document preparation, a fundamental principle, and policy agreement made with the customer. The agreement principle help to take quick decision on every gap visible during requirement gathering. Some of the core principles indicated here
- The criticality of the requirement stated in the Gap Analysis report
- Nice to have Vs. must-have features and functions
- Budget availability Vs. Budget Requirement
- Time availability Vs. Time Requirement
- Resource availability Vs. Resource Requirement
- Priorities among competitive requirements
The best Strategy for Implementation is to maintain a balance between out of box features and customization requirements. As it is challenging to avoid customization altogether, the best strategy is to follow the middle path, as shown in the diagram.
Enterprise App Implementation project is, as usual, always full of challenges and uncertainties. The reason for all problems arises from a wide range of technology, people, and the process involved in the final deployment of the solution. Resistance to change, internal politics, and a wide range of technology in one environment make it super complicated. Here a few key challenges are listed which need proper evaluation before making decisions on scope, timeline, team, and budget.
• How to encourage users to embrace new process or technology
• How to deal with resistant people
• How to keep things simple
• How to manage customer expectations
• How to write a proper specification and requirement
• How to avoid importing data history
• How to avoid writing user’s manual for business processes
• How to deal with customers’ specific demands
• How to minimize custom development and still meet exceeding expectations.
• How to deal with internal politics
• How to deal with different people’s dynamics