Diagram: Project Roadmap Example
Successful marriages last forever and the husband and wife both fully understand the underlying principles of their enduring relationship. We should consider exactly what these principles are because the same reasoning is also fundamental to any long-lasting commercial relationship, for example, in broadcasting. We all know that a bride-to-be will ask herself at least twice if the intended bride groom is really the right choice for her. In a way, the bride is the broadcaster who is considering the purchase of new, but expensive software to improve workflows in their media operations. The bride groom, i.e. the software supplier/developer, must make himself attractive, understandable, appropriate, adaptable, with a strong and pristine genetic and historical reputation together with good prospects. A well-developed sense of humour can also prove beneficial.
In the same way that the wedding is the gateway to marital integration and happiness, so in the hard world of broadcasting, all the same principles are tested to the limit and we can look now at how large system integration projects are managed with a view to creating commercial satisfaction. Following completion of a successful sale contract, the suppliers’ consultants will visit the organisation in order to analyse the existing workflows and future requirements of the new client. Long experience shows that in order to reduce the project workload, related costs and to increase transparency, it is advisable to first implement only the basic package which will almost certainly meet the immediate needs of the client. User training can now start, and during this period, further system options can be implemented. A gap analysis is then undertaken to assess the further detailed requirements of the broadcaster, allowing proper customisation, thereby saving considerable time and money which frequently arises when all aspects of the project are attempted together at the start. See the diagram.
“It is important to stress that certain conditions are required to be fulfilled prior to implementing the basic package."
"These conditions include: perfect system documentation, thorough system testing and a clear roadmap for future upgrades” says Roman Barton, Head of Provys Project Teams, and continues: “following which, we implement the minimum viable solution with its standard features, no matter how large the broadcaster. This allows us to reduce the implementation risk factors whilst minimising the exacting demands of the deployment process.”
Current project management methodology, when engaged in the delivery of projects to worldwide customers, can be understood as a combination of the following inputs: best practice within the field of broadcasting software solutions; wide experience in terms of recognition of customer needs and understanding their specific requirements; and usage of proven project management principles while directing projects to their successful closure such as the Prince2 framework, SCRUM agile techniques, etc. These generic inputs are then further tailored in order to have the best fit for purpose solution for each identified project. When selecting the way forward one should always take into account all relevant available information, such as the following: scope of implementation; reasons for the demanded change; size and organisational principles of the client together with their project management processes.
As the diagram shows, every project contains at least three project phases: Initialisation, Implementation and Go-live. It is also possible to add a customised development of completely new features to the implementation projects adjusting the roadmap accordingly. The core of the methodology uses the waterfall approach with a focus on the budget, timeline and technical scope control as these project characteristics are often demanded for a contractual agreement at the beginning, and estimates are calculated at early stages. When it comes to a detailed life-cycle of each project phase, the methodology also incorporates innovative approaches taken from agile techniques with a focus on frequent feedback from the customer through the early prototype presentations and an ever-changing backlog prioritisation as the solution advances to the acceptance and roll-out steps.
One of the most experienced developers in this industry, no doubt, is Provys from Prague, who have been active in such implementations since 1995 and are able to bring a wealth expertise and implementation skills to projects both large and small. Close adherence to the principles outlined above is the bedrock of their success with long term relationships in this complex marriage.