3 Pillars of Software Implementation - Part 3

March 12, 2024
Success is their Top Priority

By John Bennett, Project Controls Solutions Lead at Locana

Locana is a Deltek-authorized partner and has been delivering Cobra, PM Compass and other Deltek solutions successfully to infrastructure, government and defense clients for more than five years.

I recently presented the Success Pillars of Software Implementation at Deltek Project Nation Live in London to a packed audience. My session included the three key pillars applicable to project controls software implementation: People, Processes and Products. Under these pillars, I identified the points that will make the difference between a mediocre project and a great one.

This blog discusses the third pillar, Products. The first and second pillars, People and Processes were outlined in separate blogs. 


1. Support/knowledge base

Make use of the Deltek Support Services knowledge base. It is a good approach for a team to get used to using all the support tools Deltek offers. If some articles aren't useful, users can use the feedback functionality to give report and make suggestions. In addition, Deltek has Idea Portals where users can request new features, upvote other requests and see updates on the progress of requests.

The implementation partner would probably have seen most product issues before, so they will be able to guide the client team towards the most useful support channels. The partner should be on hand during the critical stage after implementation to answer questions and offer guidance on potential issues and support channels. 

2. Architecture options

Talk to your teams to find out what works best. For example, before pandemic when most people were office-based, systems were set up for that arrangement. Then, during the pandemic, teams were suddenly working from home, and some teams were still not back to full office time, as organizations embraced hybrid working and associated benefits for the individual and the employer.

Now, it's best practice when designing the appropriate architecture to consider where the users will be working from and configure the Deltek PPM product solutions in the best way for users to access from their individual locations. 

3. Clean user interface

Consider removing the distraction of buttons and features that are not going to be used through configuring the Deltek Enterprise Project Management Security Administrator (EPMSA). This will help user adoption by giving a cleaner, specific interface that only shows what is needed and is less crowded. Often, applications can feel overwhelming when switched on for the first time. This can be avoided by removing unnecessary features, making the first impression more pleasing, straightforward and easier to learn. 

4. Boundaries

Nowadays nearly all applications can deliver multiple outcomes. Just because a product can do something, doesn't mean it should! Understanding where there are overlaps and focusing on the core strengths of each product will produce more efficient workflows. Often, the end goal is to remove spaghetti systems, so it is best practice to consolidate but also to deploy the best applications for certain tasks. 

5. Version roadmaps

Gone are the days when software could be installed and left for years without upgrades. World events and the increase in cyber-attacks have prompted Deltek to update its software frequently to address vulnerabilities. Deltek prefers an N-1 approach to supporting their products and publishes support lifecycles on Deltek.com.

Out-of-date versions expose systems to unnecessary risk and do not add up on a cost-saving basis. Leaving software behind for too long makes upgrades more expensive, time-consuming and prone to error. 

6. Stage your changes

Do consider having at least one separate environment to develop and test changes, patches and upgrades, before affecting the live environment. Learn there before affecting real users, systems, people and data. 

7. Take backups!

You'll never regret taking backups, you'll only regret not taking backups! Take as many backups as practical, as often as needed. 

How Locana Can Help

Are you interested in learning more? Locana's culture of competence and transparency has built an enviable reputation in the UK over the past 30 years. Our professional services organization has successfully implemented Deltek PPM software solutions for years. The team’s knowledge base is robust because it is comprised of people dedicated to our clients’ success. 

With customers ranging from 1 to 12,000 users, Locana has a track record of accomplishment working with a range of software combinations and processes in teams of varying size, scale and complexity. In addition, Locana is not solely aligned with any one vendor and is truly independent with multi-vendor expertise, so it is able to advise based on each individual situation depending on the requirements of the organization.  


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About the Author

John Bennett is a Principal Consultant and leads Locana's Project Controls team in the UK. He is an expert for many of the leading Project, Programme and Portfolio Management products whether delivered through cloud and subscription models or traditional on-site deployments. John has a background in providing high quality IT services and has over 25 years of experience in setting the strategy and roadmap for the delivery of complex integrated business solutions across multiple industry sectors.