Following the choice of an IT tool, the implementation frequently constitutes a mission for Akeance Consulting. Our clients are mostly business departments (finance, real estate, risk, production, etc.) and sometimes information systems departments, generally when transversal tools are involved.
The positioning of our offer is clearly to manage the project in a delegated manner, alongside the project manager.
Approach and content
The implementation of a tool ultimately consists in migrating data from an old system (or several systems) to a new solution with the desired processing and outputs.
The organisation of a project is based on a distribution of the activities within the scope concerned in order to enable the emergence of workshops whose purpose is to carefully match the need of tool's functionalities and the tool's ability to meet them.
Reconciliation of the two aspects enables arbitrages in the adaptation of the tool and changes in the client's modus operandi. The success of this initial work depends, to a large extent, on the accuracy of the analysis of the need and the understanding of the tool.
The subsequent phase (not necessarily sequential) consists in "placing an order" with the software publisher and then starting the first phases of data collection.
The reception phase (sometimes called dynamic reception phase or full-scale tests) must be carried out after the data reception phase have been secured. It is a mistake to parallelize on the pretext of saving time: we must be able to immediately identify the cause of a bad acceptance test, which implies that we know very quickly whether it is a data problem or a processing problem.
Finally, a "blank run" or "certification" are test phases for all data and all processing to ensure that, in a trivial way, the sum of data and processing reception test is correct.
In addition to the role of delegated project manager, Akeance Consulting can be entrusted with missions like accompanying the company's teams in a given area of activity for a given phase of the project, depending on the needs.
You need good shoes to correctly manage an implementation project
Methods, tools, tracking charts, project reporting, and other documents are nothing if the project team does not talk directly to stakeholders involved in a particular problems.
"We don't wait for an answer to an e-mail, we go and see" is the adage at Akeance regarding the tool implementation missions. In addition to making the project more pleasant (remote integrators are source of great difficulties, by the way), meeting directly with teams on a bilateral basis really accelerates/secures deadlines.
IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO CONFUSE METHOD WITH RIGOR
These implementation projects involve a large number of stakeholders and a large number of "small tasks" (this is true for the reception phases, testing, and other approval phases).
The role of project management, that Akeance Consulting assumes, is to rigorously manage the follow-up of each of these tasks.
It is dangerous to delegate this or that part or, worse, to apply the so-called "modern" methods for some specific stages of the project or areas of activity. A detailed centralization must remain the rule.
Agility is not synonymous of “absence of documentation” or “erratic evolution of the need”
The use of agile methodologies sometimes seems to decision-makers or operational staff to be a panacea for the limitas of traditional methods from the 1980s (waterfall methodology, V-cycle, etc.).
However, more than the method, it is the common sense that should prevail. For instance, there are mandatory "checkpoints", whatever the method, such as the necessity to formalize needs in order to avoid useless work.
It is up to the project manager to provide direction, tempo, to ensure the support and motivation of everyone ... and to be practical in the choice and application of methods.
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