Thinktank Consulting was requested to provide its expertise on a flagship strategic project initiated y a global digital imaging corporation. The project was expected to involve basically every area of the business and focused on building a web-based front-end system that would allow business customers search, select and order various products offered by the company. The new system was also required to have a real-time interaction with a complicated ERP system that has just been deployed in North American headquarters.
Although the company had some basic project management methodology in place, the level of sophistication was insufficient for the upcoming project. Documentation was available, however different project teams used different templates. There were no key documents identified by the IT department. In general following project management was more voluntary rather than obligatory. For example, sign-offs on key documents were very frequently obtained after the development process has already started thus causing misunderstandings and confusion. In addition there were no clear guidelines on the relationship between IT and Business sides. Thinktank was notified that the senior management was considering using this project as a pilot for gauging and planning all future project management and business analysis practices.
Quality of the product was of the first priority in this project. In order for the system to be accepted and used by the customers and all the internal departments involved it had to be attractive, user-friendly and efficient. It also had to integrate seamlessly with the existing ERP system.
Time factor was also important; however the senior management has indicated that they were willing to be somewhat flexible in order to obtain superior quality. The budget part was a bit more complicated: the executives were prepared to be generous with resources but did not want to invest in any kind of business analysis or project management software packages.
Thinktank Consulting developed a customized set of project management templates based on their own expertise and the preferences of the stakeholders. Special attention was dedicated to maintenance simplicity and user-friendliness of the templates due to lack of special software. Once the templates were finalized, the whole project management process was outlined to the stakeholder group during a two-hour meeting designed just to familiarize the participants with the process that would be applied to this particular project.
Our company was also responsible for the project management and business analysis duties in the course of the project.
Special attention was dedicated to the establishment of a relationship model between the IT department and the rest of the company. Several models were proposed by Thinktank and the "Steering Committee" approach was finally selected.
The project was delivered on schedule and under budget while receiving 4.5 out of possible 5 points in customer reviews. Number of post-implementation support issues was minimal. Furthermore project success influenced the decision of the senior IT management to adopt Thinktank project methodology to all company projects.
About the Author
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East. Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca
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Jamal is an author of two very popular books: Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management and Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects.