Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Applications icon

Governance and Management of Enterprise Software Implementation

Being Agile will increase the likelihood of success.

  • Implementing enterprise software is hard. Research shows that 17% of IT projects go so badly that they threaten the existence of the company (Bloch, 2012). You need a framework that will greatly improve your chance of success.
  • Traditional Waterfall project implementations have a demonstrated a low success rate for on-time, on-budget delivery.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Agility outside of software development is still in its infancy. The knowledge to apply it to business processes is lacking.
  • Your best process experts are the same people you need to keep the business running. The business cannot afford to have its best people pulled into the implementation for long periods of time.

Impact and Result

  • Leverage the best practices of project management to deliver value to the business sooner.
  • Follow our iterative methodology with a task list focused on the business must-have functionality to achieve rapid execution and to allow staff to return to their daily work sooner.
  • Engage users and receive timely feedback through the use of timely demonstrations of work completed.
  • Govern and manage the vendor partner relationship to leverage their expertise.

Governance and Management of Enterprise Software Implementation Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should implement good governance and review Info-Tech’s methodology to increase the likelihood of successfully delivering business value.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.0/10


Overall Impact

$26,659


Average $ Saved

23


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute

Guided Implementation

9/10

$3,719

3

Boise Cascade Company

Guided Implementation

8/10

$14,259

5

Southwest Gas Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$61,999

60

City of San Luis Obispo

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,733

10


Enterprise Application Selection & Implementation

Notice: This course will be updated in Fall 2021.

Don’t outsource your brain: You can’t outsource project accountability to the SI.
This course makes up part of the Applications Certificate.

Now Playing: Academy: Enterprise App Select and Implement | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Suanne McGrath-Kelly, Sr. Research Director, Applications Practice
  • David Piazza, VP of Research & Advisory, Applications Practice

Onsite Workshop: Governance and Management of Enterprise Software Implementation

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess

The Purpose

  • Explicitly define your business objectives.
  • Identify the key stakeholders.
  • Establish your success criteria.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Goals and objectives of the project.
  • Table of key stakeholders.
  • Key success metrics.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Establish your starting point.

  • Establish the goals and objectives of the project, identify key stakeholders, and determine key success metrics.
1.2

Governance structure.

  • Determine your governance model along with the roles and responsibilities (RACI), and then determine the organizational Agile capabilities.
1.3

Define your metrics.

  • Establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will guide the project.

Module 2: Prepare

The Purpose

  • Establish your backlog of work and the teams performing the work.
  • Test your selected methodology

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A better understanding of the work, both short and long term, to complete prior to transitioning to operations.
  • Stable teams that will perform better over the long term than temporary teams.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Establish your backlog.

  • A prioritized backlog of the requirements to implement.
2.2

Build your teams.

  • Decide on your team structure and define data governance and communication plans.
2.3

Assess readiness.

  • Test the selected methodology and identify areas for improvement or enhanced governance.

Module 3: Govern and Course Correct

The Purpose

  • Understand the need for a simple dashboard.
  • Course correct with backlog grooming.
  • Develop a transition checklist for the executive steering committee to use to determine when to transition to operation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Team will complete requirements on a steady cadence with regular check-ins to determine if course correction is needed.
  • Steering committee remains informed through the dashboard and ability to see progress in the iteration end demos.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Govern and manage.

  • An executive dashboard and a reviewed backlog.
3.2

Transition.

  • Scenarios depicting success or failure of the project and the potential risks and an executive checklist to assist in the decision to go operational.

Governance and Management of Enterprise Software Implementation

Being Agile will increase the likelihood of success.

Table of contents

Executive Brief

Execute the Project/DIY Guide

  1. Assess
  2. Prepare
  3. Govern and Course Correct

Insight Summary

Appendices

ANALYST PERSPECTIVE

Are you ready to enable your people to do their best work?

“When you read “govern and manage” the tendency is to think of “command and control”; however, research shows that traditional project methods lead to high failure rates. If you reframe it as an agile conversation about “providing oversight and course correcting” then you enable people to do their best work and achieve better results.” (Robert Fayle, Director ‒ Research, Enterprise Applications, Info-Tech Research Group)

Our understanding of the problem

This Research is Designed For:

  • Applications leaders implementing a new enterprise product.
  • Project managers looking for a better way to deliver successful implementations.

This Research Will Help You:

  • Improve the likelihood of a successful implementation by surfacing problems sooner and getting regular, early feedback from stakeholders.
  • Define metrics that are leading indicators of success or failure and deliver on the anticipated business value.

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • The governance committee providing oversight.
  • The frontline leaders tasked with executing the implementation.
  • Business stakeholders.

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Understand their role as facilitators not controllers.
  • Provide an overview of the overall project and the roles of all involved.
  • Determine how the requirements break down to execution tasks.

Executive summary

Situation

  • Implementing enterprise software is hard. Research shows that 17% of IT projects go so badly that they threaten the existence of the company (Bloch, 2012). You need a framework that will greatly improve your chance of success.
  • Traditional Waterfall project implementations have demonstrated a low success rate for on-time, on-budget delivery.

Complication

  • Agility outside of software development is still in its infancy. The knowledge to apply it to business processes is lacking.
  • Your best process experts are the same people you need to keep the business running. The business cannot afford to have its best people pulled into the implementation for long periods of time.

Resolution

  • Leverage the best practices of project management, traditional and Agile, to deliver value to the business sooner.
  • Follow our iterative methodology with a task list focused on the business must-have functionality to achieve rapid execution and to allow staff to return to their daily work sooner.
  • Engage users and receive timely feedback through the use of timely demonstrations of work completed.
  • Govern and manage the vendor partner relationship to leverage their expertise.

Info-Tech Insight

  1. Agility is not absolute.
    Being Agile means using various techniques to get the right work done right. Sometimes that means traditional Waterfall techniques are the right answer.
  2. Iterations allow for course correction.
    Short planning and execution cycles allow for better course correction. It’s far easier to recover from being fifty percent off on a week-long estimate than one that is four weeks.

Understand the benefits provided by Agile and the requirements for successful implementation

The effectiveness of your delivery method will depend on how integrated you are with the business and how disciplined you are in the execution of the method.

A graph documenting survey results about different delivery methods and their level of success based on 'Integration' (y-axis) and 'Discipline' (x-axis). Starting at low integration and discipline is 'Waterfall - Predictability', then 'Iterative - Stakeholder Value', then 'Agile - ROI', then 'Lean - Efficiency', then 'Continuous Delivery - Throughput', then at the highest integration and discipline is 'Full Value Stream'.(Adapted from: Ambysoft, “2018 Project Success Survey Results”)

“Is the path you are choosing going to get you where you want?” (Diana Larsen, author and co-founder of the Agile Fluency Project)

Project success – Agile versus Traditional (including Ad Hoc)

IT Project Success Rates

A horizontal bar graph of project success rates with different delivery methods. Each method has a bar for 'Successful', 'Challenged', and 'Failed'. 'Continuous Delivery/Lean' has 68% success, 21% challenged, and 11% failed. 'Agile' has 55% success, 36% challenged, and 3% failed. 'Iterative' has 36% success, 42% challenged, and 21% failed. 'Traditional/Ad Hoc' has 29% success, 67% challenged, and 5% failed.(Source: Ambysoft, 2018)

17% of projects with budgets greater than 15 million fail to the point of threatening the existence of the company. (Source: McKinsey & Company, 2012)

Info-Tech Insight

Aim for the highest level of integration with the business and the discipline to execute to increase your chances of success.

Agile at work

CASE STUDY

Industry: Construction
Source: IBM Corporation, 2019

Challenge

CTE, which sells, rents, and services construction and industrial machinery, had its financial data siloed in three separate legacy systems.

Data analysis meant manual processes to extract, collate, and validate the necessary data. This time and cost-intensive process hampered CTE’s plans for the utilization of customer-centered information.

Solution

CTE chose SAP S/4HANA in the cloud with IBM Services as the system implementer (SI). The project required collaboration across a significant cross-section of CTE employees.

Working in three-week sprints using IBM’s Ascend methodology (powered by SAP’s Activate), CTE received the first proof of concept within ten days of project launch.

Results

IBM was able to deliver a live solution in eight months. CTE was able to recover the time on data reconciliation while relying on validated data from a single source to examine its customers’ spend patterns.

The implementation plan – follow the Info-Tech path

  1. Use Agile techniques such as a backlog for the work items, focusing on the must-have items (i.e. 40% of the backlog).
  2. Use iterations to accomplish work, which sets the implementation up for success.
  3. Once all the must-have requirements have been implemented, the business has the choice of launching the enterprise software.
  4. Post launch the teams can continue in the same cadence delivering additional functionality ad infinitum.
A timeline of the Info-Tech path for implementation. The x-axis is 'Time', beginning with 'Pre-Work', 'Phase 1', 'Phase 2', 'Phase 3: Govern and Course Correct', and finally 'Governance'. The y-axis is 'Working Software' with percentages 0 to 100 categorized by what percentage is 'Backlog', 'Must', 'Should', and 'Could'. Starting in Phase 1 and 2 (Barebones Application Instance), in the backlog, are 'Starting Point, Governance Metrics' and 'Establish Backlog, Build Teams, Assess Readiness'. Phase 3 has multiple 'Iterations' bringing us from 0-40% working software. Each iteration has a structure of 'Iteration Planning', execution of multiple tasks with 'Daily Standup Meetings', 'Iteration Demo', and 'Iteration Retrospective'; Backlog is prioritized by module. In the Governance phase we go from 40-70% with two releases with another iteration in between.

Related Info-Tech research

Build a Better Backlog
The quality of your product backlog is key to realizing the benefits of Agile.

Implement Agile Practices That Work
Guide your organization through its Agile transformation journey.

