One of the keys to constant successful delivery is the consistency by which you deliver your services. One of the easiest ways to help ensure that consistency of delivery is by productizing your implementation. By this I mean automating the menial tasks that don’t require much cognitive attention and let your teams focus on the tasks that require critical thinking. Here is the first in a several-part series of posts on how to productize your implementation.
Map out Your Processes
No system can automate non-existent processes. Hopefully you have a delivery methodology defined (if not – let’s talk!) that you can use as a map to identify all the processes you use as part of your project delivery. How do contracts get turned over from Sales to Delivery? What is the process for developing the initial project schedule? How are tasks assigned to team members? All these questions – and many more – should be easily answered before you embark down the path of productization.
Identify the Right Tools for the Job
Once you’ve defined the majority (hopefully all) of your processes it’s now time to decide the right toolset. Maybe you can use the ones you already have with a little tweaking or maybe you need to go shopping around for something new that can do the job for you. Whatever your path is, be sure to go in with an open mind around combining tools and processes to get the job done. Look into tools with strong integration points – it’s unlikely you’re going to have a one-size-fits-all situation with your tool set so the more integration options you have, the better. This allows you the flexibility to let tools do what they are best-of-breed at and combine to give you the best fit. For example- maybe you do your what-if analysis in Excel but want the end result of your forecasting to end up in your centralized system – you will want a tool that does Excel uploads (or conversely maybe has an Excel plugin). The more you are able to integrate systems that are good at what they do, the less chance you will have to shoe-horn a process into a tool that just doesn’t fit.
Productizing your implementation is not an easy task and should be done so with very careful planning and thought. Not only are you adding more consistency and predictability to your implementations, but you will also realize efficiencies and less expensive labor costs as you implement your strategy. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!