The ICON System, Benefits & Risks
Many of the benefits experienced by users of the ICON System are relatively intangible as it is extremely difficult to accurately measure elements such as user confidence or time savings. The benefits below, however, have all been experienced to varying degrees by existing clients and users of the ICON System.
Many of the benefits will not be apparent initially, but start to take effect after the system has settled in and users gain in confidence in, and dependence upon, the system.
Greater control over brand identity, specifications and project implementation.
Complete control over all change, including processes, monitoring, and approvals.
All information is in one place, resulting in one version of the truth which becomes the ‘bible’.
1.2 Time Savings
Users are able to find information quickly, and download it in readily usable file formats.
Everyone accesses the information they need directly rather than asking someone else to do it for them.
Users only see what they need to see, and are not bogged down having to wade through information which is not relevant to them.
Fast, direct access to CAD library, coupled with confidence in knowing the information is up to date
1.3 Cost Savings
Elimination of direct printing costs
More accurate ordering, less wastage
Potential for fee reduction based upon consultant time savings
Everyone is working from the same information, no contradiction or conflict
Simplified and more effective communication and sharing of information
System notifications mean there is no excuse for not knowing
Encourages feedback for best-practice, cost saving opportunities and other improvements
Allows planning of efficient, cost-effective processes and material usage to complete a project on time and on budget
Improves productivity – people don’t waste effort and time confirming the facts
Helps establish and maintain business processes, leading to greater efficiencies, understanding and confidence
Encourages compliance with processes by identifying what is required of whom, and by when
Enables greater opportunities for cost savings by providing transparency of costs
Establishes greater accountability by showing who did what when
Aids decision-making by providing up to date, comprehensive and accurate information
Reduces abortive work by promoting awareness of imminent change
Improves quality by highlighting where greater levels of specification are required
Allows you to do things your way, adapts to your processes
As future-proof as possible – undergoing constant improvement and development
1.10 Business Continuity
Provides peace of mind in your investment knowing the system will continue to be supported
Reduces risk of data loss by means of secure, multi-location backups
Protects your investment with the option of participating in an Escrow Agreement
A number of potential risks have been identified which are all based upon ICON’s past experience of implementing similar solutions.
ICON’s approach is to work closely with the client to address each of these risks and implement measures to:
a) Reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring
b) Limit the impact of the risk.
2.1 Scope Creep (High)
Risk: As further investigations are made it is possible that additional sources of data will surface.
Action: Ensure that data sources are thoroughly investigated and documented (with current examples being made available) prior to migration.
Risk: As more people become aware of the project they may have additional functionality requirements.
Action: Additional functionality can be added as it is required. It is, however, important to ring-fence, deliver and sign-off each phase of work prior to embarking upon additional aspects.
Risk: The initial scope of the project is under-estimated due to insufficient access to existing systems.
Action: Conduct a thorough investigation of all possible sources, systems and influences. Consider phasing of delivery if scope exceeds required timescales.
2.2 End User Cooperation (Medium)
Risk: End users don’t really ‘buy-in’ to the new system and persist with bypassing formal channels.
Action: Gain support of senior management and issue high-level directive instructing compliance with system. Provide thorough training to ensure understanding, and encourage feedback to address ongoing user issues.
Risk: Information providers fail to keep the information up to date following the initial launch.
Action: Ensure that it is part of the information providers’ day-to-day job to maintain the integrity of the information. Make sure that they know what this involves, have time to do it, and that it forms part of their personal targets.
2.3 Expectation Management (Medium)
Risk: Misunderstanding of the end-product due to either initial over-selling or mis-interpretation of the brief.
Action: Prepare a demonstration showing how the system will work using actual client data or examples of scenarios similar to those identified by the client. Request references from existing clients.
2.4 Client / Consultant Participation (Medium)
Risk: If the client (or its consultants) do not contribute information when required, provide timely answers
to queries, or participate in the checking and sign-off process then it is likely that timescales will slip.
Action: Identify all information providers and engage them in the delivery process. Agree timescales and deliverables, and ensure that all parties are aware of what is expected of them.
Risk: It is possible that not all information providers will agree with ICON’s re-working of their information and will insist upon the original format being maintained.
Action: Migrate a small sample of data and demonstrate to the information provider(s) how it is integrated with, and complements the remainder of the specifications; encourage a ‘bigger picture’ mentality and discourage ‘it’s always been done this way’ thinking.
2.5 Change Management during Migration (Low)
Risk: Changes occurring to documents and data which have already been processed but are not yet live.
Action: This risk can either be eliminated by applying a freeze to all specification change during the migration process, or it can be managed effectively by implementing a short-term notification system to publish change in parallel with the migration (i.e. maintain existing system until new system is live).
2.6 End User Compatibility (Low)
Risk: It is possible that some users may be running incompatible browser / platform combinations or that they have insufficient connection speeds.
Action: The ICON System has been designed to operate within the parameters set out below:
Operating System: Windows (XP, Vista)
Browser: Internet Explorer 6
Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768
Java Settings: Enabled
Security Settings: Medium
Additional Software: Adobe Acrobat Reader
2.7 Sponsor Change (Low)
Risk: If the project sponsor moves on, this could result in a loss of support and drive to reach the end goal.
Action: Ensure several members of senior management are involved and committed, allowing a substitute sponsor to be appointed if necessary.
2.8 Unforeseen Complications (Low)
Risk: It is possible that restrictions either in current technology, 3rd party software or inherent within the system will require some form of compromise solution.
Action: Investigate known IT restrictions, liaise with client’s IT Department, perform client-based usage of demo system to identify possible issues.