This post is part I of IV in a series about ICG’s implementation solutions. Over the coming weeks, we’ll cover each aspect of our implementation solutions, from project management to go-live and support. Be sure to check back later for more posts in the series.
As you may have gathered from our past few posts here on the blog, we here at ICG believe that understanding our consulting process is essential to understanding the types of problems we can help your business overcome, and even just the services we offer.
To help our readers along with that process, today, we’re going to kick off a series about ICG’s implementation solutions. By working with your staff in close partnership at every level, we can help you creatively solve business issues across a wide variety of industries and verticals.
The first step in the implementation process is project management.
To start, project management encapsulates a number of things:
- Planning and management
- Project documentation and change management
- Detailed implementation planning to task level
- Resource planning
- Risk management and troubleshooting
- Data conversion, interface and reporting strategies
- Help desk support planning
Recognizing that project management is a crucial component of any successful project, each step in our project management process is designed to help set you up for success and to communicate the rationale behind the project’s definition, plan, and execution. The success of any project comes not only from the ability to identify various critical paths, but also from the ability to understand and excel on the many facets of the project, from budget, to timeline, and tasks to complete.
The end game is where we start to fully understand what the company needs and wants beforehand to assess potential impacts on the overall project. We then know where we want to be and where we are, and can develop best how we get there by providing working scenarios of the critical paths.
Change management is ingrained into our philosophy (and accordingly into our project management phase of implementation) because we know the partner company is making a significant investment and needs to have immediate ROI.
The approach to transitioning a team/organization is key to that need, especially where a project is introduced, changed, and/or approved in the process of implementation. We deal with a systematic approach and application of knowledge to either deal with, change, or adopt strategic procedures to help the partner in such a business environment process to achieve desired outcomes.
But there’s more to success in our partnerships than just our approach to transitioning a team—identifying existing conditions that can be leveraged to make the project more effective, or hurdles that may cause struggle as we go through this phase, allows us to utilize that knowledge and work with the conditions as the project progresses.
What’s more, identifying potential risks and implementing contingencies at the beginning allows us greater flexibility to continue without missing stride during the project. As CEO and Managing Partner here at ICG, Mike Timm’s key role is to guide the use of these concepts and contingencies so that they help, rather than hinder the project team’s progress.
As the project management progresses, proper organizational structures, documentation requirements, and repositories are nailed down, reducing questions. The burden on resources is to make well-informed decisions and put those in place with as little administrative overhead as possible. By utilizing highly experienced and professional resources, we allow for a flatter project management structure, and a tighter focus on project tasks. The goal here is for clear authority and responsibility, improved communications, and proper integration at the highest level.
Finally, project management also includes detailing out a systematic timeline so that resources can be scheduled and we have the right person, with the right skillset, at the right time; we don’t have resources milling about or learning on the job. A strong program of measures and metrics is essential for ensuring that objectives are met, and proper project oversight and control help ensure that the outcome of the project will be successful.
From the very beginning, every aspect of the project needs to be identified. Since we start with the end game, we know from the outset how data will be converted from existing systems, what interfaces with third parties need to be created or modified, what gap there may or may not be between the old and new systems, and how those gaps are addressed.
Knowing early on how the program is going to go, and how the partner company wants to set up their ongoing support team, ultimately helps with success in executing and producing deliverables necessary.
The best way to ensure success while helping a business navigate the changing world is by proper planning, and here at ICG, our project management process starts with well-thought-out planning. By sitting down with our partner company and working out every detail of the project well ahead of implementation, we help ensure a smooth transition, and ultimately the success of our clients in solving whatever problems they’re trying to deal with.
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