Implementing an IT project into any business or organization can be complex and difficult and requires stringent processes and knowledge. Over time when your experience builds up, you also know where the pitfalls are, and how to avoid them. We turn these pitfalls into focus points, which we always keep a firm eye on, and base all our IT projects on.
Senior IT Project Managers at TM Group, Søren Pedersen and Kristian Kragerup give you an overview of what focus points they work with when successfully implementing an IT project and integrating a system.
- Scope: On a high-level this has already been agreed on with the customer. However, it is important to detail further and agree on with the customer. An IT project implementation can quickly go sideways if a detail is not agreed on before initiating. We have a clear roadmap to getting every little detail to the surface and discussing them.
- Requirements: All requirements – functional and non-functional – should be defined and described by the customer. Especially when doing “waterfall” implementation, requirements must be detailed, in place, and agreed upon when initiating system implementation. These requirements will define the extent and complexity of the entire project. Our approach and experience ensure we get everything on paper.
- System integrations: Integration to internal and external systems and data providers is often underestimated in time and resources. This takes time, and you will often be dependent on the ability of external providers to deliver validated data and resources including both environments and manpower.
- Testing: When doing “waterfall” implementation start planning System Integration Testing (SIT) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as early as possible, i.e. prepare the test strategy, test plans and test cases as early as possible. Pay special attention to the data applied (test data or production data, data from external providers, quality and volumes). When testing, report daily progress (number of test cases passed/left and severity of reported issues). Remember also to include defects and issues’ resolution time including a re-test cycle in your time plan.
- System performance: Important to conduct system performance testing on real data and volume to ensure that system response times and robustness are optimized and maintained.
- Early production setting: Focus on getting a (minimal) viable solution into production as soon as possible. And apply this as a platform where you will add functionality and other data sources. Unnecessary to say that this needs to be aligned with the customer.
- Support, maintenance and training: Although project management is focusing on implementing a solution for the customer, part of project management is also to hand-over the system operations, support and maintenance. Therefore, in due time – and if not already specified as part of the contract – agree in detail on the scope, terms and conditions with the customer.
Don’t underestimate the system implementation, and as a customer take on the responsibility of providing the project manager with every piece of detail, look him/her in the eye, and align all expectations to avoid as many unexpected surprises on both ends during the implementation.