At SpiceCSM we have noticed a growing trend in deployment methodologies used when implementing a client's solution. When working with clients who have many overarching project goals or other unique complexities involved, we have seen many of them turn to a phased “crawl, walk, run” approach to maximize their returns and make the deployment work more seamlessly. The concept applied here simply means that by offering an incremental approach to deploying a project or use case we try to avoid being so far sighted that it prevents progress towards a more immediately usable solution. Instead, by focusing on and solving “micro-projects”, the synergy of those projects being completed in a more timely manner can have as big if not a bigger impact on the organization than one large project done in the same amount of time.
Sometimes deployments can seem overwhelming by trying to include too much into a single larger initiative as opposed to breaking it down into smaller logical components that are more easily managed and obtainable. As a project progresses users become more familiar with additional capabilities, best practices, and use cases they may want to leverage or adjust beyond the initial project scope as the organization starts to adopt the platform. This can lead to a moving target that delays timelines or leads to potential replication of efforts. This isn’t to say that we recommend throwing together a half-working concept of your solution, but rather making sure the ideal state isn’t delaying recognizing immediate value. Once it is in production a solution should always be iterated and improved upon so starting to utilize the system as quickly as possible can help make an impact on business more quickly.
Applying the phased “crawl, walk, run” deployment methodology has several other benefits that have helped some of our clients be more successful faster. The first of which being that by identifying and completing micro-projects you can start to more quickly realize your investment because you will be using the platform sooner. Even if it is only possible to solve one small part of the problem before completing the overall project, that is still a head start on providing value to the business and a return on investment. The second benefit is that as progress is made on each sub-project you also start to realize and work through, in real-time, some of the intricacies that may come up. This will help manage that excitement and potential scope creep such that it’s not a detriment to the project’s overall progress. Additionally, becoming familiar with the platform sooner gives you more time to establish your own “best practices” for working on the platform and developing future micro-projects, rather than trying to build the plane as you fly. It can help avoid things like replication of effort and often provide a more solid framework to support the SpiceCSM platform. Each of these things starts with one core concept – to get you up and running on the platform as quickly as possible and ease any potential stress of deployment.
So how exactly do we approach the phased methodology, you might ask? We start by identifying the high value use cases and goals of a project. These are the areas where we expect to see the biggest returns and impact. Next, we identify the “low hanging fruit”; the use cases and goals that will be the easiest to complete in terms of complexity. These items become the micro-projects that drive the primary goals and initiatives instead of just being tied to the total completion of the project. If we get lucky, any component that appeared on both lists would be the first candidates for completion as they typically provide immense value to the organization. Otherwise we evaluate and prioritize the components based on their level of complexity and impact to the business to provide clearly defined micro-projects that drive more immediate value to the organization. We may discover that some tasks are able to be worked in parallel, and those types of intricacies become more obvious as you prioritize micro-projects and start using the system.
Our mission during any deployment is to get our clients up and running on the SpiceCSM platform as efficiently as possible with the best solution for their specific needs. We recognize that each scenario is going to be unique and sometimes the situation requires a more standard deployment methodology. When a “crawl, walk, run” approach is possible, it often provides a lower barrier to start recognizing ROI and/or more quickly provides value to drive results the fastest. By finding incremental ways to start utilizing the platform more quickly on smaller micro-projects, stakeholders can see more immediate progress and other possibilities become more clear as the platform is established within the organization. For a growing number of our customers this methodology has become a great alternative allowing them to implement their solutions more quickly and realize the full potential of SpiceCSM through continuous iterations.
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