Deployment & Implementation Deliverables
All the planning will pay off here. Very likely the solution provider is in the boat at that point. It is also an important time to revisit the strategic vision and objectives and to activate management to become vocal role model users.
The communication plan will unfold its magic and the familiarization and training regime should kick into full gear.
User personae profiles
Modeling user types helps to anticipate specific needs by varying user groups and types of users.
Either in combination with the user interface discussions or as a separate activity, a workshop to define 3-4 typical users should be conducted as these different types of users will have different needs regarding sources, content and functionality in the system itself.
To understand these even better, some thought should be given to the function, area of responsibility, goals and the behavior of the sketched personae.
Based on the user personae above there should be 2-3 strong use cases that will define sources, content, process connectors, collaboration and deliverables. Which features are required for this particular use case and which benefits are provided?
Super users can take the role as 'personae ambassador' and 'use case champion' for focus, drive and an extra portion of internal competition in the project.
Based on the solution provider’s capabilities and recommendations but also on the company’s experience with comparable systems, a support center needs to be set up.
This can either be done within the system itself or on an existing platform that is well accepted among all future users.
It is of material importance to focus on simple, fast access to support and contact information. That should include the direct line responsibilities for the system, like the super users per department and geography for instance.
Security policy, secure access
The security configuration is a mix of internal policy, setup and the vendor software solution’s security configuration.
Cloud solutions are much more reliant on the vendor’s decisions and security concept. Whereas physical, on-premise installations would be bound to internal IT standards.
This is also true for user management and secure access. While Microsoft Active Directory would offer a single-sign-up and one-off security configuration for all apps and solutions, less centrally managed systems would have to be carefully configured with the entire company’s security concept as a guide.
New users to the system need instructions on the anticipated use of the system. This will support the on-boarding and also spell out do’s and don’ts and explains the obligations and advantages for the users.
The ToU document should also recommend additional support features and documentation (like the Code of Ethics and the system’s help center) and it should cover the following areas in general:
- Purpose of the ToU document
- Major purpose of the competitive intelligence system
- Registration to the system
- Support system
- User account and security
- Use of the system
- Use of content
- Provision of own content
- Termination of use and access
- How to deal with external service and content providers
Most content should already be active as long as the competitive intelligence system is modernized and improved from a more manual, fragmented approach to a more automated, digitalized system.
As far as new content is concerned, the launch planning would also help to avoid paying subscriptions fees before users would actually use the system.
A pilot phase can be very beneficial to simplify initial use testing and improvements of the system. It is also a very forgiving period and group of actively involved people both on the user side and in the project team.
But as soon as an entire company and all users go live, everything needs to be rolled out as planned and the baton needs to move smoothly in all areas and activities.
Here as well, as with the overall project, it makes sense to imagine 3-4 key users being happy after the first key tasks and then move backwards in time to reverse-engineer the setup and process.
Or in other words: what needs to happen before:
- a regular user finds a deliverable on her dashboard
- a complaint is resolved or a user question responded to
- a user finds out who is an expert on a strategic topic and engages immediately
- a strategy planning meeting is started with a review of a collection that feeds right into the PESTEL analysis of a new product range launch preparation
Oftentimes launch plans are created from A to Z but this approach might miss some of the specialities of the particular setup that ultimately responds to the user needs.
Putting the act of satisfying that USE and the user in the middle of the planning is not only very responsible but will enforce the user-focus of the entire project.
The launch plan can therefore serve as a health check and safety net for all the planning processes prior to go-live.
The final deliverable of the deployment phase is the go-live of the actual software of course.
It might be a small step and only a few actors are involved in the actually switching on of the software in the cloud or on the server on site. But it is a major milestone and should be seen as such.
Because scores of people have worked hard to make sure the software is being activated it could very well be a celebratory moment and thanks-giving to all involved.
Think: starting a NYSE session with the team on that trading floor balcony at the day of the IPO or the cameras rolling from the spectator stands at Cape Canaveral during the launch of a space shuttle. So, also the CEO belongs in this room of course.
We often focus on stuff, technical things, objects or processes too much and forget that none of that mattered if it wasn't for all the people around us to work as teams and individuals.
Celebrate this moment big but combine it with a big promise to keep working and perfecting it because the first glitch or disappointment is around the corner, no doubt. It’s the nature of the beat, so: don’t worry and share a pint.
Part 9 → Operation & Improvements Deliverables →→