What makes a successful project: A guide to seamlessly adopting a new solution within your organisation
In our ever-changing world, customer requirements and expectations are constantly evolving, requiring businesses to be continually breaking into new markets, diversifying their product range, or updating their platforms.
Often, they need to leverage technology and adopt a new solution to satisfy these needs.
But change can be fraught with risk. Businesses needing new solutions face a challenge – how do you keep the lights on at home while investing time and resources into developing new areas of your business?
Our clients require the best of both worlds. They need the delivery of a solution that can meet their current needs quickly, with the capacity to fulfil their changing objectives. To do this, they must be wary of complicating an already challenging process by trying to reinvent the wheel.
The delivery of a new solution while navigating these risks is a challenging task. In this blog, our Client Delivery Director, Neil Jackson, shares his three key learns for how businesses can set themselves up for success.
1. Business case and scope: The silver pellets of success
Prior to kicking off a project, businesses, business managers, and suppliers all need to identify and understand what the business case for adopting a new solution is. Whether you are looking to expand into a new market, or your current solution has come to ‘end of life’, identifying the end objective is crucial to understanding the work which needs to be done.
Second, is the scope of the project. This is broken down into the scope of the work required, the scope of the solution needed, and identifying what responsibilities fall on the business, and what falls on the supplier.
Having the business case and the scope agreed upfront is the ‘silver pellet’ for setting up a successful project from the outset. It lays the foundations so you can understand your needs from the outset, and therefore dramatically reduce the delivery time by adopting a pre-made solution which can be configured to meet individual requirements.
Taking this ‘cookie cutter’ approach saves significant time throughout the project by eliminating the need for months of workshops to develop a solution from scratch. Instead, a solution meeting general needs can be implemented right away, allowing you to begin working towards their business case as soon as possible.
Once implemented, this solution can be used to identify the gaps and what your business really needs. It keeps the lights on while the fine tuning takes place. Essentially, it means businesses can start generating returns as soon as possible.
2. One team mindset
Alongside a defined business case and scope, having open and positive collaboration between the business and supplier is vital to ensuring the success of the project.
A project which begins with a collaborative and open culture yields results far more quickly and is better equipped to overcome any lumps and bumps along the way. And there will be lumps and bumps! By setting up meaningful channels of communication and identifying each team’s expectations, capacity, and abilities from the outset, everyone is clear on their accountabilities and what is required to fulfil their role. It also helps empower parties to raise any issues that occur to ensure they are overcome promptly.
3. ‘Bringing together the project and team’
So, you understand the business case, the scope, and you have a collaborative open culture between the business and the supply – what next?
You need to ensure you have filled the right roles on the team. People with project delivery experience on the team can help guide and understand potential sticking points along the way, saving months of time and helping facilitate the efficient delivery of a project.
If there is no one with the required experience, suppliers can work with clients to find and identify people in the market with the relevant experience who can provide vital guidance or support in delivery.
It feeds into the point above about openness. Identifying potential issues, including limited experience, from the outset can save months of planning and help both teams be better equipped to deliver the project in a timely fashion.
And finally, you need a leader. Appointing a project owner who is accountable for the project brings together the business case and scope, ensuring that all work is directly aligned to meet the business case. Their leadership, paired with a collaborative team which is empowered to deliver results, makes the delivery of a successful project far easier.
All the learns lean on each other.
To deliver a successful project, it’s essential to understand what you are trying to achieve and how the solution will help you get there. Once confirmed, both the business and supplier must work collaboratively, with clear ways of working which consists of the people who will get you there.
Businesses can’t afford to stall in today’s environment. Activity must continue in your core business while you upgrade to meet the challenges of your new environment. To get the job done efficiently and avoid any delays, each point must be addressed from the outset. Only then can you ensure a smooth and effective journey which efficiently meets your business case.