Create a Plan for Establishing a Business-Aligned Data Management Practice
Guide your organization through its Agile transformation journey.

Enable Shared Insights With an Effective Data Governance Engine
Empower data-driven decisions for operational excellence.

Use this icon to help direct you as you navigate this research

Use this icon to help guide you through each step of the blueprint and direct you to content related to the recommended activities.

A small monochrome icon depicting a person in front of a blank slide.

This icon denotes a slide with an associated activity. The activity can be performed either as part of your project or with the support of Info-Tech team members, who will come onsite to facilitate a workshop for your organization.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Governance and Management of Enterprise Software Implementation – project overview

1. Assess 2. Prepare 3. Govern and Course Correct
Supporting Tool icon
Best-Practice Toolkit
1.1 Establish Your Starting Point
1.2 Governance Structure
1.3 Define Your Metrics
2.1 Establish Your Backlog
2.2 Build Your Teams
2.3 Assess Readiness
3.1 Govern and Manage
3.2 Transition
Guided Implementations
  • Scoping call: discuss preparations that led to implementation.
  • Discuss governance and the importance of stakeholder engagement.
  • Discuss organizational goals, success metrics, and project metrics.
  • Discuss how to take your requirements and build a prioritized list of tasks.
  • Talk about the teams needed to accomplish the project and the impact of changing members.
  • Discuss the implementation plan and the readiness of the teams to execute.
  • Discussion of dashboards and backlog review criteria.
  • Disaster preparation through the use of scenario planning and the creation of a checklist of transition to operation criteria.
Associated Activity icon
Onsite Workshop
Module 1:
Set Strategic Expectations and Realistic Goals
Module 2:
Prepare Your Teams and Requirements for Execution
Module 3:
Govern and Course Correct the Implementation and Prepare for the Transition of Operation
Phase 1 Outcome:
  • Established goals, objectives, metrics, and structure for governing the project.
Phase 2 Outcome:
  • Teams and prioritized task list ready for implementation.
Phase 3 Outcome:
  • Successful implementation and transition to operation.

Workshop Overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Workshop Pre-work Workshop Day 1 Workshop Day 2 Workshop Day 3 Workshop Day 4
Activities
Set Up for Success

P.1 Executive commitment.

P.2 List of requirements.

P.3 Selection complete.

P.4 Implementation partner on board

Define Clear Goals and Objectives, Governance, and Metrics

1.1 Establish your starting point.

1.2 Set up your governance structure.

1.3 Define key success metrics.

Establish Your Project Backlog

2.1 Establish your backlog.

2.2 Build your team.

2.3 Assess your readiness.

Govern and Course Correct

3.1 Compile the dashboard.

3.2 Review your backlog.

3.3 Mitigate failure with scenario planning.

Transition

4.1 Build the transition checklist.

4.2 Review governance document and the implementation plan.

Deliverables
  1. Defined IT mandate
  2. IT and business leadership alignment report
  1. Goals and objectives for the implementation
  2. Governance structure
  3. Key success metrics
  1. A prioritized requirements backlog
  2. Team structure
  3. Data RACI
  4. A communications plan
  1. The implementation dashboard
  2. An updated product backlog
  3. One or more scenarios to mitigate risks
  1. Transition checklist

Phase 1: Assess

Phase 1 outline

Associated Activity icon Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 1: Assess

Proposed Time to Completion: 3 weeks
Step 1.1: Establish Your Starting Point Step 1.2: Governance Structure Step 1.3: Define Your Metrics
Start with an analyst kick-off call:
  • Understand the scope.
  • Agree on the language used.
  • Discuss goals, objectives, stakeholders, and success metrics.
Review findings with analyst:
  • Discuss governance.
  • Identify roles and responsibilities.
  • Discuss delivery capabilities.
Finalize phase deliverable:
  • Review governance and RACI.
  • Discuss success metrics.
Then complete these activities…
  • Review your goals and objectives.
  • Identify key stakeholders.
  • Define key success metrics.
Then complete these activities…
  • Define governance structure.
  • Build RACI.
  • Assess delivery capabilities.
Then complete these activities…
  • Define key success metrics.
With these tools & templates:
  • Governance Model Charter Template
With these tools & templates:
  • Governance Model Charter Template
With these tools & templates:
  • Governance Model Charter Template

Phase 1 Results & Insights

  • A governance structure with roles and responsibilities backed up with metrics.

Step 1.1: Establish Your Starting Point

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2
Establish Your Starting Point Governance Structure Define Your Metrics Establish Your Backlog Build Your Teams Assess Readiness Govern and Manage Transition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Explicitly define your business objectives.
  • Identify the key stakeholders.
  • Establish your success criteria.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Executives
  • Delivery lead
  • Stakeholders

Outcomes of this step

  • Goals and objectives of the project.
  • Table of key stakeholders.
  • Key success metrics.

Glossary of terms

Project management practices, and in particular Agile practices, have a language all their own. The following list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to help everyone agree on the meaning of certain terms.

  • Product Backlog Item (PBI) – A requirement that has been added to the list of work to complete.
  • System Integrator (SI) – The vendor/partner assisting with the installation and set up of the enterprise software.
  • Iteration (or sprint) – A time-boxed period of work during which tasks are worked on to completion. No task should take longer than the defined period.
  • Iteration (or sprint) Team – A cross-functional team that works together for one or more iterations to complete PBIs.
  • Scrum Master (SM) – The scrum master is a facilitator who helps iteration teams overcome road blocks.
  • Epic – A very high-level requirement that may represent a module of the proposed system or an end-to-end business process (e.g. accounts payable [module] or procure to pay [end-to-end business process]).
  • User Story – A business requirement identified during the selection process.
  • Delivery Lead – We will use this role as a generic placeholder. In your organization this may be a project manager, an Agile coach, product manager, or some other role.
  • (Delivery) Team – To avoid project or Agile connotations we will refer to any and all teams by the generic “Team.” If there is a specific team referenced then it will be noted, e.g. operations team.
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) – Business and technical leaders who have specialized knowledge needed by the project team, e.g. enterprise architect.
  • Product Owner – This role is the business owner of the backlog. This role can be fulfilled by the delivery lead, a dedicated product owner, or some other role.
  • Agile Coach – An Agile coach is someone with broad experience implementing and running Agile processes.

Info-Tech Insight

Create your own glossary of terms that is accessible to the entire enterprise. This will ensure everyone has a common understanding of terms used.

A successful software implementation provides more than immediate business value; it can build competitive advantage

When software projects fail, they can jeopardize an organization’s financial standing and reputation, and in some severe cases can bring the company down altogether.

Rarely do projects fail for a singular reason, but by understanding the pitfalls, developing a risk mitigation plan, closely monitoring risks, and self-evaluating against where you should be during critical milestones, you can increase the probability of delivering on time, on budget, and per the intended benefits.

Benefits are not limited to just delivering on time. Some others include:

  • Building organizational delivery competence and overall agility.
  • The opportunity to start an inventory of best-practices, eventually building them into a center of excellence.
  • Developing a competitive advantage by maximizing software value and continuously transforming the business.
  • An opportunity to develop a competent pool of staff capable of executing on projects and managing organizational change.

Exercise: Review your goals and objectives for the implementation

Associated Activity icon 1.1.1 – 30 minutes

INPUT: Business strategy, Business vision

OUTPUT: Record results in section one of the Governance Model Charter Template

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Stakeholders

The aim of this exercise is to affirm/develop strategic requirements for the application. Record the results in section one of the Governance Model Charter Template. To assist in forming your goals, answer the following questions:

  • What are the major coverage points?
  • Who will be using the systems?
  • How will different users interact with the systems?
  • What are the objectives that need to be addressed?
  • Where do we start?
  • Where do we draw the line?

Sample

Goal Goal Statement
Cut costs To reduce the overall operating cost of the portfolio – directly through license and vendor management and indirectly through process improvements.

Info-Tech Insight

By including the goals and objectives in the Governance Model Charter Template, the project team is reminded that the focus is the business value delivered not the technology.

Understand how to navigate the complex web of stakeholders

Identify which stakeholders to include and what their level of involvement should be during requirements elicitation based on relevant topic expertise.

Sponsor End User IT Business
Description An internal stakeholder who has final sign-off on the project. Front-line users of the technology. Back-end support staff who are tasked with project planning, execution, and eventual system maintenance. Additional stakeholders that will be impacted by any technology changes.
Examples
  • CEO
  • CIO/CTO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • Warehouse personnel
  • Sales teams
  • HR admins
  • Applications manager
  • Vendor relationship manager(s)
  • Director, Procurement
  • VP, Marketing
  • Manager, HR
Value Executive buy-in and support is essential to the success of the project. Often, the sponsor controls funding and resource allocation. End users determine the success of the system through user adoption. If the end user does not adopt the system, the system is deemed useless and benefits realization is poor. IT is likely to be responsible for more in-depth requirements gathering. IT possesses critical knowledge around system compatibility, integration, and data. Involving business stakeholders in the requirements gathering will ensure alignment between HR and organizational objectives.

Large-scale projects require the involvement of many stakeholders from all corners and levels of the organization, including project sponsors, IT, end users, and business stakeholders. Consider the influence and interest of stakeholders in contributing to the requirements elicitation process and involve them accordingly.

EXAMPLE: Stakeholder involvement

A stakeholder involvement map with four categories defined by amount of 'Influence' and 'Interest'. Low influence, low interest is 'Monitor' and includes 'VP, Sales', 'Vendor Mgr.', and 'Sales Teams'. Low influence, high interest is 'Keep Informed' and includes 'Application Manager' and 'Warehouse Personnel'. High influence, low interest is 'Keep Satisfied' and includes 'COO' and 'CFO'. High influence, high interest is 'Involve Closely' and includes 'Director, Procurement', 'PM', and 'BAs'.

