Service Management projects can have great results when the solution is defined parallel to the process implementation plan. At Online, we believe there are many factors that can influence how successful a project will be. Here are the top three factors for implementing a successful Service Management solution.

Scope Control

This isn’t necessarily an activity of minimizing cost. Rather, it is identifying the customer’s needs vs. wants. It is the Project Manager’s role to be the scope gatekeeper for the team. The resulting solution should leverage industry best practices and maximize configuration, while minimizing customization of the service management solution. This reduces the cost of the initial implementation as well as future maintenance costs.

Executive Support

This goes hand-in-hand with scope control. In order to procure and maintain executive support, the Project Manager needs to press forward with aligning the solution with the desired outcome set by project sponsors and key stakeholders. Aligning tangible benefits and clear communication will ensure the executive support. This kind of support is critical to the success of the project since it provides the momentum necessary to carry the project to completion, as well as ensures all necessary resources (funding, people, systems, and data) are in place for the project execution.

End User Involvement

In a technical project implementation, there is typically an over-reliance on the IT group to deliver a solution which the business user will then have to adapt to. Early engagement of the business users will result in a more efficient plan development and a much more detailed and end user-centric requirements definition associated with the solution design. This, in turn, results in a solution that is feasible and efficient. Finally, since the solution was designed with the end users in mind, having their involvement during testing will help minimize defect and changes.

In my experience, these three factors – while perhaps not trendy or even exciting – really do determine if a project is successful or not. You have to have strong project management on every service management implementation or upgrade.

What are other strategies have you found to be key in your service management projects? Let me know – I’d love to hear about them.