The Context of the Problem
Large technology projects, whether the development of new technologies or upgrading current systems or software applications, can be costly. In larger organizations, a million-dollar (or more) project is not unusual. Once a project is rolled out to production, it is important to evaluate the performance of the project. This is generally a comparison of the anticipated benefits used in making the decision to move forward with the project versus the actual performance of the systems of software once in use. Various methods may be used to evaluate the performance; however, it is important to develop a broad set of standards for making an assessment of the systems or software.
Your organization has made a very large investment in the purchase of infrastructure or development of an in-house software application. As examples, the network infrastructure has had a hardware refresh, business analysis data tools have been implemented, or a new customer resource management software tool has been implemented. Your team must assess the performance of the newly launched technology. You will be providing the various stakeholders (user community, project managers, and senior leadership) with the plan to be used for conducting the performance assessment, including the process of collecting performance data, analysis methods, and an explanation of the appropriateness of the methods to be used (the data may be concocted or gathered from a representative system).
As you work through the problem, be sure to focus on reaching these learning outcomes:
- Optimize organizational processes using data analysis.
- Assess the potential of various software to enhance organizational performance.
- Evaluate applications for the potential to improve collaboration, sharing, and lowering cost.
- Manage application development to lower cost and improve quality and customer satisfaction.
- Maximize the return on organizational technology investments.
- Develop application policies and procedures consistent with the Virtuous Business Model.
- Assess the challenges, technologies, and system approach issues in developing and deploying applications.
Step 5: Performance Assessment and Change Management Plan
Presenting the Solution
Your deliverable for Step Five is a Performance Assessment—a final report that builds on the deliverables you created in Steps Two through Four.
The final report to stakeholders related to the performance of a technology investment will depend on what constitutes an actionable performance report. What must the stakeholders be able to use in determining success? In a technology environment, this can often be difficult to define. Stakeholders may not have enough of a technical background to understand measurements from a system. Qualitative measures may be easier to recognize than bytes or CPU cycles. Technical measurement must often be reported in layperson terms. The team will need to assess the data and develop a means to report the data when providing a solution.
The team will need to determine what makes the technology investment successful in the eyes of the stakeholders. The team will need to translate the measurement results to a narrative analysis while providing understandable measurements as evidence of success.
The Change Management Plan to Implement the Solution
Good problem solvers know that finding the solution is not the end of the process; the solution must be implemented. Some solutions are easy to implement, and others can be very challenging. All solutions, however, require a change. It is possible that the investment in technology has not produced the quality of performance originally hoped for. In such cases, good leaders know that managing change requires a strategy. In this course, we will assume your team experiences both success, as measured by performance criteria, and less-than-successful results, in which case your team must reach a conclusion on the solution in the form of recommendations to resolve performance. Now you must develop a brief Change Management Plan to implement the solution.
Instructions for Deliverable
- As a team, prepare a Performance Assessment report that shows the investment in technology was a success according to the results of the solution testing. The report will follow this structure:
- Professional cover page
- List of contributors
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- An executive summary is designed primarily to serve the person who, at least initially, does not intend to read the entire report. It usually states the main points of each section and emphasizes results, conclusions, and recommendations, usually in around three pages.
- Executive summaries are ideally suited to the needs of leaders who are seeking advice about a decision or a course of action. These summaries are called executive summaries because some decision-makers rely wholly upon their advisors to read and evaluate the rest of the report.
- For the purposes of this assignment, the Executive Summary should be no more than two pages and should concentrate on the background of the problem, test measures conducted, and a summary of findings.
- Organized sections of findings (for example, goals of the testing, action steps, protocols, resources, definitions of terms, etc.)
- A separate section in which you develop a set of recommendations, assuming now that the findings of the measurement research did not support a successful investment. You should offer some potential recommendations to mitigate the failed project.
- The Change Management Plan
- References in APA Style(new tab) format (for scholarly or practitioner resources that are cited or used within the plan)
- Appendices (OPTIONAL—attached materials, tools, documents, samples, templates, etc. that are part of the solution)
- As a team, create a briefing in PowerPoint to accompany your team report. The PowerPoint briefing must include the following:
- Statement that summarizes the report
- Brief description of how measures were determined for use in the evaluation
- Justification for reporting the success of the project
- Conclusion that summarizes success based on the measurements
- A brief set of recommendations if the project were deemed to have missed the mark on performing as anticipated
- The Change Management Plan
- If any resources are cited in the report, use APA style to format in-text citations and the references list.