Exercise: Identify your key stakeholders

Associated Activity icon 1.1.2 – 1 hour

INPUT: Organization chart

OUTPUT: Record results in section 7 of the Governance Model Charter Template

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead

Using the example below, identify your key stakeholders. Record the results in section seven of the Governance Model Charter Template.

Customer End Users IT Vendor Other
Description An internal stakeholder who has final sign-off. Front-line users of the technology. Back-end support staff who are tasked with maintaining and upgrading the system. Organization that develops and licenses the software deployed at the business. Other unique stakeholders in your organization that you should consider as they interact with application.
Examples
  • CEO
  • CIO
  • CFO
  • Applications owners
  • Admin
  • Business units
  • Finance
  • Etc.
  • CIO
  • Applications manager
  • Vendor relationship manager(s)
  • SI
  • Vendor
  • External suppliers
  • PMO
  • Operations
  • Suppliers
  • Customers
Value Customer buy-in and support is essential to the success of the project.

Often, the customer controls funding and resource allocation.

End users determine the success of the system through user adoption.

If the end user does not adopt the system, the system is deemed useless and benefits realization is poor.

IT is likely to be responsible for more in-depth requirements gathering.

IT possesses critical knowledge around system compatibility, integration, and data.

The vendor and implementation partners will provide insight throughout the strategy and roadmap.

Ensure you review the vendor product roadmap.

Involving all unique stakeholders in requirements gathering will incorporate a variety of perspectives and will help ensure all stakeholder needs are met.

Focus on the why to ensure success

Your organizational goals will guide the expectations for the new enterprise software.

This is your company so focus on your goals for the enterprise software. Adopting the success metrics of someone else’s company may not help yours succeed.

Sample
Goal Goal Statement KPI
Cut costs To reduce the overall operating cost of the portfolio – directly through license and vendor management and indirectly through process improvements. Ten percent reduction in year-over-year spend.
Manage support Reduce the burden on the IT support staff – leverage vendor and outsource where possible. Five percent IT budget allocated to internal support.
Manage vendors Maintain a manageable number of vendors; use a single source wherever possible unless there is a distinct business need to extend outside application. One main vendor and up to five supporting process vendors per operating model.
Justify investments Look closely at opportunities to innovate and manage discretionary spend. Two percent annual budget allocated to innovation.
Address process gaps Look for ways to improve operational efficiency by addressing any process gaps identified in operating model.

Exercise: Define key success metrics

Associated Activity icon 1.1.3 – 1 hour

INPUT: Goals and objectives for implementation, Current organizational metrics

OUTPUT: Document metrics in section 14 of Governance Model Charter Template

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executive steering committee, Delivery lead, Key stakeholders

  1. Review the goals and objectives for the implementation.
  2. Brainstorm metrics or KPIs that align with the identified organizational goals. Define each.
  3. Record results in section 14 of the Governance Model Charter Template.
Sample
Goal Goal Statement KPI
Cut costs To reduce the overall operating cost of the portfolio – directly through license and vendor management and indirectly through process improvements. Ten percent reduction in year-over-year spend.

When creating your list of goals, be clear, concise, and specific. Be sure to determine the priority of each goal and associate it to an organizational KPI.

Info-Tech Best Practice

Leverage Info-Tech’s IT Metrics Library in the appendix for additional organizational metrics.

Step 1.2: Governance Structure

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Creation of your governance model.
  • Assessment of your Agile capabilities.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Executives
  • Delivery lead
  • Stakeholders
  • Team – Internal and SI
  • Agile coach

Outcomes of this step

  • Governance model.
  • Roles and responsibilities (RACI).
  • Agile capabilities.

Governance is not management

Executive Governance Level

Includes the executive project sponsor, C-level executives, and other senior members of interested parties. They are individuals with a vested interest in the project and their success and failure will be dependent on the success or failure of the implementation. They are responsible for:
  • Making high-impact decisions including scope change requests with large implications on successful delivery.
  • Resolving conflicting decisions escalated from the steering committee.
  • Keeping decisions of the other governance levels aligned to business strategy and objectives.
  • Providing leadership and guidance to enable the teams to deliver.

Steering Committee Level

Includes SVPs, VPs, and other leaders who are responsible for implementation execution and kept accountable for work quality and deliverables.
  • There must be a representative from this level to actively communicate and report progress along with any material risks, issues, and complications to the governance level.

Team Level

Includes the teams that are executing the tasks pulled from the backlog. Co-ordination of work and other activities such as training can be facilitated by delivery lead or a dedicated team.
  • The teams are responsible and accountable for the work they do.

Info-Tech Insight

You won’t get engagement unless there is a sense of accountability. Do not leave this vague. Specific individuals in your organization need to be assigned accountability to ensure the system development achieves what was intended by your organization and not what your SI intended.

The Phoenix Pay System – A failure of governance

CASE STUDY

Industry Government
Source 2018 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the department responsible for administrating the pay of public service employees. In 2009 the Government of Canada started the Transformation of Pay Administration program, which would centralize pay services and switch to a new pay software.

The Phoenix Pay System

After a public competition, PSPC awarded a contract to IBM to customize a PeopleSoft commercial pay software to meet the government’s needs. Three executives at PSPC were responsible for delivering the pay system while the Deputy Minister of the Department was responsible for that governance and monitoring was in place, documented, and maintained.

Results

There was no independent oversight of the Phoenix project, which allowed the executives to implement the system even though they knew it had significant problems. The Deputy Minister of PSPC was dependent on information that was provided by the project executives so the Minister did not get the information showing that Phoenix was not ready for implementation. The executives were more focused on meeting the project budget and timeline than on what the system needed to do.

A chart showing only the executives provided project status to the Deputy Minister. On either side is 'Phoenix Oversight Committees' and 'Public Services and Procurement Canada Project Executive Committees', which both have arrows pointing to 'Three Phoenix Executives', which has an arrow pointing to 'Deputy Minister of Public Services and Procurement'.

Chart showing only the executives provided project status to the Deputy Minister.

Exercise: Define your governance structure

Associated Activity icon 1.2.1 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Goals and objectives, Key success metrics

OUTPUT: Complete section two of the Governance Model Charter Template

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Team – Internal and SI

This exercise is about developing an implementation operating model up front. Any questions and decision making during implementation should always refer back to goals and objectives. Stakeholders from all levels of the established governance structure need to be unified in their support of each goal and objective. Complete section two of the Governance Model Charter Template after working through the following questions.

  • To what degree can the business use standard software functionality and avoid customizations, unless there is a compelling reason to do so?
  • Who will be accountable for making sure the system will benefit the organization?
  • What decision rights will the different governance layers, delivery lead, and the teams have?
  • Does the organization wish to parallel existing business processes in the new system or attempt to achieve major business transformation (process modernization/evolution vs. revolution)?

Info-Tech Insight

It is critical that all participants with decision-making authority and influence, including the SI, firmly agree to the goals and objectives and are committed to upholding them throughout the implementation.

Who is accountable?

Too many assumptions are made that the SI is accountable for all implementation activities and deliverables – this is simply untrue. All activities can be better planned for, and misunderstandings can be avoided, with a clear line of sight on roles and responsibilities and the documentation that will support these assumptions.

Discuss, define, and document roles and responsibilities:

  • For each role (e.g. executive sponsor, delivery manager, test lead, conversion lead) clearly articulate the responsibilities of the role, who is accountable for fulfillment, and whether it’s a client role or SI role, or both.
  • For each deliverable, articulate the purpose of the deliverable clearly and define which individual or team has responsibility for the deliverable and who is expected to contribute.
  • Empower the team by granting them the authority to make decisions. Ease their reluctance to think outside the box for fear of stakeholder or user backlash.
  • The implementation cannot and will not be transformative if the wrong people are involved, or if the right people have not been given the tools to succeed in their role.

Exercise: Define roles and responsibilities

Associated Activity icon 1.2.2 – 1 hour

INPUT: Stakeholders list

OUTPUT: Complete section seven of the Governance Model Charter Template.

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Key stakeholders, SI lead

Instructions

  1. Assess the skills necessary for an enterprise implementation. Inventory the competencies required for an enterprise implementation team. Map your internal resources to each competency as applicable.
  2. Select your internal implementation team. Determine who needs to be involved closely with the implementation. Key stakeholders should also be considered as members of your implementation team.
  3. Identify the number of external consultants/support required for implementation. Consider your in-house skills, timeline considerations, integration environment complexity, and cost constraints as you make your resourcing plan. Be sure to dedicate an internal resource to manage vendor and partner relationships.
  4. Document the roles and responsibilities, accountabilities, and other expectations as they relate to each step of the implementation.
  5. Document results in section seven of the Governance Model Charter Template.

How capable are you at being Agile?

After many years of helping Agile teams, James Shore and Diana Larsen learned a lot about what it takes to succeed with Agile and why many organizations don’t see the expected benefits. In 2012 they took that experience and the Agile Fluency Project was born. They identified four different areas, or zones as they call them, of capability. The key here is to understand that this is not a maturity model; it is a capability model. Each organization is unique and will have different levels of skill or fluency in each area. The model cannot tell you how mature your organization is in its use of Agile. (Source: ThoughtWorks, 2012)

A flowchart of The Agile Fluency Model. It begins at 'Pre-Agile', then shifts the 'Team Culture' into 'Focusing', shifts 'Team Skills' into 'Delivering', shifts 'Organizational Structure' into 'Optimizing', and finally shifts 'Organizational Culture' into 'Strengthening'. agilefluency.org (Image source: Larsen and Shore, “The Agile Fluency Model,” 2012)
Zone Benefit Investment Learn From Time to Fluency
Focusing Greater visibility into teams’ work; ability to redirect. Team development and work process design. Scrum, Kanban, non-technical XP 2-6 months
Delivering Low defects and high productivity. Lowered productivity during technical skill development. Extreme Programming, DevOps movement +3-24 months
Optimizing Higher-value deliveries and better product decisions. Social capital expended on moving business decisions and expertise into team. Lean Software Development, Lean Startup, Beyond Budgeting +1-5 years
Strengthening Cross-team learning and better organizational decisions. Time and risk in developing new approaches to managing the organization. Organization design and complexity theories unknown

How Agile are you?

