TechRepublic featured a good article about “the 10 best practices for successful project management“. These steps give you a good outline of the things you should cover. Have fun reading!
Listening to the sales talk
Sales persons in regards to IT software always say it’s easy to install & use. Yet from experience we know that this is correct if it’s done without straying from the path they had in mind. This being a “default default default” installlation without attempting to do anything “custom”. I use the term “custom” here very lightly, as mostly deviating from using a superuser will turn the application useless. Yet sadly enough, such a default installation is something that never occurs, unless you want to accept the given application as an “island” within your IT environment.
Integration & Maintenance are key!
The biggest downfalls of software is situated within Integration and on maintenance. If the integration part isn’t advertised during the sales round, then you can probably forget about that. To be clear; integration meaning when you want to use the data from a given application into another.
Good maintenance is a bulletproof installation which will last for ages! To be honest, I have yet to see an external party who thinks about the long term and therefor set up a system that’s rock solid and won’t budge even if an earthquake occurred. Most vendors think merely in regards to sales, where an unstable application provides them with billable hours (“consultancy” or support services).
As every management book tells you, think about our TCO. What’s that first character stand for? TOTAL… being the costs you’ll accumulate over the years. Looking short term will give your a big increase on maintenance which should not be treaded lightly. F*cked up installations are dreadfull to manage and will (Note: WILL, not might) give you disruptions in your availability. How much is such a downtime worth to you?