These range from long term strategic IT reviews and roadmap planning, on premise upgrades, system improvements and re-designs to through to greenfield IT infrastructure deployments. In recent years we have also extended our capability to include co-location, cloud hosting and managed services.
Regardless of the specific client requirement, our approach to assessing a company’s requirements is based on an agreed set of core principles and allows us to work to a pre-defined methodology. This enables us to navigate our way through the assessment phase with predictable success, regardless of the underlying technology or specific client requirement.
Over the years we have developed this approach and now refer to this specific activity as the ‘Techworkshop’. The Techworkshop is the initial due diligence, requirements definition and scope definition activity that enables both ourselves and our clients to determine whether an IT strategy, project or roadmap is viable both technically and commercially.
Based on many years’ experience in designing and deploying complex IT solutions, we have developed and refined the Techworkshop approach. The Techworkshop fits into most recognised project management methodologies and is usually the first engagement that brings ourselves and our clients together. In this instance it will be used as our primary activity to help define the IT strategy and roadmap, and may also include supporting information to help build a business case.
Complexity – Understanding the technical and commercial nuances of developing an IT strategy and roadmap is important as there can be many complexities in terms of service transition, project delivery and ongoing support.
Risk – Understanding and mitigating risk early on is an essential part of successfully defining an IT strategy and roadmap that meets The Samaritans specific objectives.
Investment – Understanding the costs of maintaining and supporting the proposed IT strategy and roadmap is key to building a clear and concise business case.
By engaging with System Professional at the earliest point within the project lifecycle, the above characteristics can be managed and mitigated through successful delivery of the Techworkshop.
The Techworkshop comprises of four core key activities;
1. Planning and Preparation – This involves the mobilisation of a suitably skilled team who will review all relevant IT and business related documentation prior to the onsite workshop activities.
2. Current State Assessment (CSA) – This looks in detail at the current IT / business environment and how it pieces together, making sure that any gaps are understood by both parties.
3. Detailed Requirements Definition (DRD) – A detailed examination of what the client wants to achieve, from both a business and technical perspective. These requirements are then challenged, prioritised and time lined.
4. Solution Scenarios and Recommendations (SSR) – With a fundamental understanding of the CSA and agreement of the DRD, we are then able to develop bespoke solution / service scenarios and recommendations.
The following diagram demonstrates the Techworkshop approach with the key activities outlined during each phase.
Following the Techworkshop, we will typically compile a report documenting the CSA, DRD and SSR. Within this report we will also define the key IT strategy initiatives that have been identified, along with budgetary costs.
The intention is that the Techworkshop is low investment, both in terms of cost and resources for both parties. This can often be used to ‘sanity check’ a strategic initiative or project and to verify whether the project is viable.
Similarly, it is possible that as a result of delivering a Techworkshop that a client may decide not to proceed with the project as issues may have been highlighted that they were previously unaware of.
Feedback from clients where we have delivered the Techworkshop activity has highlighted some of the following benefits: