In anticipation of any new project, one of the most common questions we get asked by project sponsors is…”what kinds of resources do I need from my side?”
Typically, we provide this as homework during kickoff week. In considering the success of a project it’s not only important to discuss who will be involved during, but also as an ongoing resource to support your CPQ solution.
How to Staff Your CPQ Project
Who: The Project Team
Typically, we break down roles according to function and then the time commitment that is required through each phase of the project (Design, Build, Test) as this will vary.
Below is a great example of the resource spread across a typical engagement:
This always winds up being somewhat of a negotiation process given limited availability resources. A great way to minimize this is to front-end as much of the work as possible, trying to get input from key stakeholders within the first week and working strategically with their schedule. The goal here is to make any required follow-up as short as possible.
For example, for a sales resource with limited availability, we would get their perspective of the current sales process and what they want to get out of the new solution once it goes live. Once we’ve identified a workflow of what they want the future state to look like, other resources can fill in the gaps with details.
In Preparation for Ongoing Support
Let’s dive a little deeper into two of the roles featured above as they are critical to any ongoing support programme.
The CPQ administrator role can usually be satisfied by making it the responsibility of someone who is near to the requirements of the project and this is just a part of their overall role within your company. From the technical side, if you are going to be looking to do enhancements to your solution, a development / CPQ technical resource will also be necessary.
With the resources that are going to be admins or technical, it is really important that they have CPQ training. Admins need to have at least Oracle yellow belt. For enhancements, technical resources need to have both Oracle yellow belt (admin) and blue belt (technical) training.
Add Ongoing Support Resources As Early As Possible
Often, clients will want to add the ongoing support team members as the project is winding down.
However, we would recommend including your admin/tech support team in the project as early as possible for the best chance of success. This will mean that they are well-versed in the process that has gone into developing the solution and are more able to effectively support the application moving forward.
Having the support team added as early as possible helps them to:
- Understand the processes that are being developed to understand the new CPQ application.
- Understand all of the parts of the solution so that as the changes are being made they can better evaluate the impact.
- Take ownership of the product because they feel like they are part of the creation of it.
- Set aside fear. Playing an active role from the beginning clarifies exactly how they will fit in and what their future state will look like.
What to Remember
In closing, the most important things to remember when staffing a project are:
- Make sure time commitments are realistic and prioritized
- Strategically plan for limited-availability resources by doing as much as possible during the first week
- Incorporate ongoing support and maintenance resources as early as possible in the project
Stay tuned for a future post focused on change management best practices on your CPQ project.