Key principle: Agility is not a set of practices; it is a mindset. Alistair Cockburn said, “…we wouldn’t ask ‘can I use agile here’, but … ‘how agile can we be, here?’” (Source: Practical Analyst, 2018)

Applying the key principle:
Agile practice has the highest success rate, but it is up to you to determine where your organization can operate on the spectrum between Waterfall and Agile.

← Waterfall — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Agile →
Full Waterfall Custom Practice Agile Practice
Works well for small project that have few unknowns. Helps projects survive the surfacing of unknowns. Best for projects with unknown unknowns.
  • Framework is documentation-heavy (e.g. PMBOK).
  • Work is broken down into work items prior to the project starting.
  • Work is pushed to people doing the work.
  • Project managers play a key role in moving the project forward.
  • Business sees value at the end of the project.
  • Framework is customized. Some work is done via iterations and some is done in a Waterfall style.
  • Teams pull work from backlog.
  • Teams refine any work items they will be working on.
  • Project managers facilitate work of teams.
  • Business negotiates how often it accepts value delivery.
  • Framework is Agile, such as Scrum.
  • Teams pull work from a backlog.
  • Work items are identified and refined close to when the teams will work on them.
  • Teams refine the work items.
  • Teams work in short iterations.
  • Teams are constantly learning and improving their processes.
  • Business gets value delivered at the end of each iteration.

Info-Tech Insight

If you are new to Agile we recommend engaging a coach to accelerate your progress and assist you in avoiding the common pitfalls of implementing Agile.

Exercise: Assess your current capabilities in delivery

Associated Activity icon 1.2.3 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Agile frameworks, Project management practices

OUTPUT: Current delivery capabilities

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Delivery lead, Team, Agile coach

  1. Identify your current project practices and map them using the table below.
  2. Determine the number of unknowns in your implementation. Use Agile if your number of unknowns is high.

Sample

← Waterfall — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Agile →
Full Waterfall Custom Practice Agile Practice
Works well for small project that have few unknowns. Helps projects survive the surfacing of unknowns. Best for projects with unknown unknowns.
  • Uses a documentation-heavy framework such as PMBOK.
  • A custom framework is used. Some work is done via iterations and some is done in a Waterfall style.
  • Uses an Agile framework such as Scrum.

Step 1.3: Define Your Metrics

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Define your delivery metrics.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Key stakeholders
  • Delivery lead
  • Team

Outcomes of this step

  • Delivery metrics.

Building leading indicators

Lagging KPIs are relatively simple to identify, whereas leading KPIs can be more elusive.

For example, take the lagging KPI “Customer Satisfaction.” How do you turn that into a leading KPI? One method is to look at sources of customer complaints. In a retail sales system, backordered items will negatively impact customer satisfaction. As a leading indicator, track the number of orders with backordered lines and the percentage of the total order that was backordered.

Toronto Raptors acquire Kawhi Leonard
A basketball resting on an indoor court floor.
Making
Kawhi Leonard named NBA Finals MVP
A basketball flying toward a net in an indoor NBA court.
Reporting

Performance Metrics

Use leading and lagging metrics, as well as benchmarks, to track the progress of your system.

    Leading KPIS: Input-oriented measures:
  • Number of active users in the system.
  • Time-to-completion for processes that previously experienced efficiency pain points.
    Lagging KPIS: Output-oriented measures:
  • Faster production times.
  • Increased customer satisfaction scores.
    Benchmarks: A standard to measure performance against:
  • Number of days to ramp up new user.

Info-Tech Insight

“Leading indicators make the news; lagging indicators report on the news.” (Carlos Sanchez, Senior Director, Enterprise Applications, Info-Tech)

Review examples of popular metrics

In addition to delivery metrics and system performance metrics, equip the business with process-based metrics to continuously prove the value of the enterprise software. Review the examples below as a starting point.

Sample
Metric Description
Percent of requirements complete This is often represented by a burndown chart in Agile projects.
Issues found Total number of issues found within a given time period such as one iteration.
Issues resolved Total number of issues resolved.
Percent of processes complete This metric represents full workflows such as procure-to-pay or quote-to-cash.

Exercise: Define your metrics

Associated Activity icon 1.3.1 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Key success metrics

OUTPUT: Defined metrics

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Key stakeholders, Delivery lead, Team

  1. Gather any metrics related documentation that you collected during your requirements gathering.
  2. Collect team-level metrics for your existing teams:
    • Examine outputs from any feedback mechanisms you have (satisfaction surveys, emails, existing SLAs, burndown charts, resourcing costs, licensing costs per sprint, etc.).
    • Look at historical trends and figures when available. Be careful of frequent anomalies as these may indicate a root cause that needs to be addressed.
    • Explore the definition of specific metrics across different functional teams to ensure consistency of measurement and reporting.

Sample

Metric Description
Percent of requirements complete This is often represented by a burndown chart in Agile projects.
Issues found Total number of issues found within a given time period such as one iteration.
Issues resolved Total number of issues resolved.
Percent of processes complete This metric represents full workflows such as procure-to-pay or quote-to-cash.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech Workshop Associated Activity icon

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

Photo of an Info-tech analyst.
  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analyst will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech's historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

1.1.1

Sample of activity 1.1.1 'Exercise: Review your goals and objectives for the implementation'. Review your goals and objectives for the implementation

This activity is designed to bring everyone to the same starting point. By clearly stating your goals and objectives, all activities can be measured against how they assist in achieving those goals.

1.3.1

Sample of activity 1.3.1 'Exercise: Define your metrics'. Define your metrics

This activity involves key stakeholders, the delivery lead, and the team to define delivery metrics. These metrics ensure the implementation remains on track to fulfill the key success metrics.

Phase 2: Prepare

Phase 2 outline

Associated Activity icon Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 2: Prepare

Proposed Time to Completion: 3 weeks
Step 2.1: Establish Your BacklogStep 2.2: Build Your TeamsStep 2.3: Assess Readiness
Talk requirements with analyst:
  • Discuss how to take your requirements and build a prioritized list of tasks.
Learn about team dynamics:
  • Talk about the teams needed to accomplish the project and the impact of changing members.
Identify readiness to implement:
  • Discuss the implementation plan and the readiness of the teams to implement.
Then complete these activities…
  • Build your requirements backlog.
  • Prioritize the items in the backlog.
Then complete these activities…
  • Define your team.
  • Build a data RACI.
  • Create a communication plan.
Then complete these activities…
  • Create an iteration plan and build a task board.
  • Simulate a demonstration.
  • Perform a retrospective.
With these tools & templates:
  • Product Backlog Item Prioritization Tool
With these tools & templates:
  • Governance Model Charter Template

Phase 2 Results & Insights

  • A backlog of requirements with a task breakdown for the first iteration to be performed by the implementation team.

Step 2.1: Establish Your Starting Point

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Build your initial backlog.
  • Prioritization of your backlog.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Key stakeholders
  • Delivery lead
  • Agile coach

Outcomes of this step

  • Prioritized implementation backlog.

A backlog is more than a prioritized list: A tiered backlog organizes requirements at various stages of readiness

The DEEP backlog

  • Detailed Appropriately: Items are broken down and refined as necessary for each tier.
  • Emergent: Backlog grows and evolves over time as items are added and removed.
  • Estimated: Effort an item requires is estimated at each tier.
  • Prioritized: Items’ value and priority are determined at each tier.
  • (Source: Perforce, 2017)
Diagram and description of the tiers in a DEEP backlog. 'Multiple tiers but just one product backlog'. Tier 1 is 'The Refined Tier', high priority, small size and detail: 'This tier is composed of refined requirements that are ready to be placed in your teams’ iteration plans'. Tier 2 is 'The Qualified or Filtered Tier', middle priority, medium size and detail: 'This tier is composed of researched requirements awaiting refinement'. Tier 3 is 'The Idea Tier or The Icebox', low priority, large size and detail: 'This tier is composed of raw requirements that have yet to go through any formal valuation'. Adapted from: Essential Scrum.

How risky is it?

While Agile will address and mitigate risk during each iteration, there is a place for traditional risk management. Some requirements, such as the introduction of a new technology, come with a higher risk and therefore should be scheduled early in the project. This will allow for the mitigation of any risk before it can significantly impact the project schedule. Thus, when prioritizing the backlog consider risk as much as business value.

A graph of risk accumulated. It shows ones large bump filled in with pink and 5 smaller bumps that end before the next begins. The area of the larger bump minus the area of the smaller bumps is labelled 'Risk mitigated in Agile'.

By delivering the product in smaller iterations, teams reduce the amount of risk that is accumulated over time, as they validate the accuracy with each iteration. The shaded area represents the risk mitigated by teams when they deliver with smaller iterations through Agile.

Exercise: Build your backlog

Associated Activity icon 2.1.1 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Requirements

OUTPUT: Initial backlog documented in the Product Backlog Item Prioritization Tool

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Key stakeholders, Delivery lead, Agile coach

This activity is meant to determine the common vernacular for PBIs used in your organization.

  1. Select an initial list of requirements as PBIs and provide a brief description of each.
  2. Identify on which tier or where within the backlog each PBI is intended to live.
  3. Enter what type of documentation is required for each PBI.

Sample

A sample of the project value scorecard.

