Prepare to Successfully Deploy PPM Software

Set the stage for sustainable long-term adoption of your new PPM suite through preparation and communication.


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Your Challenge

  • PPM suite deployments are complicated and challenging. Vendors and consultants can provide much needed expertise and assistance to organizations deploying new PPM suites.
  • While functional requirements are often defined during the procurement stage (for example, in an RFP), the level of detail during this stage is likely insufficient for actually configuring the solution to your specific PPM needs. Too many organizations fail to further develop these functional requirements between signing their contracts and the official start of their professional implementation engagement.
  • Many organizations fail to organize and record the PPM data they will need to populate the new PPM suite. In almost all cases, customers have the expertise and are in the best position to collect and organize their own data. Leaving this until the vendor or consultant arrives to help with the deployment can result in using your professional services in a suboptimal way.
  • Vendors and consultants want you to prepare for their implementation engagements so that you can make the best use of their expertise and assistance. They want you to deploy a PPM suite that can be sustainably adopted in the long term. All too often, however, they arrive onsite to find customers that are disorganized and underprepared.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Preparing for a professional implementation engagement allows you to make the best use of your professional services, as well as helping to ensure that the PPM suite is deployed according to your specific PPM needs.
  • Involving your internal resources in the preparation of data and in fully defining functional requirements for the PPM suite helps to establish stakeholder buy-in early on, helping to build internal ownership of the solution from the beginning. This avoids the solution being perceived as something the vendor/consultant “forced upon us.”
  • Vendors and consultants are happy when organizations are organized and prepared for their professional implementation engagements. Preparation ensures these engagements are positive experiences for everyone involved.

Impact and Result

  • Ensure that the data necessary to deploy the new PPM suite is recorded and organized.
  • Make your functional requirements detailed enough to ensure that the new PPM suite can be configured/customized during the deployment engagement in a way that best fits the organization’s actual PPM needs.
  • Through carefully preparing data and fully defining functional requirements, you help the solution become sustainably adopted in the long term.


  • Jeff Berkel, VP Professional Services, Project Insight
  • Angela Bunner, PMP, Senior Director, Clarizen
  • Patty Bush, Director of Enterprise Applications, Des Moines University
  • Ross Eagar, Associate Director, Project Sourcing & Fulfilment Office, ArcBest Technologies
  • Marion Fina, Consultant, Planisware
  • Richard Higgins, Senior Implementation Consultant, Upland Software
  • Alex Gorman, Director of Professional Services, Clarizen
  • Jon Karnofsky, Application Architect, Atlantic Business Technologies (ABT)
  • Steve Mintz, Owner, CLM Perspectives
  • Courtney Snipes, PMP, Services Director, Innotas

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read this Executive Brief to understand why preparing for PPM deployment will ensure that organizations get the most value out of the implementation professional services they purchased and will help drive long-term sustainable adoption of the new PPM suite.

  1. Create a preparation team and plan

    Engage in purposeful and effective PPM deployment planning by clearly defining what to prepare and when exactly it is time to move from planning to execution.

  2. Prepare project-related requirements and deliverables

    Provide clearer definition to specific project-related functional requirements and collect the appropriate PPM data needed for an effective PPM suite deployment facilitated by vendors/consultants.

  3. Prepare PPM resource requirements and deliverables

    Provide clearer definition to specific resource management functional requirements and data and create a communication and training plan.

  4. Provide preparation materials to the vendor and implementation professionals

    Plan how to engage vendors/consultants by communicating functional requirements to them and evaluating changes to those requirements proposed by them.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Create a preparation team and plan

  • Call #1: Create a project team and plan

  • Call #2: Review the plan and timeline

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Prepare project-related requirements and deliverables

  • Call #1: Determine project-related functional requirements

  • Call #2: Determine reporting and dashboard functional requirements

  • Call #3: Finalize the project-related requirements and data

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Prepare PPM resource requirements and deliverables

