Several months ago (has it been that long?!) I kicked off a series of posts on the development of a global IT deployment template, or framework, highlighting the need for the following components as the foundation:
- An innovation and relations 'hub' grounded in a community of practice subscribing to the OODA Loop philosophy
- A configurable set of agreed-upon modules that plug into the innovation hub
From my experience, the modules should not be so detailed as to become unwieldly, so I suggested previously they include Financial, Software, Hardware, Infrastructure and Human Resources management. Activities that occur in each of these areas during a global IT deployment would interact with the innovation and relations hub to provide feedback on lessons learned from ground operations and later apply new rules or best practices spearheaded by the team's or firm's innovation leaders.
This framework really begins to benefit a global IT deployment once it goes 'online' across the world at each site scheduled for implementation. Regardless of which order a particular site is expected to execute the implementation of a particular technology, bringing all sites online from the start will ensure the following:
- Preemption of critical issues
- Gradual reduction or complete elimination of repeat issues from site to site
- Gradual increase in team efficiency, productivity, innovation and overall learning and performance
The above obviously leads to increased customer satisfaction as lead times decrease along with costs. This develops into strong references and an increased potential for future return business on other technology investments and deployments.
When multiple sites come online, usually headquarters, or the office where the deployment deal was initiated, becomes the 'lead hub' as show below:
Imagining this from a user perspective, each person in their respective areas of responsibility (the modules) would have access to an interface where they could reference and utilize such resources/tools as:
- deployment guidelines as currently established
- critical issues previously dealt with or under consideration
- risks and opportunities to be aware of
- outside news and internal commentary feeds related to this specialty
- deployment team profiles and video introductions
- secure web conferencing via voice/chat
- deployment-specific document libraries
- language-translation capabilities
In addition, everyone would have access to an innovation/relations interface to see the most up-to-date changes, best practices and rules being put into place to make the deployment a success. Project managers, regional and local, would manage the overall access to this interface but the idea is that all participants on the deployment would have real-time access to a deployments developments as it moves from site to site. This can only serve to eliminate the inevitable 'reinventing the wheel' or 'repeat instruction' scenarios that cost valuable time for project managers and resources alike when sites are brought into the picture only slightly ahead of ground implementation.
Geographically, a deployment of linked sites might appear as below:
As I have hinted above, a user-friendly technology solution is required to make this framework effective. Although there are online solutions already in the market focused on building collaboration amongst project teams, the key is how leadership deploys this technology, the philosophy behind its utilization, and the way in which multiple sites share in the deployment process from beginning to end.
As many experienced managers know, the greatest technology in the world will fail under poor leadership, poor strategy and/or poor methodology.