Thinking Enterprise Projects – Pilot is key to success

The anatomy of an Enterprise Project:

When we talk about an enterprise project, it is usually a project which caters the need of entire user base in the organization. Almost every time you prepare the estimates and timeline for such projects, the numbers look big. When you add Change Request, Risk Contingency etc. to the total, the number goes bigger.  When the client looks at the number, he/she will have a sure question – Will this be successful? How can I bet a big amount on the project without a proof.

The answer:

It is always better to start small and increase phase wise.  “What’s the quickest way to buy in the client confidence?”

Please note that the quickest way mightn’t always the best way. I recommend that one should conduct a short pilot project.

“First, identify a representative sample — large, medium, and small,” and “And execute your step  with that sample set and keep track of the effort and duration for each one. Then you’ll have some factual information to apply to the estimates — and you’ll know if you should break out the champagne or the aspirin.”

My Suggestions:

One of the common aspects of software projects is that the solutions tend to be unique. However, you’ll sometimes find that the work efforts involved are similar or repetitive. For instance, you may have to implement that unique solution repetitively in different offices, different departments, different Web sites, and so on. With proper planning, using a pilot project in such instances can give you the chance to:

  • Document common procedures that can be utilized on the other similar efforts.
  • Focus and be successful on one project first, rather than having to start off with multiple efforts.
  • Reduce the risk of project difficulties since you can look at what works well and what doesn’t before tackling the remaining work.
  • Get a handle on the time and cost required to complete the entire effort.