5.1 Reasons Cloud Technology Projects Succeed
Insights posted on 8-17-2017 by Paul Peterson
Why do technical project implementations fail?
You can search and find a never-ending supply of blog posts and articles describing potential pitfalls and trap doors inherent in any complex implementation, whether you’re working on healthcare technology or any cloud technology project.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what makes a technical project succeed?
Our team was thinking about this topic recently, and we came up with a list of why success is achieved—a scenario we’re much more familiar with.
Here are our top five factors for success:
1. There’s a clear definition of project success.
How will you know you’ve gotten there if you don’t know where you’re going? Before you even begin the project, all project stakeholders must know what success for the project will look like. That means the following questions have to be answered, and each member of the team must be aligned with the answers:
Why are we doing this project?
How will we (and the client) determine it is a success? In other words, how will we measure our success?
There’s often an assumption everyone’s on the same page, but its not always the case. Asking and discussing these questions upfront ensures all project stakeholders are in agreement about what needs to be accomplished, what the expected outcomes are, and what should be tracked and measured.
2. The project scope is well defined and understood, and the project is managed closely to the scope.
Understanding project scope, essentially the written agreement of what is going to be done, how it will be measured and what it cost, and managing to it will help you avoid unnecessary costs, surprises and delays. This is not simply a checklist but consistent, ongoing guidance by the management team and constant communication with the client on budget, benchmarks and potential obstacles to be overcome in order to complete the project on time and on budget.
At times, the initial sales process may identify one scope of work (often referred to as the SOW) leading to budget approval. And during the deep discovery at project kick-off, the project delivery team finds new priorities, adjusts recommendations or even takes some targeted elements off the table. This requires final scope alignment, and at times budget adjustment, between all parties prior to starting the work to prevent anything less than our goal of “more than satisfied.”
3. The skills of the project team, from management to consultant, are aligned with the needs of the project.
In other words, you’ve got the right people assigned to the project. The beauty of using the right size consulting partner for your implementation is a deep bench of potential talent throughout the project lifecycle. Not only must the management team align the skill requirements of a project with the assigned team, they must also be able to recognize when a team member isn’t performing; smart teams move quickly to replace the person with a more qualified resource.
4. The team communicates clearly and frequently.
Behind every successful team is an open and clear line of communication. We believe the most effective technology teams we’ve worked with communicate with us and we communicate with them regularly about project milestone status, budgets, project progress, and project issues and risks that must be dealt with. Frequent communications create a collaborative working environment and a true partnership between all stakeholders and team members.
5. All team members adopt and follow a successful implementation methodology.
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. You can be much more effective and get to success faster by using a methodology that has been tested and consistently proven to deliver in the real world on similar kinds of cloud technology or healthcare technology projects. A methodology that is clearly understood by all members of the team is a welcome tool that guides each member of the team through the process of designing, building and implementing successful solutions.
5.1 Executive Sponsorship.
Even with all the above taken into consideration, we must make sure that the right leadership team members of the organization are all on-board and in-sync during the entire process. Getting to the end of a project just to realize you built the wrong person’s vision is about as bad as it gets.
It can be instructive to look at the cautionary tales – the “not to do’s”. And the high-profile “failures” and pitfalls definitely catch our attention. But if you want your cloud technology project to soar, spend some time focusing on the positive steps you can take that will ensure your implementation succeeds.
If you like these tips, check out this Becker’s Hospital Review article our friends at Freed Associates posted recently with the same mindset.