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This chapter is from the book

Getting the Right Resources Committed

At some point, there will be a meeting to make the decision to move forward. Usually, these meetings focus on the immediate expenditures. In contrast, commitments for ongoing expenses and effort are assumed away or quickly forgotten—and that’s dangerous.

For a truly successful large-system implementation, the following funds must be assigned to the project at the initial go/no-go meeting:

  • Initial procurement funding for the system, add-on products, and any hardware or IT resources required.
  • Ongoing funding for the recurring fees, added to the budget for at least two years.
  • Fees for consultants and service providers needed to configure, extend, integrate, and deploy the system.
  • Fees for training courses and user-group sessions offered by the vendors.
  • Dedicated personnel, typically in the form of a time allocation with specific measured goals or MBOs:

    • To make ongoing priority calls about requirements and schedules.
    • To decide policy issues and business rules.
    • To design approval cycles, exception handling, and workflows.
    • To do actual work on the SFDC system, including data cleansing, record imports, and other housekeeping tasks.
    • To do work on external systems such as: data modeling, data dumps, enabling external interfaces, doing testing, and other tasks.
    • To assist with IT infrastructure tasks (security audits, installing wiki software, server deployments, and so forth)
    • To do technical tests of the SFDC system and validation of its external integrations.
    • To do user testing of the system.
    • To run final acceptance tests.
  • Regular (brief) intervals of executive time, to escalate issues, break logjams, reallocate resources, and do final approvals.

Surprisingly, most executives tend to focus on the top of this list. In reality, the items near the bottom tend to cause the biggest issues with projects over time.

At the meeting, you’ll also need to set general expectations—preferably quantitative metrics of success and criteria for a successful deployment—for the first phase. Without these objective measurements, executives tend to remember only the date for the first phase deployment, which tends to put people in happy-ears mode. Make sure to start the project off on the right foot, with documented budgets, schedules, and success criteria.

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