I enjoyed this article from Lindsey Kielmeyer from Martin CSI, our client that participates in several of our peer groups. Being prepared, having project management structures and processes in place, and building trust with the customer are the most reliable ways to simplify the systems integration process. They advocate that the system integrator and customer should start by answering 11 questions together.
- Why is the customer doing this project?
- What pain point is being alleviated or what need is being filled by completing the project?
- Does the integrator have all the information (drawings, programs, standards, etc.) needed from the customer?
- What does the integrator know about the customer’s existing systems? Does the customer have obsolete parts or technology that is no longer supported?
- Is everyone in agreement on assumptions being made concerning the project?
- What are all the deliverables the customer expects?
- How much experience does the customer have with the technology being used?
- How much training will be required?
- What quality controls measures are in place and how does the customer want to handle approvals?
- Does the customer understand your change order procedure and what would constitute a change?
- What defines overall project acceptance between the system integrator and the customer?
To this, I’ll add one more to make it an even dozen … have the risks for the project been identified and mitigated? Many of these questions correspond to CSIA best practices. Check out our website for more information and free resources on improving your business practices.