MoSCoW in your friend

Prioritization ensures that the implementation teams focus on the right requirements within the right use cases.

Prioritization is the process of ranking each requirement based on its importance to project success. Hold a separate meeting for the domain SMEs, implementation SMEs, project managers, and project sponsors to prioritize the requirements list. At the conclusion of the meeting, each requirement should be assigned a priority level. The implementation SMEs will use these priority levels to ensure that efforts are targeted towards the proper requirements and the plan features are available on each release. Use the MoSCoW Model of Prioritization to effectively order requirements.

The MoSCoW Model of Prioritization

Must Have Requirements which must be implemented for the solution to be considered successful.
Should Have Requirements which are high priority that should be included in the solution if possible.
Could Have Requirements which are desirable but not necessary and could be included if resources are available.
Won't Have Requirements which won’t be in the next release but will be considered for future releases.
(Source: ProductPlan, n.d.) (The MoSCoW model was introduced by Dai Clegg of Oracle UK in 1994.)

Exercise: Prioritize your backlog

Associated Activity icon 2.1.2 – 30 minutes

INPUT: Requirements

OUTPUT: Prioritized backlog

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Key stakeholders, Delivery lead, Agile coach

  1. Based on the PBIs created, the product owner assigns a priority ranking to each PBI to determine the order in which they will be completed.
  2. Have your team review the PBIs and question the PBI’s value, priority, goal, risk, and meaning to better understand the needs of the requirement.
  3. Define “done” by defining individual acceptance criteria for each PBI.

As a people manager, I want to access employee absence information so that I can plan work
Priority: Must have

As an employee, I want to be able to request vacation so that I can plan time off.
Priority: Should have

As a project manager, I want to know planned vacation time so that I can determine sprint capacity.
Priority: Could have

Step 2.2: Build Your Teams

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Establish your team.
  • Determine data governance and RACI.
  • Build a communication plan.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Delivery lead
  • SI lead
  • Stakeholders
  • Data architect
  • Communications team

Outcomes of this step

  • Team composition.
  • A data governance plan including a data RACI.
  • Communications plan.

Understand the unique external resource considerations for the implementation

Organizations rarely have sufficient internal staffing to resource an enterprise software implementation project entirely on their own. Consider the options for closing the gap in internal resource availability.

The most common project resourcing structures for enterprise projects are:

    Your own staff +
  1. Management Consultant
  2. Vendor Consultant
  3. System Integrator

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING

Internal vs. External Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly delineate between internal and external team responsibilities and accountabilities, and communicate this to your technology partner upfront.

Internal vs. External Accountabilities

Accountability is different than responsibility. Your vendor or SI partner may be responsible for completing certain tasks, but be careful not to outsource accountability for the implementation – ultimately, the internal team will be accountable.

Partner Implementation Methodologies

Often vendors and/or SIs will have their own preferred implementation methodology. Consider the use of your partner's implementation methodology; however, you know what will work for your organization.

When contemplating a resourcing structure, consider:

  • Availability of in-house implementation competencies and resources.
  • Timeline and cost constraints.
  • Integration environment complexity.

Info-Tech Insight

Select a partner with a culture compatible with yours.

Team composition is important

Ensure inner-team communication and a high degree of trust.

Communication Proximity Trust
Teams must have some type of communication strategy. This can be broken into:
  • Regularity: Having a set time each day to communicate progress and a set day to conduct retrospectives.
  • Ceremonies: Injecting awards and continually emphasizing delivery of value can encourage relationship building and constructive motivation.
  • Escalation: Voicing any concerns and having someone responsible for addressing those concerns.
Distributed teams create complexity as communication can break down. This can be mitigated by:
  • Location: Placing teams in close proximity can close the barrier of geographical distance and time zone differences.
  • Inclusion: Making a deliberate attempt to pull remote team members into discussions and ceremonies.
  • Communication Tools: Having the right technology (e.g. video conference) can help bring teams closer together virtually.
Members should trust other members are contributing to the project and completing their required tasks on time. Trust can be developed and maintained by:
  • Accountability: Having frequent quality reviews and feedback sessions. As work becomes more transparent, people become more accountable.
  • Role Clarity: Having a clear definition of what everyone’s role is.

Info-Tech Insight

When selecting a team, include individuals with both high skill and high integrity. These leaders help keep the lines of communication open between team members and build trust.

How long do people stay on a team?

All teams go through turmoil until they figure out how to work together, if they ever do.

  • Every time a team has members leave or join, it will return to the Forming stage of development.
  • A culture of trust will reduce the impact of the Storming stage.
  • A mature team will quickly move to Norming if the core team is stable and only ancillary members are changed.

Four Stages of Team Development

Stage Characteristics
Forming Team members test the boundaries of both interpersonal and task behaviors.
Storming Characterized by conflict and polarization around interpersonal issues.
Norming In-group feelings and cohesiveness develop.
Performing Interpersonal structure becomes a tool of task activities and group energy is directed to task execution.

Exercise: Establish team composition

Associated Activity icon 2.2.1 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Skills assessment, Stakeholder analysis, Vendor partner selection

OUTPUT: Team composition

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Delivery lead, SI lead, Stakeholders

Instructions

  1. Assess the skills necessary for an implementation. Inventory the competencies required for the implementation project team. Map your internal resources to each competency as applicable.
  2. Select your internal implementation team. Determine who needs to be involved closely with the implementation. Key stakeholders should also be considered as members of your implementation team.
  3. Identify the number of external consultants/support required for implementation. Consider your in-house skills, timeline considerations, integration environment complexity, and cost constraints as you make your team composition plan. Be sure to dedicate an internal resource to managing the vendor and partner relationships.
  4. Document the roles and responsibilities, accountabilities, and other expectations of your team as they relate to each step of the implementation. Track results in section nine of the Governance Model Charter Template.

Data stewards

Data stewards:

  • Champion business person accountable for data quality in their particular area.
  • Serve on an operational level addressing issues related to adherence to standards/procedures, monitoring data quality, raising issues identified, etc.
  • Manage access, quality, escalating issues, etc.

To obtain both buy-in and commitment, determine who the data governance champions are within the organization and get them onboard with the project first. These people will most likely be business leaders and data owners most affected by data governance issues.

Info-Tech Best Practice

A stewardship role is generally more about managing the cultural change that data governance brings. This requires the steward to have exceptional interpersonal skills that will assist in building relationships across departmental boundaries and ensuring that all stakeholders within the organization believe in the initiative, understand the anticipated outcomes, and take some level of responsibility for its success.

Understand how data flows through your organization from an enterprise application perspective

Understanding where data lives can be challenging as it is often in motion and rarely resides in one place. There are multiple benefits that come from taking the time to create a data flow diagram.

A sample data flow diagram showing where data lives and what it is used for. At the top are the main data categories: 'Business Data' is used by 'Business Unit', which is housed in 'Systems', which is used for 'Usage of the Data'. In Business Data is 'Mkt-Product', 'Fin-Product', 'Shi-Product', the last two of which are used by 'Legal' in the Business Unit. In Business Unit is 'Marketing', 'Finance', Shipping', 'Research', and 'Legal'. Legal is housed in 'XYZ ERP' and 'Other (desktop spreadsheet) in Systems. In Systems is 'XYZ ERP', 'ABC CRM', 'DEF Inventory Management', 'BI Platform', and 'Other (desktop platform)'. 'XYZ ERP' and 'Other' are used for 'Contracting' in Usage of the Data. In Usage of the Data is 'Reporting', 'Billing', 'Campaign', and 'Contracting'.

Create a Plan for Establishing a Business-Aligned Data Management Practice
Make sure the right information gets to the right people, at the right time.

Enable Shared Insights With an Effective Data Governance Engine
Empower data-driven decisions for operational excellence.

Exercise: Data change simulation

Associated Activity icon 2.2.2 – 30 minutes

INPUT: Data strategy and management plan

OUTPUT: Data RACI

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Data architect, Delivery lead, Technical SMEs

  1. Determine the roles that may require data changes.
  2. Record who has the authority to approve the change.
  3. Define a RACI for your data activities.
Type of Change Approval Level Documentation
Add element to picklist Team Update user documentation
Modify existing data element Data architect Record in change log
Add new data element Data architect Record in change log

Are you getting through to your stakeholders?

Let’s jump into the future. Your implementation is in full swing and you are sharing the status via email, dashboard, and song and dance during company town halls. The challenge is that the business is not engaging as fully as necessary and this is slowing down your teams and putting the project at risk. In the table below, we have some forms of communication and possible solutions to increase business engagement.

Communication Form Example Disengagement Mitigation
Email A bi-weekly email summarizing the project status sent to all staff. Focus on the wins since the last email and highlight staff who really contributed. Be sure to include business stakeholders whenever possible. Have the CEO and other senior leaders reply to all with a positive message about the great job being done and how it is really helping the business succeed.
Iteration planning meeting At the beginning of each iteration you will have an iteration planning meeting. It is critical that business stakeholders be part of the conversation. Often, the business will be late or not show up at all as it sees it as an “IT only” effort. Have the CEO or C-level executives join for the first five minutes to extoll the virtues of the project and its value to the business. They can show their appreciation for the priority that the group is giving to the important project.

Leverage Info-Tech’s Manage Stakeholder Relations blueprint to make proper stakeholder management a habit.

Exercise: Build a communication plan

Associated Activity icon 2.2.3 – 1 hour

INPUT: Backlog, High-level implementation timeline

OUTPUT: Communication plan

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Delivery lead, Communications team

Create a communication plan similar to the table below. Be sure to include the major points to be communicated via each form. It is okay to repeat yourself. In fact, it helps reinforce the message.

