Overall Project Mission
A major financial services firm wished to implement an integrated, enterprise-wide information technology (IT) management system to improve IT effectiveness and efficiency. Because the proposed system would have a profound impact on the enterprise, it was decided to conduct an extensive pilot to confirm the suitability of the software. A successful pilot was to be followed by an enterprise-wide implementation of the project, resource and portfolio management system.
The Pilot Challenge
The proposed IT management system would affect over 12,000 people in several lines of business around the world. Each business unit had its own IT department with a CIO that reported to the business unit head. Global coordination was maintained through a global CIO and an “IT Management Board” whose members were the enterprise CIO and business unit CIOs. The pilot results would have to satisfy a broad set of constituents to merit a mandate to move forward with the implementation.
In addition to organizational complexity, the breadth of system functionality meant that the system could potentially affect almost every IT management process. The LOB IT departments operated at different levels of maturity and were motivated by different factors in assessing the system. In order to achieve success, the program core team had to design a pilot that would achieve a clear consensus opinion while accommodating the unique needs of each IT department.
The Pilot Approach
A pilot program was designed to fully engage the various constituencies and lay the groundwork for the subsequent implementation. Leveraging our methodology and experience, Intellilink developed a pilot approach that emphasized five key components: governance, a process framework, stakeholder workshops, training & support and communications.
A robust governance framework was established to ensure the right people were involved in decision making. A steering committee included LOB and functional representatives and communicated with the enterprise technology and architecture boards. The core project team coordinated the pilot effort and included individuals with expertise in the software product, infrastructure, program management and communication. In addition, each LOB had its own team managing their pilot activities on a day-to-day basis. These groups made key decisions upfront regarding the pilot goals, guiding principles and success measures.
The team leveraged a process framework to organize the pilot activities. The framework ensured that the functional requirements of the system were tested and provided a way to organize the data in the surveys. The process framework provided the flexibility for individual LOBs to focus on certain functions, while ensuring that the LOBs as a group tested all of the functionality.
Cross-LOB workshops were conducted to agree on the baseline configuration of the software. Agreement was reached on the level of standardization and areas of flexibility for the software, data and business processes. It was important to establish that the system could support variations in business processes across the LOBs.
Training & Support
The team placed a strong emphasis on support for the pilot participants. A training program was designed early in the process, and participants were trained in advance of their involvement in the pilot. The LOB pilot teams and the core team provided ongoing technology and project support for the pilot participants.
The team developed a communications plan to ensure the right messages were received by the various stakeholders. In addition, a monthly newsletter was generated to update everyone and develop a sense of community. Finally, the analysis of the pilot surveys and the resulting recommendations were reviewed with the LOBs leads and other key stakeholders before being communicated.