Case Study: Project Readiness Certification
Challenge: An international law firm lacked a consistent process and objective criteria to evaluate the readiness of a project to ‘go live’. The project stakeholders felt that the pressure to meet a project’s target date took priority over readiness. Disagreements occurred among stakeholders concerning the project’s readiness due to subjective opinions without supporting factual information. The risk and impact of open project issues and product defects on the customers were not quantified. Consequently, the ‘go live’ decision meeting was highly ineffective and projects were delayed.
Approach: The Kaslen Group introduced the Project Readiness Certification concept and process to the client as the final quality gate. Using a collaborative approach, representative stakeholders from Customer Service, Development, Implementation, Security, Operations, Project Management, Quality Assurance and Training participated in customizing the process to fit their specific types of projects.
Solution: The client’s cross-functional project stakeholder team defined their unique readiness criteria for the product, customer, deployment, support, operations, and security. Responsibilities for assessing readiness and signing off on the criteria were also defined for each project stakeholder area. A point-value scheme for quantifying the impact of a product defect on the customers was also defined. Lastly, the basic Kaslen Project Readiness Certification process was customized to integrate with the client’s project life cycle and project management activities.
To deploy the process, the process documentation and templates were published and training sessions were conducted with all project stakeholders involved in the readiness assessment. The new ‘go live’ process was piloted on several projects and lessons learned were used to fine-tune the process for full deployment.
The client succeeded in replacing a subjective, opinion based decision making process with an objective fast-based way to evaluate the readiness of a project from all project stakeholders’ perspectives. The project managers gained improved participation from all stakeholders throughout the project. Eleventh hour project surprises were eliminated.
Note: The value realized from the Project Readiness Certification makes the process self-sustaining over the long-term. The first firm to implement the Kaslen Project Readiness Certification process in the late nineteen nineties, is still using the certification process today.