Sample

Medium Frequency Content Disengagement Mitigation
Email Bi-weekly
  • Highlights of successes.
  • Plans for next iteration.
  • Spotlight on top contributors.
Have business leaders reply to all with positive messages
Town halls Monthly
  • Highlights of successes.
  • Plans for next iteration.
  • Spotlight on top contributors.
Recognize top contributors from different parts of the business. Consider giving out prizes such as coffee mugs.
Iteration demos Every two weeks (at the end of each iteration)
  • Functionality implemented.
  • Documentation completed.
Record and share the demos on an internal site for all to view.

Step 2.3: Assess Readiness

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Run a test iteration with a daily standup.
  • Practice a team demo and retrospective.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Delivery lead
  • Team
  • Agile coach

Outcomes of this step

  • The team has an understanding of how iterations fit into execution.

Bringing it all together

Agility comes in many forms. It is often associated with software development, but agility goes beyond that narrow focus. For example, Handelsbanken of Sweden and Statoil of Norway are Agile organizations and have been so for many years.

Info-Tech’s CLAIM model is based on concepts of agility that are not just for software development; they are for the entire enterprise. In this particular case, we have replaced “A” for automation with “D” for data as it is critical to the implementation.

Culture. Agile teams believe that value is best created by standing, self-organizing cross-functional teams who deliver sustainably in frequent, short increments supported by leaders who coach them through challenges.

Learning. Agile is a radical change in how people work and think. Structured, facilitated learning is required throughout the transformation to help leaders and practitioners go from doing Agile to being Agile.

Data. Manage your data and its integrity to prepare for conversion. Appoint data stewards to guide data governance and management.

Integrated Teams. While temporary project teams can get some benefits from Agile, standing, self-organizing teams that cross business, delivery, and operations are essential to gain the full benefits of Agile.

Metrics and Governance. Successful Agile implementations require the disciplined use of delivery and operations metrics that support governance focused on developing better teams.

Have an iteration planning session to establish scope and estimates for your upcoming iterations

Planning takes time – don’t rush this step.

  1. The product owner and team review the product backlog and release plan, and discuss the high-priority items that must be completed for the upcoming milestone.
  2. Break your requirements down into smaller individual tasks. Use point estimation (see sidebar) to size the tasks
    • Some tools (e.g. Team Foundation Server) estimate tasks by hours and not points. In this situation, consider estimating your tasks in hours and then rolling them up into points at a higher level.
  3. Adjust your plan based on the issues, risks, and tasks that were identified. Remember to leave a bit of buffer in your plan to accommodate unexpected impediments.
  4. Break down your milestone into iterations that range from one to four weeks in length. Iteration lengths should be consistent within a given project. Identify the requirements that can be completed within a given sprint and shift your milestones and release plan if necessary.
    • Ideally, demonstrable business value should be deliverable at the end of a sprint.
  5. It is common for new tasks to emerge as the team works through each sprint. Once the team makes a commitment, additions and changes must wait until the next sprint unless approved by the product owner.

Point Estimation Scheme

Consider the following points paradigm for new teams: 1 point ~ 1 hour, 3 points ~ 0.5 day, 7 points ~ 1-2 days, 13 points ~ 3-4 days. Modify this scheme as necessary.

As teams become more accustomed to this approach, begin transitioning from a days-to-points conversion to tasks-to-points (e.g. code a button on the web UI = 3 points).

Understand the common strategies to a vertical breakdown approach

How do you determine how small a task should be?

There is no hard and fast rule to how small an item must be. This will depend on:

  • The length of the iteration.
  • The size of the application or project.
  • The experience and comfort level of the team.
It will take new Agile teams a few iterations before they find their momentum.
1. Workflow steps?
What steps does a user perform?
Are all of the steps necessary now?
Can steps be simplified for now?
Steps in an order process, like selecting a payment option or delivery method.
2. Business rules?
What rules apply to this story?
Are all business rules necessary now?
Can simpler rules suffice?
Rules in order process (no order below ten dollars, no shipping outside the US).
3. Happy/Unhappy flow?
What does the happy/unhappy flow look like?
Are all unhappy flows necessary (right now)?
Can unhappy flows be simplified (for now)?
Failures during a webshop order process and possible recovery options.
4. Input options?
Which platforms are supported?
Are all platforms required (right now)?
Are some platforms harder to implement than others?
Tablet, iPhone, desktop, touchscreen.
5. Data types and parameters?
What data types are supported and relevant?
Which parameterized views are there?
Are all parameters relevant at the moment?
Different search options/strategies or report types (e.g. tables, graphs).
6. Operations?
What operations does the story entail?
Are all operations necessary right now?
Breakdown on CRUD (create, read, update, delete).
7. Test cases?
What tests scenarios are used to verify this story?
Are all test scenarios relevant at the moment?
Some test scenarios may be very complex, but not highly relevant at this time
8. Optimize now vs optimize later?
What optimizations can we think of (UX/UI)?
Are all optimizations necessary now?
Implementing autocomplete for addresses, usage of GPS-location.
(Source: Medium, 2017)

Exercise: Iteration planning

Associated Activity icon 2.3.1 – 30 minutes

INPUT: Groomed implementation backlog

OUTPUT: Iteration backlog

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Team, Delivery lead, Agile coach

  1. Refer back to the PBIs added in Activity 2.1.2.
  2. Choose a vertical break-down strategy that the team is comfortable with.
  3. List all possible tasks associated with each PBI in the backlog.

As a people manager, I want to access employee absence information so that I can plan work
Priority: Must have

Tasks:
  1. Capture the data.
  2. Store the data in a database (could be a separate story, could be broken down).
  3. Create a means to access the information online.
  4. Provide means to print the information.
  5. Ensure security measures are in place to protect information.

As an employee, I want to be able to request vacation so that I can plan time off.
Priority: Should have

Tasks:
  1. Create a means to enter the request.
  2. Create a means to modify the request.
  3. Create a means to delete the request.

As a project manager, I want to know planned vacation time so that I can determine sprint capacity.
Priority: Could have

Tasks:
  1. Provide a means to access employee absence data for a specific project.
  2. Provide a means to retrieve employee absence data for a specific project.
  3. Provide a means to report when new requests are entered for a specific project.

Conduct a daily standup session during development to measure progress

  • Use the daily standup session to surface any blockers or risks that could impact completing committed tasks.
Rules of the Standup Topic of the Standup Goal of the Standup
  • The daily standup meetings begin once the sprint has started.
  • The standup should be roughly a 15-minute meeting at the same time and place everyday.
  • The meeting is led by the scrum master and everyone within the team should be present.
  • The scrum master facilitates the standup to ensure everyone’s time is respected and focus is kept on risks and blockers.
  • A log of issues discussed should be kept to serve as a point of continuation the following day.
Three things should be reported by each team member in a standup meeting:
  • What they have completed since the last standup meeting.
  • What they are currently working on and what they will complete by the next meeting.
  • Any blockers, risks, or barriers.
  • Transparency amongst team members so that root issues preventing the team from completing task are raised and addressed quickly.
  • Updates from the scrum master on resolution of blockers and risks. This helps build integrity into the team.
  • No intervention from product owners. It is possible to have a product owner attend a standup for clarification of requirements but they should not inject new requirements.

Exercise: Build your task board and simulate a daily standup

Associated Activity icon 2.3.2 – 30 minutes

INPUT: User stories in sprint backlog

OUTPUT: Task board

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Team, Scrum master, Agile coach

  1. Identify and select a location for the team’s task board.
  2. Set up the team task board by vertical columns for to do, in progress, tested, and done.
  3. Add your committed user stories to the task board along with their relevant tasks.
  4. Simulate a daily standup, facilitated by the scrum master by answering the three questions:
    • What did I do yesterday?
    • What am I going to do today?
    • Are there any roadblocks?

A sample task board with sticky notes in four vertical columns: 'To do', 'In progress', 'Tested', and 'Done'. Green sticky notes are tasks, yellow sticky notes are roadblocks.

Ensure alignment with stakeholder expectations through demonstrations

Involve stakeholders and management in your plan by including them in demonstrations – their constructive feedback will ensure the implementation is moving in the right direction. Aim to deliver demonstrable business value each iteration.

Showcase your progress for stakeholders to obtain feedback on enhancements or to modify, add, or remove features to meet new business needs.

  • Identify key points in your release plan to schedule demonstrations with stakeholders. These points (ideally, at your project milestones) should demonstrate some business value in your solution. Find a balance between the frequency of your demonstrations and your stakeholders’ availability.
    • Focus on demonstrating features that are complete. If you are planning on showing work-in-progress, ensure that your stakeholders understand what they see may change.
  • Leverage a proxy if your stakeholders or product owners are unavailable. Ensure that this proxy is up to date with the latest stakeholder needs and engages in regular communication with stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with your stakeholders on the enhancements so the changes can be injected and prioritized against your product backlog. Assess and address any impacts these changes have on your release.

Hold an iteration retrospective to identify and document issues to be resolved

Aim to learn from past mistakes and pain points, and apply lessons to future iterations.

  • The iteration retrospective differs from the iteration review because it is not project-oriented, but process-oriented.
  • This step is important in improving the process as each team member has a chance to voice what is working and what is not.
  • The scrum master can act as a facilitator for these meetings.

Questions to Ask During Your Retrospectives

  • What did you like about the iteration?
  • What were you lacking during the iteration?
  • What did you learn?
  • What do you desire to help improve the process?

Info-Tech Insight

Think of the first iteration as a test run. After the first iteration, the team members should have a better idea of their capacity and what they can realistically achieve in one iteration.

