“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.”
After engaging a vendor (or perhaps even an internal implementation team) to partner with your CSP, it is tempting to throw the OctopOSS over to them and expect them to deliver a bright, shiny new OSS with all the bells and whistles. Do this at your peril. They will deliver an OSS that they think you want or perhaps even what is easiest to deliver rather than what best fits your organisation’s needs. Remember that you are delegating, not abdicating responsibility for your OctopOSS. The CSP needs to lead, even if they delegate many of the implementation activities to the vendor.
There is no doubt that they will have great experience implementing their solutions, so you’ll seek to leverage this wealth of experience. However, you’ll also need to leverage the knowledge and experience of the CSP to deliver an outcome that suits their needs. You will best know the data, processes, networks, services, etc that you utilise on a daily basis and this is what will need to be modelled in the new OSS. Consider the analogy of a see-saw. It’s not a very fun game if only one team is involved. You need teams on both sides of the pivot for it to function.
The more involved your CSP gets during the implementation, the easier you will find the following tasks:
- Understanding the applications you will use once they’re handed over into operations
- Understanding the modelling of data to represent your network and services as well as having enough understanding of the applications to tweak the naming conventions and data modelling to better suit your mode of operation
- Being able to confidently participate in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and sign off with confidence that the solution will meet the needs of your CSP
- Being able to communicate as peers with the vendor’s representatives to customise the solution to best meet your CSP’s needs
- Being able to identify improvements and future possibilities for your CSP
- Being able to identify risks / issues or areas where the vendor needs to improve
Steven Covey’s following Four Disciplines of Execution hold true for any OctopOSS implementation:
- Know the goal – The “players” on the combined vendor/CSP team all need to have a consistent understanding of the goal.
- Know what to do to achieve the goal – The players each have their own responsibilities to achieve in alignment with the overall goal. The player must also receive clear communications to understand and measure their responsibilities.
- Keep score – The players need to know where their team stands in relation to the goal at all times, as well as any variations required to re-align with the goal. A scoreboard provides a clear guide as to whether the team is leading or lagging. To continue the analogy, the count-down clock on the scoreboard is also an important guiding force to indicate how much time is left to play.
- Players are held accountable – All players are held accountable for their individual actions and results. A player who is not delivering to team objectives may require additional coaching or training. The players should know what things they can do this week to contribute towards lead measures and then be able to use the scoreboard to compare whether their actions have indeed contributed.