In present scenarios it is not possible to sustain business competitiveness without going digital. Be it, Lean Six-sigma method based technology, digital is the keyword. Today, process transformation is a new approach; It imbibes DevOps practices, goes Agile or even migrates to Cloud. And this is where project and program management comes into the picture. Furthermore, these two corporate strategies can get us desirable results. But, all this occurs in constrained environment under the watchful eyes of various stakeholders.
Now let us focus on project management with a small example of a cloud migration project. In such a scenario, we will be considering shift of n-premise IT infrastructure services to a cloud vendor. Such a project is a large complex project with a huge risk and we know that there are several cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.
Let us understand what is Cloud computing?
A cloud is a remote virtual pool of on-demand resources offering compute & storage. These can be deployed at scale using virtualization. There are several deployment models available; for e.g. public, private, hybrid & community clouds. There are several service models also available like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, Xaas. But before any project, it is wise to perform a feasibility study.
Furthermore, it is needed to assess whether it is possible to deliver the desired outcomes and also justify a profitable business case which will include reasons or justification.
Now, let us assume that a business case turned out to be positive. The project approval was on the basis of on-foreseen benefits & objectives. Furthermore, benefits reduce capital expense as the IT infrastructure need not be procurable. Hence, in this project, they would be relating to internet connection speeds. This may be compared to in-premise access, cloud security, a cost of pulling data from the cloud, etc.
A project has more to do than doing tasks and it is more about organizational transformation. Thus, significant changes in roles & responsibilities, processes, etc., would occur. In addition, there would also be risks associated with business service & HR morale reduction
As always, in any project, time management is the important factor. A detailed schedule will have to be prepared based on the work done. Due to the nature of this project, a phased approach will be essential. Activities like security configuration & cloud configuration testing will also be there. The project manager should know & integrate project aspects. Thus, the technical aspects are necessary to create a practical schedule.
Also one of the key area is procurement. A decision on cloud vendor selection being one can done on basis of considerations like data retention capabilities, pricing, support, future capability plans etc. Being a large & complex IT project, it is advisable to first establish a proof of concept as this is one of the formal project management techniques for project scoping. Wherein a scaled down version of the solution is to provide & show. This builds confidence for delivering the bigger project.
In certain cloud migration projects, technical risks make up a major part of the project risks. Think about going live in such a project & closing the project. And it is going to be a complex method because remember switching from the in-premise to cloud environment must happen now.
Furthermore, the movement of services from in-premise to cloud be gradual. Project management is a science & an art. Thus, some domain knowledge is essential for this course.