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Getting Savvy with SaaS

You’ve more than likely come across reports about the causes of major IT / Business Change project failures. You know the ones... ‘poor communications’, ‘lack of governance’, ‘over optimism’ and the rest. Yet they don’t seem to shed much light on what’s actually happening and more importantly, how you can avoid the pitfalls.

So we’ve been doing a bit of digging on your behalf...

And we’d like to share with you two recent research reports we’d recommend as getting closer to the root causes of failure than most.

The University of Southampton report contends that most problems arise from a lack of real understanding of the requirements at the time expectations are set, leading to ‘requirements drift’ throughout the project, with all the ensuing implications for costs, schedules and the like. It suggests this can be quantified and modelled, helping you take steps to avoid the ensuing pain.

Research in the US by the VitalSmarts group (represented by Grahame Robb Associates in the UK) talks of failure arising from the inability to have ‘crucial conversations’ within projects. All projects face difficult issues from time to time (perhaps about the reality of plans and milestones, support from sponsors, even the performance of team members), but often they go unresolved because individuals feel unable to speak up in a skilful way, with potentially disastrous consequences. (You can find out how our project ‘bubbles’ approach mitigates issues like these here.)

In our view, both studies offer valuable insights... and they started us thinking about the differences between traditional IT projects and those deploying ‘SaaS’ based systems like Saleforce.

In particular...

What new challenges do you face? What ‘old school’ lessons should you hold onto despite the hyperbole from some quarters of the industry?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are genuine tensions between the ‘old’ world of waterfall development (“define everything before you do anything”) and the ‘new’ world of Agile (“build as you go”). And you have to make a choice – right? Wrong! In our experience, if you are deploying SaaS at an enterprise level beyond a narrow, isolated ‘trial’, then both these dogmas carry inherent risks and hidden costs... deploy without sufficient understanding of the business need and you’ve just added to your legacy headache; navel gaze for too long getting the requirements finessed and you’ll be missing your opportunity for a seismic shift in business performance.

So how can you square this circle? What practical steps can you take to ensure you’re geared up for success?

There is a way…

We’re sharing practical, hands-on ideas for making your SaaS programme a success in our latest Viewpoint, all based on our experience of delivering projects such as these.

And that’s not all...

We’re here to help you personally too! So, if you would like an informal discussion on SaaS deployment or more general Programme Management & Business Change matters, then simply get in touch...

Call 0118 942 8025 or email quortex@quortex.com

And finally... as someone once commented, “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal”. Wise words indeed…




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