Most Papyrus Platform projects go quite smoothly and deliver powerful functionality without the need for a complex development project. The broad functionality of the Papyrus Platform enables larger and more consolidated applications, with the consequence that some of the projects in large corporations are a struggle despite the advantage that there is no Java or other programming necessary and that the number of involved people is quite small.
Once Papyrus gets chosen as the solution it means that business users saw something in the demo that they liked in terms of frontend and IT saw the functionality required in terms of technology. Neither business nor IT seems to accept that there is a need to use their specific business data model and interfaces, create the role/policy setup for authorization, define the building block objects, setup the administration workflows, define and test the backend data interfaces (despite XML, it is always the last thing provided for testing by IT), interface the document creation with printing and archiving and some more linkage here and there. Once that has happened the business workflows have to be defined. We always recommend to use the UTA to train them, but often someone decides that the workflows have to be rigidly defined so that they can be audited in advance. So suddenly someone (usually a third party) sits down and does lengthy process analysis.
All the while we are typically training and supporting third-parties who have never seen the product before because they were chosen as the cheapest manpower option. Project management takes a lot of time as well with daily meetings that take away time from implementation. Project planning and timing hardly ever happens according to business needs and IT capabilities, but influenced by company-political turfwars and budget constraints. The later we are in the project, the more management gets involved who know nothing about it.
Then the document templates and components have to be defined by the business users. Instead focusing on that business users come forward with the first change requests to the user interface – that they originally liked. Not too difficult, but it is an uphill battle against time. New requirements appear daily and are made no-go critera without changing the productive date. The planned time for testing gets shorter and shorter and no one takes the time to define proper testcases and acceptance criteria. No people were trained to run production but the go-live date is adhered too. Obviously there are issues and therefore each and every situation is reported to ISIS as a BUG to get support for free. Often there are issues with other applications that we are connected too or network or server issues and these are ALL ‘Papyrus problems’.
Does that sound familiar? Yes, it can get very frustrating! Depsite all of that the team at ISIS Payprus has ALWAYS delivered. The projects that were not taken productive failed after the Papyrus implementation was complete. Look, I am not blaming anyone. I am just stating the facts. I cannot laugh about the Dilbert comics, because they describe corporate ignorance too accurately. But enough of black humor. Let’s look forward on how to avoid these situations. It is really not that difficult!
What can we and the business users at our customers do to speed up projects?
- Create a milestone plan of implementation phases where each states the functional goal or achievement.
- Project phases must not have a rigid completion date and be able to overlap with the next phase.
- Utilize a business architecture team, one or more implementation/test team(s) and analysis/tuning team(s).
- Business architecture should be inhouse IT, analysis/tuning from business and IT, implementation can be external.
- Start with a simple phase that can produce benefits quickly and that allows gradual growth and expansion.
- Papyrus is LEAN technology by design, so it makes sense to remain AGILE (expand iteratively) in approach.
- Utilize teams in a mode that allows overlap of analysis, implementation, testing and tuning for phases.
- ALWAYS COMPLETE the first phase without add-ons, but add new features to later phases.
Overall the project approach would look like this and enable the business users to get early results and be closely involved in tuning the application to the optimal functionality in the later phases.