Overall Project Mission
The overall project mission was to develop a long-term technology plan for a global strategy consulting firm. Their current technology landscape was comprised of numerous custom and package point solutions. The integration between these systems was loose at best and in some cases, different offices were using different systems. As a result, the quality of the data was poor, global reporting was difficult, and the cost of enhancing & maintaining the systems was high.
While the firm was global, one of the values of the firm was to promote creativity and independence from an office level all the way down to an individual consultant. Therefore, if a system was rolled out, anyone can choose not to accept it and develop their own solution, as long as they were willing to fund it. Reviewing processes and technology to develop a global strategic information system plan that required every office to adopt was seen as contrary to the firm’s culture. Furthermore, the firm believed that they were the premier consulting firm that other consulting firms emulated. Thus, they believed their requirements were unique and very demanding. The challenge was to develop a plan that met all key requirements so that everyone would see value in it and thus be willing to adopt it.
The solution was to conduct a rigorous analysis that included the input from key people in the organization. To develop a recommendation, the team conducted the following.
Review existing applications
Applications in the resource management, personnel administration, opportunity management, resource procurement, and knowledge management areas were reviewed to extract the baseline against which the future technology would be compared.
Identify future business needs
Industry trends were reviewed and interviews were conducted in order to develop an understanding of the future business needs of various parts of the firm. By gathering this information, the team ensured that the technology plan would not only address current requirements but consider the future direction as well.
Develop list of requirements
The gathered information was analyzed and structured to create a cohesive set of requirements. At the highest level, they were grouped into corporate, functional and technical requirements. Feedback on priorities was gathered in a hierarchical fashion down to the individual requirement.
Select possible vendors
The requirements were compared against a number of vendors and six were selected for further review. An RFI was sent to these six vendors and based on their responses, two were selected for detailed product demonstrations and another two were selected for high level product demonstrations.
Conduct product demonstrations
Each vendor was provided with a demonstration script in order to best determine their fit against the requirements.
Each vendor was assessed, potential gaps were identified and a plan to move forward was developed. The plan considered not only the technology but also the impact on existing business processes and IT support structure.