  • Call #1: Collect PPM resource data and functional requirements

  • Call #2: Define transition and training functional requirements

  • Call #3: Finalize the resource-related deliverable

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Provide preparation materials to the vendor and implementation professionals

  • Call #1: Present your preparation deliverables to your vendor and/or consultants

  • Call #2: Review, assess, and respond to proposed changes to your functional requirements

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Plan the Preparation Project

The Purpose

  • Select a preparation team and establish clear assignments and accountabilities.
  • Establish clear deliverables, milestones, and metrics to ensure it is clear when the preparation phase is complete.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Preparation activities will be organized and purposeful, ensuring that you do not threaten deployment success by being underprepared or waste resources by overpreparing.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Overview: Determine appropriate functional requirements to define and data to record in preparation for the deployment.
1.2 Create a timeline.
  • PPM Suite Deployment Timeline
1.3 Create a charter for the PPM deployment preparation project: record lessons learned, establish metrics, etc.
  • Charter for the PPM Suite Preparation Project Team

Module 2: Prepare Project-Related Requirements and Deliverables

The Purpose

  • Collect and organize relevant project-related data so that you are ready to populate the new PPM suite when the vendor/consultant begins their professional implementation engagement with you.
  • Clearly define project-related functional requirements to aid in the configuration/customization of the tool.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An up-to-date and complete record of all relevant PPM data.
  • Avoidance of scrambling to find data at the last minute, risking importing out-of-date or irrelevant information into the new software.
  • Clearly defined functional requirements that will ensure the suite is configured in a way that can be adoption in the long term.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Define project phases and categories.
2.2 Create a list of all projects in progress.
  • Project List (basic)
2.3 Record functional requirements for project requests, project charters, and business cases.
  • Project Request Form Requirements (basic)
  • Scoring/Requirements (basic)
  • Business Case Requirements (advanced)
2.4 Create a list of all existing project requests.
  • Project Request List (basic)
2.5 Record the current project intake processes.
  • Project Intake Workflows (advanced)
2.6 Define PPM dashboard and reporting requirements.
  • PPM Reporting Requirements (basic)

Module 3: Prepare PPM Resource Requirements and Deliverables

The Purpose

  • Collect and organize relevant resource-related data.
  • Clearly define resource-related functional requirements.
  • Create a purposeful transition, communication, and training plan for the deployment period.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An up-to-date and complete record of all relevant PPM data that allows your vendor/consultant to get right to work at the start of the implementation engagement.
  • Improved buy-in and adoption through transition, training, and communication activities that are tailored to the actual needs of your specific organization and users.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Create a portfolio-wide roster of project resources (and record their competencies and skills, if appropriate).
  • Resource Roster and Competency Profile (basic)
  • User Roles and Permissions (basic)
3.2 Record resource management processes and workflows.
  • Resource Management Workflows (advanced)
3.3 Create a transition plan from existing PPM tools and processes to the new PPM suite.
  • Transition Approach and Plan (basic)
  • Data Archiving Requirements (advanced)
3.4 Identify training needs and resources to be leveraged during the deployment.
  • List of Training Modules and Attendees (basic)
3.5 Define training requirements.
  • Internal Training Capabilities (advanced)
3.6 Create a PPM deployment training plan.
  • Training Milestones and Deadlines (basic)

Module 4: Provide Preparation Materials to the Vendor and Implementation Professionals

The Purpose

  • Compile the data collected and the functional requirements defined so that they can be provided to the vendor and/or consultant before the implementation engagement.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Deliverables that record the outputs of your preparation and can be provided to vendors/consultants before the implementation engagement.
  • Ensures that the customer is an active and equal partner during the deployment by having the customer prepare their material and initiate communication.
  • Vendors and/or consultants have a clear understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations from the beginning.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Collect, review, and finalize the functional requirements.
  • PPM Suite Functional Requirements Documents
4.2 Compile a functional requirements and data package to provide to the vendor and/or consultants.
  • PPM Deployment Data Workbook
4.3 Discuss how proposed changes to the functional requirements will be reviewed and decided.

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Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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