At BCM One, we never start with technology. Our clients’ business needs are the focus, and then we determine which enabling technologies will best meet those needs. It’s why we’ve always stayed technology-agnostic. And it’s why we engage in thoughtful and probing discussions right up front with each and every client. After having done this for more than a quarter-century, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to build, plan, and deploy technology solutions. Here are some best practices to help you define and document business requirements to set your initiative or project up for maximum success.
Tell us Where it Hurts
To build a solution, you need to understand the problem. What are your pain points? What’s important to you? What are your troubles? Whether you’ve been hearing a lot about SD-WAN but aren’t sure where to begin, or you have a mandate to cut spend by 20% and aren’t sure about the best way to do it without hurting critical operations. Or could it be that you’re new and inherited an IT environment you need to validate or are simply unhappy with your current service provider and don’t want to work with them anymore. Now you’ve got something you need help with. And that’s the starting point.
Identify the Trigger Points
These are factors that drive planning and timelines. For example, if you’re moving offices, the move-in date will dictate when certain tasks must be completed. This is a critical component to building the plan so you can work backwards to deploy as needed.
Do a Deep-Dive Into the Current Technology Environment
To understand how technology is going to solve your pain and achieve your goals, you need to understand the true critical applications the business is running today—and how they affect end users—so you can build a path to what it’s going to look like in the future. The goal is to create a technology solution that will deliver the best experience for your end users. What’s important to one end user, however, may be different for another, and you need to understand that big picture.
Gather Up Your Documents
Get that network Visio of the current environment, inventory of infrastructure and services, and project budget. But don’t stop there. Collect copies of all your technology invoices and contracts. These are critical to understanding who you’re working with, speeds and other technical details, price points, etc.
Understand ALL the Dependencies
Small changes can have big consequences and you want to identify those in advance as much as possible. For example, if you’re upgrading the firewall, don’t forget about the remote workers and how they might be affected. Or if you’re doing a voice project, don’t forget about the fax machine because who faxes anymore? If it turns out that just one person in the entire organization uses the fax because your biggest customer requires them to, that’s a big deal.
Plan for When It Breaks
Because it will break. What’s your failover plan? What happens if a hurricane or natural disaster event occurs? Do you have a disaster recovery plan? What’s your plan B?
Plan in the Context of Your Culture
Make sure everyone’s on board, especially with changes that are going to make things work differently. Consider if you make this change, how will it affect other departments and what do they need to get comfortable with the change? Plan for training if necessary—that’s a big part of ensuring a successful hosted VoIP rollout, for example.
Keep Compliance in Mind
Review how the new solution will affect your organization’s compliance requirements so you can be proactive about addressing any potential issues.
Better Planning Leads to Better Outcomes
There’s a lot that goes into today’s technology environments, so there’s a lot that needs to go into planning for them. At BCM One we do this every day for thousands of clients and we’ve seen it all. We know where all the gotchas are.
Contact us to learn how we can help you get to the solution you need.
BCM One, a managed solutions provider, offers managed IT operations and is headquartered in Manhattan, New York.