There is a saying, “go big or go home.” In the case of this large higher education client, they went big, all the way to a TRIRIGA Big Bang implementation. For background, one of the nation’s largest higher education public institutions manages over 30 million square feet of building space supporting its academic and research & development mission. Managing an inventory this large is complex, and in the client’s case, it was exceedingly so given they were dependent on multiple IT systems to manage their portfolio. To address this, the client selected TRIRIGA as a replacement technology and decided to “go big” by activating all TRIRIGA modules at one time to accommodate seven (7) asset management business areas. The seven-enterprise asset management (EAM) business areas are Capital Projects, Operations & Maintenance, Real Estate Management, Strategic Facilities Planning, Space Management, Sustainability and Energy Management, and Financial Administration.
To execute this project, the client hired Definitive Logic to lead the Project Management Office (PMO) responsible for the TRIRIGA implementation. Over the next 4 years, Definitive Logic led the program strategy, envisioning of the solution, technical implementation, and transition activities for this project. To learn more about the details of this story, read DL’s large higher education client’s TRIRIGA Implementation Case Study. Instead, this blog focuses on the methods that are leading the client to a successful ‘Big Bang’ go-live.
This institution’s decision was to use a ‘big bang’ approach is rare, but in their case, it was highly successful in reducing risk and accelerating value generation. First, the total transition time was drastically reduced avoiding the substantial costs and operational impacts associated with green-lighting modules iteratively and performing configuration activities in between. Second, an ‘all-in’ strategy was clearly communicated and quickly adopted. This strategy was implemented through a hybrid-Agile-Waterfall approach that Definitive Logic developed in coordination with the client’s project leadership. To lock these approaches together, three principles were developed and applied throughout the project. These principles were:
- Avoid Costly Late-Breaking Risks
Risks and issues are a given on any project and those identified late in the project are always more difficult to resolve. To avoid these types of surprises, an Agile-Scrum methodology for development and configuration was employed. This allowed the core teams of all seven business areas to review the most current TRIRIGA configuration to identify points of failure for both targeted business processes and for the whole system at the same time. This enabled the PMO to address risks early and at a lower cost during each sprint. By the time the Systems Integrator (SI) got to the last sprint, only minor issues remained.
- System Integration is Everyone’s Problem to Solve for Go-Live
For these large-scale initiatives, it is important to stay lean during development and configuration sprints. However, Definitive Logic wanted to capitalize on the system development efforts with formal, waterfall-style Systems Integration Testing (SIT) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to officially answer the questions: 1) Does everything work cross-functionally, across all business areas? And 2) Have all business areas accepted this product? This principle enabled the PMO to find and resolve elusive integration issues well before Go-Live rather than finding them towards the end of development. This approach also conditioned the whole team to begin identifying system integration issues early instead of relying on only a few individuals to focus on this topic after most of the development effort was done.
- Everything Must be “Burned Down.”
For a project of this size, all the pieces are moving simultaneously including TRIRIGA Functional Configuration and Customization (development), Integrations, Reporting, Security, Training Development, Training Delivery, etc. In order to continuously gauge the risk to schedule, we developed a methodology to objectively report ‘burndown’ on every piece of the program for every business area. This point of reckoning enabled the PMO to objectively report a planned rate of execution versus the actual rate of execution by effort (i.e. Report Development) by business area (i.e. Financial Admin) across the entire EAM program. This created the unity of effort needed to answer simple questions such as; “Are we on schedule?” and “If we’re not on schedule, how much are we off?”
Employing these principles gave the client the ability to address schedule and budget risk proactively throughout the project while enhancing the TRIRIGA solution and, thereby, improving users’ confidence in it. Our client will be deploying their TRIRIGA Big Bang solution in Summer 2020. Here are Definitive Logic, we look forward to a successful future in the asset management realm at the University due to the efforts of the EAM program!
Please contact Definitive Logic if you are interested in learning more on how to successfully apply this type of ‘Big Bang’ strategy to your technology problem, or if you are interested in learning more about a complete TRIRIGA implementation for your portfolio. We look forward to hearing from you.