How to organize the effective work of the IT project | Предприниматель

How to organize the effective work of the IT project

Tips company CEO CUSTIS (developing IT systems) .

The optimal situation – when the customer seek to control 100% operation, 80% support and 20% of IT systems.

“Custom” and “ready” enterprise systems is not so obvious differ from each other, as is commonly believed. To begin, we’ll try to find out who buys them and why.

For companies of any size and scope of the two groups of business processes. The most numerous group includes providing processes. This is all the procedures that help us to function normally: bookkeeping, purchasing office, the work underlying IT infrastructure. Without them it is impossible to do, but you can minimize the cost of their organization, for example, buying at the market “best practices.”

The second group of business processes are those that relate to the know-how of the company and give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In this case, all you need to do only their own, such as a company’s processes are unique and have no analogues.

Any IT solution that is already on the market, you need to be seriously modified, or, as they say, to customize, to automate the processes that constitute the know-how of the enterprise, as well as to ensure the processes are changed for various reasons, can not be acceptable. And the companies agree to take such a step, since it is well understood that in their situation benefits from the creation of IT systems with a high level of customization will be much higher than the costs. Of such IT solutions and we’ll talk.

A bargain is a bargain

The implementation of a large project with a high degree of customization – a very specific and accompanied by risks process. Risk is that the customer and the contractor may not be able to agree on what exactly needs to be done in the framework of the project. Most entrepreneurs describe the problem generally, without fine details. And for IT engineering requires a description of all the necessary details and the absence of uncertainties.

Based on experience, we can say that the basis for the successful implementation of the project is an agreement on the top level of IT planning – system architecture. Require the combined preparation of the conceptual design of the system – the document of 20-30 pages, which is enough even for a large system – which the customer (and from the business and from IT) and singer understand the same. This is the system architecture of the project – Framework agreement on the basic powers of his freedom. Such a coherent neoclassical architecture becomes a contract, that is a long-term contract in the face of uncertainty, when the full impact of the transaction can not be foreseen.

After designation of the critical importance of the system architecture will talk about the organization of effective work on projects with a high level of customization.

Greece has everything?

The existence of a coherent system architecture means that the prototype is already selected (product or platform), based on which the project will be executed ordered. Otherwise, IT can not give a guarantee for the completion of the work. The time to make the required changes to the prototype depends on its size and complexity. For example, it is easier to build a plant from scratch than to build it, and at the same time breaking old. Follows, the second significant risk – the right choice of the prototype project.

Two things you need to consider when assessing the volume and, consequently, the cost of future improvements, it is the size of the prototype and the new functionality required by the customer. Often turns out to be cheaper to order more changes at a smaller initial functionality. In all circumstances, effectively modifying the very large or very small prototype.

It is worth noting that so far we have described the situation in statics. In practice, changes over time and the system architecture itself, and the amount of the required improvements. We recommend that when choosing a prototype guided by the motto “Nothing more?” Rather than the traditional “Greece has everything!” As an overabundance of features of the project will need to “push” through all made improvements.

No people have no idea

The human factor – the third significant risk of the introduction of IT systems with a high level of customization. Knowledge of experts who will do engineering work, tools and ability to use it seriously affects the success of the project. The greater the number of hands through which the project will take place from authors to those who will implement it in the company, the more knowledge will be lost to the completion of the work.

In addition, people should focus on the project – they will be able to create an architecture that optimally “lies” on the tool, and it will ensure the future development of the system at the same time to the business. Employees should be interesting non-trivial tasks and innovative ideas.

Life is just beginning

By implementing the system runs the risk of the customer to buy the dependence of the performer in the operational matters, matters of maintenance and development of the project. Then the most important is the reliability of the contractor, which is characterized by loyalty and project charisma.

Loyalty is to be understood in two different ways. The first – whether the contractor is ready for rapid implementation of the specific requirements of the client. This commitment is strongly dependent on whether the artist is going to replicate the system. If he has a strong interest in replicating, you will not be willing to perform the unique options that will not be replicated.

Second – it’s keeping the confidentiality of know-how client. Customer must ensure that the information about the specifics of his company, its organizational structure, corporate standards, business processes becomes available to competitors – those who later acquire or services of the same contractor.

The most loyal is the internal IT department of the company. Slightly lower level of loyalty – by subsidiaries that are controlled by the customer. The third level of loyalty – from small companies that specialize in developing custom. They take the explicit warranty work on behalf of the customer.

The second criterion for determining the reliability of the customer – this project charisma, which suggests a desire to work for results and creative approach to execution. There is an inverse relationship between the level of loyalty and project charisma. The level of cooperation with the lowest loyalty (custom development from an external contractor) actually provides quality work on the project in the long term, making it the most sought-after. Affect this specialization, continuous efforts to improve the design of technology, development of design culture, improvement of industrial quality tools, and the lack of involvement in routine processes. Designing in large organizations is fraught with tightening in operating activities of project personnel, and they are likely to go away, losing perspective.

Reduce dependence on the designer will help correct distribution of powers. Customer need to control the architecture, operations and the bulk of support. A contractor will develop better, not a chore.

The bottom line

Based on our experience with the IT systems, which need a high level of customization, we have formulated the main points:

  • main risk of such a project that can be done is not what was needed. This risk can be removed with the right attitude of all parties to the system architecture of the project. System architecture – it’s responsible arrangements agreed between the company, its IT structure and the contractor that are clear and allow the enterprise IT side to guarantee the feasibility, timing and budget.
  • In specified projects need to closely monitor the minimization of the system volume. Every unnecessary functionality will be severely inhibit changes to the system: the greater the system, the more will have to pay for the revision.
  • Another critical factor – the remoteness of the implementation team from the authors of the prototype. The greater the distance between them, the worse the quality of the final result and the greater the amount of engineering work required, and this has a negative impact on the timing and costs of the project.
  • client should try to gain control over the operation of 100%, 80% support and 20% of the system’s development. Practice shows that this is the best option for reducing the risks and to reduce IT costs.
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