|FAQ on Implementing Project 2002/Project Server 2002
With the Enterprise Implementation Framework (EIF)
The EIF stresses some pretty stringent requirements for the implementation team, particularly the leader of the team, and seems to urge the use of Project Partners. Does this mean users cannot expect to implement the system by themselves?
Implementing Project 2002 is not a trivial undertaking, especially across a large organization. The implementation essentially results in a change in the way an organization operates, much as the implementation of an ERP, HR, or CRM system does. While setting up Project 2002 and Project Server 2002 isn’t as complex as these systems usually are, in order to get the most out of the system, some prior experience with such systems is necessary. That is the main reason the EIF stresses the team qualifications.
The EIF schedule template seems to imply that an implementation will take 3-6 months. Is this much time necessary?
One of the first tasks that the implementation team does is to evaluate the implementation schedule for their organization. And during the course of the implementation, they status and review progress on the implementation “project.” For a large scale implementation, user stakeholders should expect a 3-6 month schedule. Smaller implementations can be accomplished in less time. But a key point is that no user organization should expect to have the system fully implemented in a week; that is just impossible.
The EIF template schedule shows a phased rollout. Why is this recommended?
There are several reasons for the phased rollout recommendation. One is that experience has shown this approach results in the highest success rate. Also, every user requires some training, and training needs themselves dictate a phased rollout process. Different parts of the organization may also have slightly different requirements, and therefore it makes sense to implement the system by division or department when such differences exist.
Why have a formal “prototype”?
Many of the capabilities of Project 2002 will be completely new to an organization. For example, during the requirements gathering process, stakeholders in particular may not be aware a certain reporting capability exists. Thus, they won’t give that type of input. The prototype gives the implementation team a means to show the stakeholders the capabilities of the system, and draw out some ideas. It also allows the stakeholders to actually see what they will get from the implementation, and to make adjustments.
If we implement the system following the EIF, are we “locked in” to using it in a particular way forever?
One of the main values of the EIF is that it formally documents the requirements and the design of the system for a particular organization. But the completed EIF documents are meant to be “living” documents. They should be updated as the organization changes or grows in their project management sophistication. Phase 6 of the EIF schedule is "Assess and Refine." We assume that the way the organization uses the system will change over time. We recommend that the EIF process be followed to address these changes.
The partner we chose to help us with Project 2002 implementation does not use the EIF. Shouldn’t all Project Partners follow the EIF?
The EIF represents a basic approach to system implementation. Many Project Partners have their own implementation methodologies, some of which have significantly more detail steps. The major Project Partners were involved in the review of the EIF before it was published, and in general, their implementation approaches are consistent with that in the EIF. Some partners will use the EIF directly. Others prefer their own methodology. Our purpose in publishing the EIF was to provide a basic implementation guide.
The EIF doesn’t contain much technical guidance. Why?
The EIF isn’t a technical framework; it is a business-oriented framework. Its purpose is to help an organization apply the system to meet their business needs. The EIF isn’t meant to replace the installation instructions or the Help systems that show how to use the system.
There are an incredible number of questions on the EIF interview worksheet. Do we have to use all of them?
As with the EIF template schedule, the implementation team should review the interview questions before conducting the interviews. They may choose to delete some, and possibly add others. In general, we think the team should be cautious about deleting many questions. While some may not seem appropriate to a particular organization, asking them may draw out requirements that were not anticipated by the team.
Is the Pilot phase necessary?
The Pilot phase is critical. Nothing shakes out possible “down the road” system use problems like real system use. The Pilot phase is not a system “demo.” That’s why we recommend conducting the Pilot through several actual reporting cycles.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis in the EIF about the use of templates. Why?
Project templates are one of the most powerful features of Project 2002 and Project Server 2002. Unfortunately, they are also one of the least used, and therefore we decided to strongly emphasize them in the EIF. Proper use of templates makes everyday system use so much easier—for project managers in particular. Who wants to create a project from scratch every time, when they could start with a basic plan that has 90% of the work done?