Managed IT Projects

As your business grows, you will likely find more ways to use technology to increase production and hopefully profitable. You may also realize that your existing technology is dated and needs to be replaced. Making the decision to enhance your technology environment, in order to achieve your business objectives, is a necessary milestone. It is also important to identify the scope and budget of your project before jumping into implementation.

In order to help you maximize your budget and provide the greatest results when considering a technology enhancement, deploying a proven methodology from the initial conception to the completion of the project is critical. We, at MIS Alliance, deploy a “Phased Approach” methodology to deliver the most desirable results.

Project Implementation Using Phased Approach Methodology:

Phase I – Business Need

This initial phase is designed to help you determine if you have answered the “why” questions as it relates to your objectives. You should be able to clearly identify the business benefit, Return on Investment (ROI), for your potential project, after completing this phase. Here are the steps that will guide you through this phase:

  1. What is the problem or deficiency that needs your investment, time and money?
  2. Does your business challenge absolutely require new or enhanced technology?
    1. Do your employees require additional training with existing systems?
    2. Can the challenge be solved by changing the workflow or business practices?
    3. Once the problem is clearly defined and the solution points to technology improvements, a preliminary budget can be established.

Phase II – Budget & Scope

In Phase I, we qualified our potential solution within the realm of technology, and now we need to define the scoped solution. Without defining the scope, you will run the risk of your project growing out of control in both time and money. This is the phase where you should spend the time to clearly document the business requirements or “what” will be implemented.

  1. Bring all the necessary players together to discuss the objectives of the project.
  2. Determine how the problem identified in Phase I affects all key players.
  3. Discuss how the problem can be solved with technology, and be specific as it relates to your current business practices and workflows.
  4. Document your findings and discussions.
  5. Once the solution has been identified, you can present your documents to your preferred vendor(s) and obtain proposals or quotes.

Phase III – Pilot

Implementing any technology project can be challenging in that technology itself changes so quickly, and your employees may have different expectations with the solution. A pilot phase is very effective to “test” the solution and confirm all expectations are met.

  1. Once your vendor has been identified, you can request a pilot or trial solution be put into place for limited use to test results.
  2. After the pilot solution is implemented, be sure to measure the effectiveness and verify that the problems in Phase I are being solved.

Phase IV – Implementation

So now you have confirmed that the pilot is solving some or all the problems identified in phase I, now you are ready to roll-out the full solution. It is very important to closely manage your vendor and be sure they are delivering what they promise within their proposal.

  1. Create a project plan that consists of key milestones for the implementation of your solution.

A sample plan is shown below:

  • Project Kick-off
  • Budget review
  • Set timelines for remainder of the project
  • Determine training requirements
  • Technology install/enhancement
  • Document the changes in your existing workflow
  • Create a forum for employees to provide feedback during this process
  • Develop a suite of tests that verifies the newly installed technology does not break any existing processes
  • Develop a suite of tests that verifies the newly installed technology meet the expectations of the proposed solution.
  • Insure your timelines are being met and the budget is not growing
  • Implementation complete
  • Begin training
  1. After the solution has been installed, consolidate all documents and training materials in one repository for quick reference.

Phase V – Project Review & Closure

Now that the technology solution has been successfully implemented, and everyone has been trained, you will need to setup measures to ensure that this solution is effective.

  1. Create an anonymous survey for employees to provide feedback. Survey questions should include: overall project success, training materials, and      responsibility impact.
  2. Develop metrics that can measure the profit and/or efficiency that was achieved as a project result. This will help you identify the true return on your investment.
  3. Continue to refine training

There are many details within each phase that would be too lengthy to describe here. Additionally, depending on the size of the project, mostly for smaller projects, some of these phases or some sectional phases may be excessive and not necessary.

After our initial meeting, we will provide you with a customized “Phased Approach” document and subsequently, a proposal describing the goals, scope, cost and timetable of this project.

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