5 Key Success Factors for BrightWork Deployments
BrightWork has been deployed to thousands of customers over the past twenty years. Having spent some time reviewing customer success, I have identified five key success factors behind these deployments as follows:
- A clear understanding of the organization’s project and portfolio management requirements
- Use an Agile Iterative Deployment Plan that ensures all requirements are accomplished
- Design and adjust the site templates for ease of use
- Get management support for the process and BrightWork
- Have regular solutions reviews to assess the tool’s effectiveness and alignment to process priorities.
Let’s take a closer look at these key factors.
5 Key Success Factors for BrightWork Deployments
1. A clear understanding of the organization’s project and portfolio management requirements
First, any project and portfolio management tool is only as good as the process it serves. It is important that everyone involved in project management has a clear understanding of the requirements the organization will follow.
Know how much of the process is being used today and, more importantly, how the organization wants to evolve and mature in their use of project management in the future.
Prioritize the important capabilities that will meet these requirements. Make sure everyone agrees this is the path the group wants to go on now and in the future.
2. Use an Agile Iterative Deployment Plan
Next, take the list of prioritized process requirements and develop a set of iterative deployment plans to achieve those capabilities. Focus on the current process and make sure BrightWork is set up to support your project management process now. Future iterations can focus on the next set of priorities and capabilities.
This may mean expanding process capabilities to include formal risk management or cost management along with developing and managing project plans and executing schedules. It may be focused on expansion to additional roles in the process like having project team members manage and update their own assignments in BrightWork.
This relieves the project manager of having to update progress manually and focusing “managing the ongoing project”. It will all depend on what is important to your organization and your process maturity objectives.
Doing the deployment in iterations allows your organization to assimilate and use the tool more efficiently. Users will not be overwhelmed by having to incorporate a “new tool” in their daily routine. It will be a natural progression at a pace they can handle.
3. Design and adjust the site templates for ease of use
Always consider ease of use in the configuration of the BrightWork project site templates being used in your deployment. The site layouts need to be intuitive and follow the natural flow of your project management process. Start with sites that are set up to support your users and the process where it is today.
You can then gradually add more site templates as the group is able to mature with the process. For example, use a simple site that supports managing a project schedule, managing issues, and documentation, and can report status on a regular basis.
Organize the navigation to follow the project management process from start to finish.
Next, we can add risk management to the site for ongoing and proactive management of factors that could impact the project. Change management can be another process to add to the site if you are finding scope changes impacting your projects on a regular basis.
If the site is easy to use, even as you add more process support to it, users will more effectively perform on the projects as they mature in the project management process.
4. Get management support for the process and BrightWork
All processes need leadership and management direction to be successful, and project management is no exception. Get management participation early in the deployment. Make sure they support the use of the tool as a way for the organization to be more effective with project management.
Communication from management on their expectations regarding this goes a long way to ensuring user adoption. If you find that the higher levels of management are not involved or not aware of the benefits that BrightWork brings to effective project management, seek out their involvement or at least their knowledge of what is coming to the group.
The message is much stronger when upper management provides it.
5. Have regular solutions reviews to assess the tool’s effectiveness and alignment to process priorities
The agile iterative deployment process provides a natural checkpoint for you and the group to review the progress and effectiveness of the tool. Be honest in the review and ready to make changes in priorities.
Also, be prepared to stay at the current level and adjust the configuration to better serve the project management process where it is. You may decide that more end-user training and orientation is needed to better utilize BrightWork in the process.
Management support and concurrence should be an integral part of the review. Go on to the next iteration only after you are confident the group is ready to expand the process.
There are many examples where technology has been brought into the organization as the “magic bullet” to improve project management processes. Most of these examples failed as the organization did not match requirements, process maturity, and tool capabilities together.
BrightWork on SharePoint leverages technology that will greatly enable your company to start doing project management and evolve to a higher level of process maturity in the future. A well-defined plan that is based on these key factors will ensure customer success with project management using BrightWork.