Exercise: Simulate a demo

Associated Activity icon 2.3.3 – 1 hour

INPUT: Task board built in previous exercise

OUTPUT: Demo

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Team, Delivery lead, Stakeholders

  1. Refer back to the user stories each team committed to for the sprint, and prepare a wireframe for the acceptance criteria to prove you are done.
  2. Practice showcasing the wireframe within your team and center your story around a realistic user solving a problem. Keep in mind that the demo must prove not only that the software works, but also that it is valuable.
  3. Teams take turns presenting their demos to other stakeholders and stakeholders choose one option based on the demo:
    • Approve
    • Reject
    • Request for change (goes into future a sprint)

Exercise: Simulate a retrospective

Associated Activity icon 2.3.4 – 30 minutes

INPUT: Activities done that day

OUTPUT: List of action items

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Team, Scrum master, Agile coach

  1. Identify a retrospective approach that the team agrees upon and wants to use as part of their Agile practices.
  2. Set up any materials (e.g. sticky notes, pens) that the team will require to simulate a retrospective.
  3. With the scrum master facilitating, conduct a retrospective on the day’s activities you participated in to understand Agile practices.
  4. Document any action items on how the team can improve.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech Workshop Associated Activity icon

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

Photo of an Info-tech analyst.
  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analyst will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech's historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

2.1.1

Sample of activity 2.1.1 'Exercise: Build your backlog'. Establish your backlog

Convert your list of requirements into a prioritized list of high-level tasks for the implementation team to execute.

2.3.1

Sample of activity 2.3.1 'Exercise: Iteration planning'. Assess your readiness

This step takes the team through a simulated iteration cycle to familiarize them with the process.

Phase 3: Govern and Course Correct

Phase 3 outline

Associated Activity icon Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 3: Govern and Course Correct

Proposed Time to Completion: 2+ weeks
Step 3.1: Govern and Manage Step 3.2: Transition
Discuss the implementation cadence:
  • Understand the need for a simple dashboard.
  • Course correct with backlog grooming.
Discuss how to transition to operation:
  • Scenario descriptions of the risks or activities that can result in various outcomes (success or failure).
  • Transition checklist to be used by the executive steering committee to determine whether the implementation is ready to transition to operation.
Then complete these activities…
  • Compile the dashboard.
  • Review the backlog of requirements.
Then complete these activities…
  • Create different implementation end states.
  • Establish a transition checklist detailing the items required to transition the implementation to operation.
With these tools & templates:
  • Product Backlog Item Prioritization Tool
  • Governance Dashboard Template
With these tools & templates:
  • Enterprise Software Implementation Checklist Tool

Phase 2 Results & Insights

    The team will complete requirements on a steady cadence with regular check ins to determine if course correction is needed. The steering committee remains informed through the dashboard and ability to see progress in the iteration end demos.

Step 3.1: Govern and Manage

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Compiling an implementation dashboard.
  • Grooming the backlog.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Delivery lead
  • Executives

Outcomes of this step

  • An implementation dashboard.
  • Updated backlog based on feedback from last iteration.

Dashboards are concise for a reason

Build a dashboard that reflects the leading metrics you have identified. Call out requirements that represent key milestones in the implementation.

Sample

A sample dashboard with sections 'Key Requirements', 'Overall Status Summary', 'Key Accomplishments', 'Upcoming Key Activities', 'Key Risks', 'Key Issues/Gaps', and 'Implementation Burndown'.

Exercise: Compile status report

Associated Activity icon 3.1.1 – 1 hour

INPUT: Backlog, Iteration plan, Delivery metrics

OUTPUT: Build your dashboard using the Governance Dashboard Template

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers, Sticky notes

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Stakeholders

  1. Develop a dashboard that quickly summarizes the information the executives are interested in. Use Info-Tech’s Governance Dashboard Template to help build your dashboard.
  2. Sample

    A sample dashboard with sections 'Key Requirements', 'Overall Status Summary', 'Key Accomplishments', 'Upcoming Key Activities', 'Key Risks', 'Key Issues/Gaps', and 'Implementation Burndown'.

Business priorities change – can you?

Often backlog grooming is used interchangeably with, or considered a part of, sprint planning. The reality is that while they are very similar and have the same required participants and objectives there are some key differences.

A Venn diagram table hybrid comparing the differences and similarities of 'Backlog Grooming' and 'Iteration Planning' in different contexts. The first row is 'Objectives'; the Backlog Grooming circle contains 'Splitting epics into user stories' and 'Removing or adding PBIs based on changing needs'; the Iteration Planning circle contains 'Agree on the goal for a particular iteration' and 'Commit to a list of items within a particular iteration based on velocity and limits'; the Venn overlap contains 'Ready items for development', 'Focus on priority PBIs and the immediate iterations(s)', 'Confirm understanding of PBIs', 'Reassess and reprioritize as needed'. The second row is 'Cadence'; the Backlog Grooming circle contains 'Occurs at least once within the previous iteration'; the Iteration Planning circle contains 'Occurs once right before the iteration'; the Venn overlap contains 'Occurs before the iteration'. The third row is 'Participants'; the Backlog Grooming circle contains 'Run by product owner'; the Iteration Planning circle contains 'Involves entire team'; the Venn overlap contains 'Team must give input'. A note underneath reads 'A better way to view them is “pre-planning” and “planning.”'

Exercise: Review backlog

Associated Activity icon 3.1.2 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Existing backlog, New and/or modified requirements

OUTPUT: Table of backlog responsibility to review and expected cadence

  1. Review the activities of your idea or work request intake process.
    Examples: split epics, write user stories, estimate, valuate, add to backlog.
  2. Identify who needs to be involved and their type of involvement for each activity using the following categories:
    • Responsible: Individual responsible for executing or capturing the results of the activity.
    • Facilitator: Individual who facilitates the discussion between participants according to the standards of the activity.
    • Required participants: Roles and perspectives integral to completion of the activity.
    • As-needed participants: Roles and perspectives that can be needed under certain circumstances of the activity.
  3. Identify the cadence of the activity. This can be expressed as:
    • Frequency of the activity: Every quarter.
    • Trigger for the activity: On demand as a request or when a new idea is presented.
    • Other established meetings or ceremonies where the activity would take place: PI planning.

Exercise: Review backlog (continued)

Associated Activity icon 3.1.2 – 1-2 hours

Below is a sample table of activities, participants, and cadence.

Sample
Activities Participants Cadence
Responsible Facilitator Required Participants As Needed Participants
Split Epics Product Owner Scrum Master Project Team Solution Architects, Business Stakeholders On Demand as Epics Are Qualified
Write User Stories Product Owner Backlog Grooming
Estimate Product Owner Backlog Grooming
Valuate Product Owner Backlog Grooming
Prioritize, Inject Into Backlog, and Update Roadmap Product Owner N/A Product Manager PI Planning

Step 3.2: Transition

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
PHASE 3
1.11.21.32.12.22.33.13.2
Establish Your Starting PointGovernance StructureDefine Your MetricsEstablish Your BacklogBuild Your TeamsAssess ReadinessGovern and ManageTransition

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Create different implementation end states.
  • Establish a transition checklist detailing the items required to transition the implementation to operation.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Executives
  • Delivery lead
  • Team

Outcomes of this step

  • Scenario descriptions of the risks or activities that can result in various outcomes (success or failure).
  • A transition checklist which will be used by the executive steering committee to determine whether the implementation is ready to transition to operation.

Disaster planning for success

Scenario planning is a technique that has been used for many years not only in business but also in others areas such as the military.

The goal of scenario planning is to identify a future state and come up with actions that will mitigate or accelerate the organization ending up in that state.

A graphic of the words 'What if?' below three icons of representing potential futures. The header is the Shell logo and 'Navigating an Uncertain Future'.(Image source: Shell, 2019)

Royal Dutch Shell has been using scenario planning for 50 years to successfully navigate an uncertain future. Scenario planning, imagining an alternate future, activates the same areas of the brain as memory. The idea is that having “lived” through the scenario, the organization will have learned how to avoid or recover from it. (Source: Shell, 2019)

Exercise: Imagine your implementation future state

Associated Activity icon 3.2.1 – 1-2 hours

INPUT: Success metrics, Risk log

OUTPUT: Scenario descriptions of various failures

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Team

  1. Imagine it is a year from now. Think of three possible scenarios: the implementation was wildly successful, the implementation met expectations, and the implementation was a complete disaster.
  2. Begin with the failure scenario or where a risk has been realized. Describe fully the state of the failure and the effect upon the organization. Identify the changes that could have lead to that state (loss of key resources, failure of governance, technology problems, etc.).
  3. Now imagine the implementation was wildly successful. Again, fully describe the end state and the effect on the organization. Describe the behaviors, metrics and risk mitigations that led to this outcome.

How do you transition?

Deciding when to turn the system on can be a complex question. While looking at the requirements implemented is one aspect of readiness, there are many more factors to consider. Executive commitment and business readiness are just as important to the transition as getting all the testing done.

Use Info-Tech’s Enterprise Software Implementation Checklist Tool to help assess your readiness.

Thumbnail of Info-Tech's 'Enterprise Software Checklist Tool'.

Sample

Criteria Answer
Application Readiness:
Have all test scenarios and scripts been executed? Yes
Have the pre-determined pass rates been achieved for each stage of the testing? Yes
Management Sponsorship:
Is there commitment/buy-in from the business? Yes
Is there commitment from the steering committee and sponsors? Yes
People/Process Readiness:
Have impacted groups been made aware of the changes coming as a result of the project? Do they understand the impact of change? Yes
Data Readiness:
Has the data in each source system for data conversion activities been cleansed? Yes

Exercise: Transition checklist

Associated Activity icon 3.2.2 – 1 hour

INPUT: Delivery metrics

OUTPUT: Customize the Transition tab of the Enterprise Software Implementation Checklist Tool

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Executives, Delivery lead, Teams

  1. Create your transition checklist.
  2. Record your checklist in the Enterprise Software Implementation Checklist Tool.

