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Vendor Frustration – Updated March 18, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in Projects and Risks.
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Earlier Post –

” So – how bad can it get?  The customer is willing to wait for our vendor to get a Project Manager assigned, but when informed that the required resources to support this project will now not be available until the middle of March – (perhaps) they were understandably upset.  To understand this issue, the resources are a combination of employees and contracted help – all of who have many assignments and are considered fully loaded at 24 hours for any new process – projects assigned.  They as you can assume also have production support requirements.

Also to consider – this is a fiscal year budgeted project – and yes the fiscal year ends 6/30, which means that several approval steps may now be required unless the vendor can step up and do more than they have indicated.

Well as you can see there are now several issues and the risk level of several processes will also become issues that upper management will need to address and provide some insights and direction for the actions that are required to take place.”

UPDATE: ———————————————————————–

Well – as it turns out – and correctly this time!  The original vendor who had the contract “in the bag” – and I am sure already spent the commission – was really the main reason of the delay to get the project going has had future dealing placed on hold until the vendors participation can be reviewed and validated at the end of the project. We are talking about several millions of dollars in future requirements and sales of equipment that this vendor has placed in jeopardy.  This evaluation will be done by the executive and business sponsor at the local site – There is always more to the story – but I need to take care on how I report this on my blog – but updates will be provided over the next few months.

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New Assignment – Part 2 March 18, 2012

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From planning to implementation – in two days – because of motivation and cooperation!

So here is the update on this project –  “Real -time Clinical Surveillance” implementation project”.   As discussed in the earlier post –  the term implementation did not really imply that all of the planning steps had been completed – or even started.  I pulled in the standard PMI planning documents and started the process by reviewing the Charter and updating it adding a missing requirement – “Scope” which covered the requirements to  replace, upgrade, implement both the processing hardware as well as the human component – work flow, process flow and information controls.   The staff that was assigned were all IT folks and no representation from the user group.  After a “needs” explanation to both the Executive and Business sponsors – three full time business users were assigned.

This was the most motivated group that I have ever worked with – everyone was cooperative, hard working, willing to do the required and appropriate documentation and wanted to get this system live as soon as possible – serving the patients was critical to the full project team.  All team members put in a average of 14 hours a day – which is usual –  because it was both the business team members as well as the IT folks!

Because the operational environment is mature and the users are well versed on the current operations and requirements – assignment of responsibilities was straight forward and accepted quickly by both the business and technical team members.  Quick development of the “process flow” showing the interactions and relationships to other systems, departments and individuals within and without the organization was completed and approved by the sponsors and other assigned management sources.

Activities completed during the first week:

  1. Clarity of hardware to be replaced – and orders placed and fulfilled from local vendors
  2. All system interfaces were clearly identified and required programming assigned to “off shore” resources
  3. All departmental interactions were identified and department management reviewed and approved as required
  4. Work flow was brought up to date – and some additional processes identified and documented
  5. Vendor technical team was top notch and provided clear instructions as well as worked side by side with the local technical team
  6. Vendor provided both WEB based training as well as on-site hands on training for the identified in-house “trainers”
  7. Go-Live with pilot process identified, staff assigned, and recovery requirements identified

Since this will be a “browser based” application – security will be a very important component of the implementation and is under very close review.  The pilot process started last Monday is to run for the next two weeks – I have handed this off to a local PM who will handle the final processes required for the move into production.

New Assignment – Part1 March 6, 2012

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Just selected for managing a “Real -time Clinical Surveillance” implementation project”.  To be clear the term implementation does not really imply that all of the planning steps have been completed – or even started.

The project will be to replace, upgrade, implement both the processing hardware as well as the human component – work flow, process flow and information controls.  It is a project type that I have completed before but as we all know the challenges will be unique based on the people and environment and of course the vendor.

The operational environment is mature and the users are well versed on the current operations and requirements – but the unknown to me currently is the state of current work flow documentation and understanding of the current full process flow.  For clarity, when I refer to “process flow” I am looking at the interactions and relationships to other systems, departments and even perhaps individuals within and without the organization.

Some potential risks:

  1. Unknown hardware to be replaced
  2. Unknown system interfaces
  3. Unknown departmental interactions
  4. Work flow not up to date – or not existing
  5. Level of end-user knowledge on current system
  6. Level of end-user knowledge on new system
  7. Level of maturity of “new” system from vendor

Since this will be a “browser based” application – security will be a very important component of the implementation.

  1. What will the structure of the addressing scheme be?
  2. What security requirements have been identified to keep the browsing in-house only?
  3. Have the internal resources reviewed the requirements and really understand them?

So as I continue on this journey more information, questions and pit falls will occur – I look forward to your input and insights!

Project Delay – continued March 6, 2012

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This project is critical to the organization because it is the “trail blazer” for 14 other hospitals.  It is a nutritional system that provides benefits for the patients, staff and orginization.

  • Patients can select at bedside the meals they would like – they can only select from the “approved” diet as provided by the doctor
  • The nutritional requirements are monitored and reported as part of the patients electronic medical record
  • The potential for productivity increases and patient satisfaction increase is substantial

With the loss of one of the critical business project team member, it has been decided to extend the project for three months:

  • Technology processes are completed and documented
  • Training resources will be on call
  • Contracting resources to help the staff responsible to start the roll out will be obtained
  • A test system will be retained for any continuation training and to validate before “go live”
  • Project Management will continue on a “as needed” activity, weekly touch points will be scheduled
  • Project documentation to be completed and stored where appropriate.

Demonstration of the system to the other hospitals will be established and the vendor is actively involved.

It is expected that this project will be closed by June.

The implementation of this project to this point has been rated at 5 stars – on a scale of 1 – 6, with 6 being the highest score –

Project delay March 3, 2012

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So here it is – the 90% complete issue and no where to hide!
It has been many years since I have

been in this situation and it is very strange!

The main business leader and knowledge expert has left the organization.
Testing complete but  user business flow documentation in poor shape – what to do?

Project delay March 3, 2012

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So here it is – the 90% complete issue and no where to hide!
It has been many years since I have

been in this situation and it is very strange!

The main business leader and knowledge expert has left the organization.
Testing complete but  user business flow documentation in poor shape – what to do?

Project Implementation – users not ready March 1, 2012

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The testing was successful, several steps and processes were tested and proved to be as required.
  • All user-id’s verified
  • Password processes verified and tested
  • Help desk trained and validated
  • Production feeds setup and communication lines verified
  • Reports reviewed and approved
  • Input data screens reviewed and approved

The requirements for the upgrade and implementation from the IT requirements have been met – but the problem is that the user has not been able to complete the several important work flow, documentation and training requirements.

It is expected that it could take up to two months for the business users to be able to get this completed.  We all know that because of this – there is a good chance that some IT processes may be required to change – and if so, then additional testing will be required.

Risks

  1. New process requirements may be discovered
  2. Budget could need to be expanded
  3. Business user may never decide to close project
  4. Test requirements may require additional system changes
  5. PMO may not agree to place project on hold

 

Any ideas or input?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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