In today’s project execution scenario, upgrade assessments have gained much more importance than ever before.
Yet, IT managers face a lot of push back from their customer when they are faced with the cost associated with executing an upgrade assessment
The client wonders, why can’t we directly start with upgrade and move to a newer version. Why spend on an upgrade assessment?
Listed below are some of the arguments in favor of doing an assessment before going in for an upgrade. This applies equally to any package and not only Siebel.
1. Why we require Assessment?
If you do an upgrade assessment with a sample area of the functionality, you will be in a position
- To measure the precise scope of the upgrade exercise: What has to be done, when and how long it will take.
- To get a feel for the technical complexity of the upgrade – The vendor may tout the upgrade as a one click exercise that will be completed in half an hour while the users are out to lunch. The reality may be different.
- To judge which of the new “features” are absolutely essential to get your users back on the road with minimum fuss and low cost
- To assess the technical complexity of the upgrade – How much of your application will still work after the upgrade? Trust me, a lot of things will break.
- To assess the gaps & issues highlighted by a focus group of users – You could let key users preview the result of upgrade exercise and see what they think about it.
- To estimate the time and effort required to do the actual upgrade
- To decide on a GO/NO-GO: The assessment will give you enough information to decide whether the upgrade is a good idea or not after all. It’s a good idea to get the assessment done by an independent party without bias to the software supplier
2. Continuing benefits of Assessment during the upgrade
Once a GO decision has been made, the upgrade assessment will continue to give you returns when executing the actual upgrade in the form of the below artifacts
- Knowledge repository: You will have a good understanding of the pitfalls faced by the assessment team.
- A realistic and re-usable Project Plan : Planning and precursor activities completed during POC will reduce actual upgrade timeline
- Knowledge of Pre-requisites : Identification of upgrade tasks specific to Application/infrastructure
- Compressed critical path: You will know which activities take a long time and fine tune upgrade processes to squeeze the timeline.
- Resource readiness : You will know exactly what kind of resources are required to execute the upgrade and be ready to start upgrade on short notice
In conclusion, an assessment gives client an accurate method of determining if an upgrade is the right route to take, and gives precise estimation of the scope, schedule, resources and cost associated, which in turn lead to speedy decision making.
Inputs from Jagdish