Sample

Criteria Answer
Application Readiness:
Have all test scenarios and scripts been executed? Yes
Have the pre-determined pass rates been achieved for each stage of the testing? Yes
Management Sponsorship:
Is there commitment/buy-in from the business? Yes
Is there commitment from the steering committee and sponsors? Yes
People/Process Readiness:
Have impacted groups been made aware of the changes coming as a result of the project? Do they understand the impact of change? Yes
Data Readiness:
Has the data in each source system for data conversion activities been cleansed? Yes

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech Workshop Associated Activity icon

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

Photo of an Info-tech analyst.
  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analyst will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech's historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

3.2.1

Sample of activity 3.2.1 'Exercise: Imagine your implementation future state'. Govern and manage

The analyst will walk you through scenario planning of the best and worst cases of your implementation. Scenario planning helps identify possible risks that can be addressed before they impact the implementation.

3.2.2

Sample of activity 3.2.2 'Exercise: Transition checklist'. Transition

Knowing when to turn the system on can be a complex task. Our analyst will walk you through the process of selecting the right check list items for your implementation.

Insight breakdown

Executive Brief Insights

  • Agility is not absolute. Being Agile means using various techniques to get the right work done right. Sometimes that means traditional Waterfall techniques are the right answer.
  • Iterations allow for course correction. Short planning and execution cycles allow for better course correction. It is far easier to recover from being fifty percent off on a week-long estimate than one that is four weeks.
  • Aim for the highest level of integration with the business and the discipline to execute to increase your chance of success.

Phase 1 Insights

  • Create your own glossary of terms that is accessible to the entire enterprise. This will ensure everyone has a common understanding of terms used.
  • By including the goals and objectives in your governance template, the project team is reminded that the focus is the business value delivered not the technology.
  • You won’t get engagement unless there is a sense of accountability. Do not leave this vague. Specific individuals in your organization need to be assigned accountability to ensure system development will achieve what was intended to by your organization and not what your SI intended.
  • It is critical that all participants of decision-making authority and influence, including the SI, firmly agree to the goals and objectives and are committed to upholding them throughout the implementation.
  • If you are new to Agile, we recommend engaging a coach to accelerate your progress and assist you in avoiding the common pitfalls.
  • “Leading indicators make the news; lagging indicators report on the news” (Carlos Sanchez, Info-Tech Research Group).

Insight breakdown

Phase 2 Insights

  • Select a partner with a culture compatible with yours.
  • When selecting a team, include individuals with both high skill and high integrity. These leaders help keep the lines of communication open between team members and build trust.
  • Think of the first iteration as a test run. After the first iteration, the team members should have a better idea of their capacity and what they can realistically achieve in one iteration.

Phase 3 Insights

  • Build a dashboard that reflects the leading metrics you have identified. Remember to highlight requirements that represent key milestones in the implementation.
  • Create a table of backlog responsibility covering activities, participants, and expected cadence.
  • Use scenario planning to set your team and implementation up for success.
  • Decide when to transition by considering all relevant factors, including testing, executive commitment, and business readiness.

Research contributors and experts

Photo of Diana Larsen, Author, Speaker, Agile Coach, AgileFluency.org Diana Larsen, Author, Speaker, Agile Coach
AgileFluency.org

A visionary pragmatist, Diana Larsen is Chief Connector at the Agile Fluency Project, where she holds a vision of an inspiring future: “Every Agile software team practices Agile software development at a level of fluent proficiency that specifically fits its businesses’ needs.” Devoted to the success of all Agile coaches and teams, Diana co-authored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams, and Five Rules for Accelerated Learning, as well as co-originated the Agile Fluency Model.

Photo of Carlos Sanchez, Practice Lead, Info-Tech Research Group Carlos Sanchez, Practice Lead
Info-Tech Research Group

Carlos leads the enterprise application software team at Info-Tech Research Group. Carlos has worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, biotechnology, hi-tech, injection molding, steel, plastics, and non-for-profit. Prior to joining Info-Tech, Carlos ran his own consultancy helping medium and large organizations improve processes and execute enterprise applications initiatives. Carlos oversaw the selection, implementation, and recovery of a variety of applications including: ERP, manufacturing execution systems, payroll, human resources, accounting, warehouse management, and maintenance.

Related Info-Tech research

Build a Better Backlog
The quality of your product backlog is key to realizing the benefits of Agile.

Implement Agile Practices That Work
Guide your organization through its Agile transformation journey.

Create a Plan for Establishing a Business-Aligned Data Management Practice
Guide your organization through its Agile transformation journey.

Enable Shared Insights With an Effective Data Governance Engine
Empower data-driven decisions for operational excellence.

Bibliography

“10 Powerful Agile Metrics – and 1 Missing Metric.” Sealights, n.d. Web.

“2018 IT Project Success Rates Survey Results.” Ambysoft, 2018. Web.

Alexander, M. “Agile Project Management: 12 Key Principles, 4 Big Hurdles.” CIO, 19 June 2018. Web.

Babcock, J. “Alistair Cockburn – Agile Is an Attitude.” PracticalAnalyst, 9 April 2015. Web.

Bloch, Michael, et al. “Delivering Large-Scale IT Projects on Time, on Budget, and on Value.” McKinsey & Company, 2012. Web.

“Construction SAP Services.” IBM, 4 June 2019. Web.

Esteves-Sousa, J., and J. Pastor-Collado. “Towards the Unification of Critical Success Factors for ERP Implementations.” 10th Annual Business Information Technology (BIT) 2000 Conference. Manchester. Web.

Goerzig, D., and T. Bauernhansl. “Enterprise Architectures for the Digital Transformation.” 11th CIRP Conference on Intelligent Computation in Manufacturing Engineering, 2017, pp. 540-545. Web.

Government of Canada. “Report 1 ‒ Building and Implementing the Phoenix Pay System.” 2018 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, 9 Mar. 2018. Web.

Grangel, R., and C. Campos. “Agile Model-Driven Methodology to Implement Corporate Social.” Computers & Industrial Engineering, vol. 127, 2019, pp. 116-128. Web.

Karlsson, Johan. “Backlog Management: 6 Tips to Make Your Backlog Lean.” Perforce, 7 Dec. 2017. Web.

Larsen, Diana, and James Shore. “The Agile Fluency Model.” ThoughtWorks, 2012. Web.

Bibliography

Laux, C., and G. S. Hundal. “Measuring and Analyzing Agility of an Enterprise Through DMAIC Six Sigma.” Seventh International Conference on Lean Six Sigma, 7-8 May 2018, pp. 128-136. Faculty Publications, Purdue e-Pubs. Web.

Rubin, Kenneth S. Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process. Pearson Education, 2012.

“The MoSCoW Method.” ProductPlan. n.d. Web.

Verwijs, Christiaan. “10 Powerful Strategies for Breaking Down Product Backlog Items in Scrum (With Cheatsheet).” Medium, 1 April 2017. Web.

“What Are Shell Scenarios?” Shell, 2019. Web.

Info-Tech IT Metrics Library

The following are examples of metrics that your organization can consider tracking.

Application Development Quality

  • Percent of releases that cause downtime.
  • Percent of releases that meet deadlines.
  • Satisfaction that solutions are released successfully and are stable.
  • Satisfaction with the acceptance testing performed on solutions.

Application Development Throughput

  • Percent of application development projects that do not meet deadlines.
  • Percent of projects that are over budget.
  • Satisfaction that solutions delivered are cost-effective.
  • Satisfaction that solutions delivered are timely.

Application Maintenance

  • Percent of budget spent on maintenance.
  • Percent of maintenance budget spent on day-to-day maintenance.
  • Percent of maintenance budget spent on hotfixes.
  • Percent of maintenance budget spent on patch releases.

Application Portfolio Management

  • Number of supported applications.
  • Overall application portfolio satisfaction.

Enterprise Application Selection and Implementation

  • Percent of projects that are over budget.
  • Percent of projects that do not meet deadlines.
  • Satisfaction that solutions delivered are cost-effective.
  • Satisfaction that solutions delivered are timely.

Info-Tech IT Metrics Library (continued)

Portfolio Management

  • Percent of projects cancelled based on re-evaluated business value.
  • Percent of projects exceeding planned budget.
  • Percent of projects that realize planned benefits.
  • Satisfaction that IT projects provide business value.

Project Management

  • Number of projects started without an approved business case.
  • Percent of projects that achieved expected benefits.
  • Satisfaction that IT projects provide business value.
  • Satisfaction with the quality of the project deliverables.

Requirements Gathering

  • Percent of solutions not meeting business case objectives.
  • Satisfaction that proposed solutions are feasible and optimal.
  • Satisfaction that requirements accurately reflect business needs.

Organizational Change Management

  • Satisfaction with the ability of IT to prepare stakeholders for changes.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

Member Rating

9.0/10
Overall Impact

$26,659
Average $ Saved

23
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Assess
  • Call #1 - Scoping call: discuss preparations that led to implementation.
  • Call #2 - Discuss governance and the importance of stakeholder engagement.
  • Call #3 - Discuss organizational goals, success metrics, and project metrics.

Guided Implementation #2 - Prepare
  • Call #1 - Discuss how to take your requirements and build a prioritized list of tasks.
  • Call #2 - Talk about the teams needed to accomplish the project and the impact of changing members.
  • Call #3 - Discuss the implementation plan and the readiness of the teams to execute.

Guided Implementation #3 - Govern and course correct
  • Call #1 - Discussion of dashboards and backlog review criteria.
  • Call #2 - Disaster preparation through the use of scenario planning and the creation of a checklist of transition to operation criteria.

Author

Robert Fayle

Contributors

  • Diana Larsen, Author, Speaker, and Agile Coach at AgileFluency.org
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center and our Cost Management Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019