Decision making versus requirements analysis
PM-Partners were requested to review a client decision to consolidate to one email platform and make recommendations based on initial requirements.
Our team investigated options for the client and highlighted the pitfalls and gaps that would need to be filled in order to meet most of their specified requirements. The decision was taken to progress with an RFT and review the Hosted and Managed Exchange Options.
PM-Partners were requested to review a client decision to consolidate to one email platform and migrate the current emails systems, including Lotus Notes, Office 2010 and GroupWise,
to Microsoft Office 365. The project itself was to review the decision and make recommendations based on the client’s decision, validate the viable options, prepare the Request for Tender (RFT), and run and manage the project to consolidate and deliver the new platform.
After the initial discovery, it became apparent that Office 365, as it was in a public domain, did not have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) usually inherent in the enterprise environment and many components and integration points typically provided through a Hosted or Managed Exchange Solution were absent. The team also uncovered some potential issues with data volume processing, and security and data protection issues. Various company policies and standards challenged some components of the data to be stored in the cloud, though it did not specifically say it couldn’t, there were some strict guidelines that needed to be adhered to.
Our Project Manager, supported by our internal delivery consultants, proposed a discovery piece which allowed them to review the current state environment and collect requirements from the business. The team also investigated all components of Office 365 to see if the solution would actually
meet the initial collated requirements.
Our team prepared options for the client and highlighted the pitfalls and gaps that would need to be filled in order to meet most of their specified requirements. The decision was taken to progress with an RFT and review the Hosted and Managed Exchange Options.
Secrets to Success:
Lessons learned from this project have been consolidated and listed below:
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- Always allow time to collect business requirements and technical requirements prior to making a decision that will have a large impact on the organisation.
- Ensure a technical lead, technical Business Analyst or Solutions Architect is part of the initial discovery work as they can assist the BA to ensure business requirements, function, non-functional and technical requirements are all clearly understood.
- Always make resources available to investigate options prior to any decisions to implement, and in this case, this process justified the cost of having a small team perform the investigations avoiding risks and costs during the later stages of the project.
- Ensure your business policies and standards are understood by the business decision makers prior to making a decision about technology or business process changes.