The Importance of Planning Ahead

As a new year approaches, new projects and initiatives within organizations of all types and sizes begin to surface. In order to ensure on-time completion and delivery of projects, it is crucial for organizations to always be looking ahead. As many IT teams are already feeling the squeeze of a heavy workload, managing expectations of business sponsors can be difficult.

Recently, Ironside Group spent time working with a life sciences organization in Massachusetts on an upgrade to Cognos 10. Although the initiative is slated to begin in early 2012, Ironside Group made it a point to begin the process in October to ensure on-time delivery for this time sensitive project. Since Ironside Group had no previous relationship with the client, Ironside made it a point to better understand their business by meeting with key business units within the organization who rely on Cognos daily. With IT’s help, Ironside quickly understood the importance of Cognos within the organization and started to generate an upgrade project plan.

Typically, when dealing with larger-scale upgrades it is important to conduct a five to ten day assessment to understand the client’s current environment, which allows Ironside to put together an accurate project plan, including an accurate cost and effort description. This is an extremely important exercise because it allows the progression of the project to be monitored closely to ensure on-time and on-budget completion. The assessment conducted on-site at the client’s headquarters took ten days and yielded a detailed written project plan that included all work needed to move to the latest version of Cognos. Even though this project plan was delivered well before the initiative was scheduled to take place, the client had a strong grasp of costs and internal resources needed, which gave them time to plan and budget for next year, which ultimately will lead to an on-time start of the project.

Traditional thought has been to wait for an approved budget to start a project. Ironside realizes that many projects are time sensitive and in order to meet deadlines a proactive approach needs to be adopted. It is never too early to begin to plan for future projects. Utilizing the expertise of an organization like Ironside Group, who has years of experience managing these types of projects, will ensure there are no surprise costs during the project. Ironside Group employs proven methodologies in every engagement and while it may be a client’s first project, they can rest assure that Ironside has successfully managed hundreds of similar projects over the past 15 years.

Ironside Group, Inc. is an IBM Preferred Business Partner with offices in in Massachusetts, New York, Cleveland, Austin, Detroit, Atlanta and Montreal. For more information on how to partner with Ironside on your next Cognos project, please call our home office to speak with an account executive.