Disruption of the project organization in IT Support
AlfaPeople’s Support and Maintenance Framework AMF
As delivery manager for AlfaPeople’s support and maintenance business in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX (AlfaPeople AMF), I am often involved in integration of our service in customers’ existing internal IT support organisations. In a number of blog posts, I will try to break away from the classic way of thinking about the structure of IT support – both to air some ideas, but also as a shout-out to hear your ideas. The first entry was on measuring points. This entry will focus on brake up from the project organisation.
All requirements are subject to change
When you as a company wish to implement a business application, the requirements are typically based on three basic principles:
- The standards in the industry in question
- The structure and processes of the individual company
- The technological possibilities available
All three of these principles have never seen more exponential change and development than right now.
This means that the requirements a company has for its business application have never been more volatile and with a shorter lifespan than today. This means that the total value of a business application has never fallen more rapidly than it does today. This even at a time when the importance of the business applications has never been greater.
Traditional transfer from Project to Operation
To build the application, it is normal practice that the company creates a temporary project organisation with:
- Clear objectives
- Decision-making power
- Management support
When the objective has been achieved, the solution is handed over to operations, and the project organisation is dissolved. This most often means that items 1 – 3 fade away – and the budget is replaced by “as little as possible”. In the beginning, it is the users who will be taken hostage, since they do not receive the necessary support to maintain and further develop system support from each day. This will have an impact on the poor employees in support who must deal with the complaints. In the long run, it is the company as a whole which will suffer.
Resources are unevenly allocated
In light of the above, it makes no sense that the allocation of the resources invested (of all types) is so poorly weighted against the very establishment of the application. The typical impression that customers whom I visit have is that they have used more than 50% of the total amount of resources on approximately the first 10% of the lifespan.
My premise is that the accumulated value of the business application over the entire lifespan will be significantly greater if the investment were spread out more widely through the entire period.
New approach, New requirements
This places some new requirements on companies and their implementation partners:
- They must recruit, organise and budget for a much longer time frame than previously.
- On the functional side, there must be much closer cooperation between business, users and IT
- On the technical side, support, maintenance and development must be brought together under one unit.
Much energy has been used in the IT industry to optimise work processes during the establishment of a new IT system. My primary message in this entry is that these ideas should be pursued – and applied throughout the entire lifespan of the system. Of course spiced up with some basic principles about support and operation.
Not insignificant added value
We must in no way underestimate the importance of creating a strong organisation in the long run, as it will minimise risks in a high degree. The significance of a wrong decision made decreases dramatically – because there is a process, organisation and budget to handle it effectively. In addition, this approach will in all likelihood also extend the lifespan of the application – and thus clearly improve the ROI.
What do you think? What would your internal IT landscape look like if this was the common reality?
AlfaPeople AMF (Application Maintenance Framework)
AlfaPeople’s support and maintenance business AMF (Application Maintenance Framework) is a post-go-live service that covers both the functional and technical ownership of the Microsoft Dynamics AX or CRM solutions. The aim of AlfaPeople AMF is to ensure an optimal use of your Dynamics 365 platform. The AMF service is designed to include everything needed to run a successful operation – from helping an end user with Graphical User Interface (GUI) to develop and apply a complex change in the production system. AlfaPeople’s support and maintenance business AMF can also be used to ensure the continuous updates of Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Read more about AlfaPeople’s support and maintenance business in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX here.