Monday, July 16, 2007

Risk Management – Sharing the Learning - Scenario 2

Complex Technology

Potential Challenges:

• No precedence – The technology landscape is changing on a daily basis with a new technology making to the market on a daily basis. It is likely that there would be no or less extensive know-how on a particular technology.
• Propitiatory products (typically from small time vendors) do not have much information in documentation and or public domain like mailing lists, discussion forum, “Googling”, etc. available. This increases the learning curve and dependency on 3rd party.
• Sometimes customers buy 3rd party products based on their marketing blurs without much due diligence on the technical information and need context. Fitness of use can get compromised in such cases.
• No estimation methodology, historic data or guidelines are available for such type of work.
• Immature products typically have defects that could get unearth during the development phase

Mitigation Strategies:

• Guide the client, as possible in selecting appropriate products that are fit for use. Adopting a structured approach to product selection is a good practice.
• Doing a proof of concept (POC) is recommended depending on the complexity and criticality of the requirements. Target the most risky scenario for this POC so that issues are identified early one.
• Obtain a formal support mechanism from product vendor during the Design & Build phase. This support should be available at both offshore and onsite.
• Work with the client to define a process for fixing issues in the 3rd party products identified during project execution.
• The contract can be a time and material kind in case the financial risks are considered high.
• Communicate the risk involved with using a complex technology and new product to the client before beginning the assignment.
• The learning from the engagement needs to be collated and made available in the internal knowledge portals for future engagements.

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