You’ve just deployed a new technology solution; how do you define whether or not it was a success?
People often have difficulty agreeing on the definition of “success” because there are two interconnected dimensions in which a project can be judged as a success or a failure. The first is project management success (delivering in accordance with the agreed-upon project objectives), and the second is 0utcome success (the amount of value the project delivers once it is complete).
Of course, getting agreement on how to define success is not always easy, but based on my day-to-day experience with customers, outcome success is desired over project management success.
Outcomes Are Worth More Than Services
Buying a service rather than an outcome is similar to paying to use equipment at a gym versus working with a personal trainer, whose job is to help you produce an outcome. The latter is worth more than the former.
VMware’s IT Outcomes support the top priority initiatives for CIOs and impact key business metrics, you can check the dedicated web site here.
In my (humble) opinion, indifferently by the IT Outcomes you are focus on, there are three important factors that contribute to a success:
People, Processes, and Architecture.
Based on my experience, customers tend to focus on architecture and technology, sometimes paying less attention to the people and process factors which can contribute more to success. Here is a real-life example from my personal experience.
I was involved with a successful project implementation where all the project’s technical objectives were achieved, but the infrastructure and operations manager did not feel the desired outcomes were achieved. And that manager was right!
After spending an hour talking with the teams, I realized what a great job the consultants had done implementing and demonstrating all the capabilities of their new SDDC.
However, due to their experience, expectations, and culture, they weren’t able to reorganize their teams and processes to take full advantage of the desired outcomes (Speed, Agility and Security).
Here is a summary of the best practices I’ve suggested as a way to leverage VMware technical account managers as coaches.
1 – People
- Create a blended team of skilled workers with multi-domain and multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise, and deliver cross-team training.
- Encourage autonomy with common goals and operating principles, and focus on service delivery.
- Push them to share lessons learned with other teams and expand their use of virtual networking and security.
2 – Process
- Decompose management and troubleshooting tasks along virtual and physical boundaries.
- Automate manual tasks to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
- Correlate the end-to-end view of application health across compute, storage, and networking.
3 – Architecture
- Build your SDDC using a design validated by experts.
- Implement a comprehensive data center design.
- Add in app and network virtualization incrementally.
Putting it all together
Achieving 100% of a project’s intended outcomes depends not only on the technology implementation, but also on the organizatonal transformation required to ensure the proper implementation of people and process innovation.
Andrea Siviero is an ten-year veteran of VMware and a senior solutions architect member of Professional Services Engineering (PSE) for the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC), a part of the Global Technical Solutions (GTS) team. Prior to PSE, Andrea spent three years as pre-sales system engineer and three years as a post-sales consultant architect for cloud computing and desktop virtualization solutions focusing on very large and complex deployments, especially for service providers in the finance and telco sectors.