Thursday, February 20, 2014

Do your homework well, even before the pre-sales stage

Some days ago I had a meeting with a division head of a global giant, to roll out agile project management within the division. To be honest, I went for this meeting without taking any extra effort from my side to understand this particular organisation, like their geographic spread, business case behind this initiative, status of the previous agile implementations, lessons learned, risks, how they were addressed, nature of employees, organisational policies, structure, decision making process, established work flows etc. The discussions started, and due yo my past experience with similar organisations, I could be practical enough to identify the areas I could contribute, and those which I could not. Without prior experience and the formal knowledge of the terms 'Organizational process assets' and 'Enterprise environmental factors', I would have a cut a sorry face infront of this customer who is a global giant in it's field, by agreeing to provide solutions to all their problems, which include business process reengineering of a global giant. Can I do it as an individual?, Never. If I had agreed to that in that meeting, it would have undermined whatever credibility I have with this customer. A proper understanding of the business case, stakeholders involved, enterprise environmental factors and the organisational process assets prior to the meeting will help anyone to be realistic while dealing with customers (existing, probable). In this case, my prior experience came to my rescue, else I would have landed up in deep trouble. 

Let us take a closer look at 'Enterprise environmental factors' and 'Organisational process assets';

Enterprise environmental factors

All those factors around the enterprise, which may have an impact (positive/negative) on the project at hand will fall under the definition of enterprise environmental factors;

Goverment policies

Political climate

Labour laws

Visa processing norms

Availability of raw material 

Availability of manpower

Competitor's data 


Organisational process assets 

The intellectual property of the stakeholders of the project which can be leveraged during project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling and closing phases of a project comes under the definition of organisational process assets;

Procedures

Guidelines

Templates

Tools

Lessons learned

Risk management measures from past projects 

Organisational metrics

Proprietory technology, procedures, components etc 

Knowledge of these have a great impact on project planning, and has even higher value during pre-sales stages to understand the customer's needs and propose the best practical solution possible, which will yield the best results within the operating environment of the organisation. 

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