3 Pillars of Software Implementation - Part 2

February 13, 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 second pillar, Processes. The first pillar, People, was outlined last month and the third pillar, Products, will be discussed next month. 


1. Start small and simple

Some clients ask to start with a big bang and a huge cutover. They dive in with excitement and expect everything to work immediately. If the system doesn't work with customer-provided data sets, they can't immediately tell whether it's the system or the data that is causing the issue. When things don't work the first time, confidence in the solution is lost. To avoid starting with a huge amount of bad data, it's best practice to start with one or two Control Accounts (AC), three of four Work Packages (WP) with a simple resource and rate structure to build confidence.

Keep the data to manageable sizes, and use data the team has confidence in. Once the team has the confidence that the system is working as it should, larger and more ‘real’ data can be utilized. 

2. Know what your customer needs

Nearly everyone has a customer. Your stakeholders should know what information is of the most benefit and it will grow their confidence in the system if it can deliver what they need. 

The Deltek suite comes with pre-packaged MOD Contract Performance Report (CPR) formats, and these are included in the support roadmap, which means that Deltek ensures these reports function after a patch or upgrade.

All too often, teams create a bottom-up approach to data which creates too much reporting that serves no senior purpose. By starting at the top and finding out the requirements of your key stakeholders you will likely create fewer data sets, fewer codes and less irrelevant reports that won't be used. 

3. Identify projects for first release/pilot

Identify good and bad projects for the first release. Good projects that you can celebrate the success of and build momentum, but you will not learn as much until you get to poor-performing projects or bad data sets, where you'll learn more about the client and the environment. Guided mistakes can develop teams' understanding of the approach to fixes later if things go wrong. 

4. Test manually. Automate later

Scalable solutions are often developed manually. This is to fine-tune processes and develop the best approach to a process or design system before automating it for scale. Testing manually with positive outcomes increases confidence that the other parts of the system are performing as planned.

Once confidence is assured in the integrated state, consider the use of Deltek Cobra APIs and web services to aid automation as a subsequent phase which will speed things up and improve productivity.

5. Plan rollout

Use momentum, confidence and learnings to enable the successful deployment of the solution of the target state to the audience. Don’t pause; don't let the team roll back onto other work because reclaiming lost resources will be nearly impossible after they have been deployed back to other projects. 

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, where I’ll share insights around the Products pillar and how it applies to project controls software implementation.

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.