Introduction and challenges
The implementation of a new IT system is often a challenge for both business and technical reasons. The business challenges are multiple: a leap in operational performance, greater development agility, and supporting the company’s growth. The technical stakes are high: innovation and risk management, time to market, and cost reduction.
It has to be said that major IT projects rarely achieve their ambitions. This is for several reasons: difficulty in ensuring alignment between business needs and the new software package’s standards, poor implementation (lack of coordination between actors, testing not done under appropriate conditions , decreasing revenues as deadlines approach, data recovery poorly anticipated and structured), underestimated change management (poorly managed tunnel effect, underestimated impacts on existing teams and processes, late involvement of business teams and insufficient onboarding of managers), and poor programme management (lack of clear and structured governance, low-level of monitoring etc.).
Companies, faced with the implementation of an IT project, have two options. First, trusting an integrator who is familiar with the IT solution, relying on internal business expertise. This option carries the risk of renewing the existing one without having a real view of best practice and therefore lacking ambition (and ROI). It focuses more on implementation costs and planning over business challenges.
Second, separating the expression of the business need from the implementation of the new solution by entrusting these missions to two separate consultants. The first consultant is responsible for the business challenges (objectives, assessment of the business case, onboarding of users) and the second for the implementation of the solution (respect of deadlines and costs).
Our belief is that unless there is a completely standard need and a limited number of challenges in terms of business evolution, the best practice is the second: just as an architect’s role is separate from that of a builder, the construction of the target phase and implementation phase should be separate.
How we can help
Argon & Co supports its clients in:
- Framing the project: analysis of business challenges and definition of the business objectives, the definition of the IT master plan and the associated application architecture, the preparation and coordination of publisher calls for tenders, the construction of the business case including the valuation of the savings and project costs
- Design of the target solution and preparation of implementation phase: facilitation of workshops with the contribution of best business and sector practice; drafting of functional specifications, analysis of data warehouses to define the best recovery strategy and structure the data quality enhancement work, the implementation of governance and project management: organisation, rituals, project planning, progress indicators
- The construction and running of the solution tests (following agile methodology or according to a traditional V cycle approach): the definition of the strategy and plan for tests and acceptance (support in the testing phase), the drafting of documents and running training sessions, as well as the mobilisation of teams, conducting experiments and pilots to test the solution prior to deployment
- The deployment of the solution: definition of deployment strategy and construction of the deployment kit, managing the development of key skills of teams and the definition and implementation of the benefits tracking system