Thought Leaders

How Many People Does It Take To Change A Cloud Lightbulb?

The urge to create a work of art on MS Project by lunch time is overwhelming. As you start drawing the blue lines your inner voice whispers quotes from Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by”.

Your GANTT may be a visual work of art. All those lovely blue lines with roles with guestimates against them. Kind of makes you feel you are in control. Certainty on time, cost and quality has been predicted. There you go folks…here is a plan. It took me half a day. We have a plan!!!

Actually, you don’t. What you have is a picture with nice blue organised lines and some job titles.  What you have is the illusion of control. On the upside, you looked busy on your first day.

Every project manager is taught that project management is the creation of a temporary management environment to achieve this, that and the other. In any cloud migration to Google, Azure, Amazon, or indie Managed Service Provider there are some common ingredients to make the migration a success. The no brainers are all the things we are taught and know that make a project successful.

So where to start and what to do first on a cloud migration gig? With anything transformational there is always scepticism. Scepticism about your own ability to deliver anything transformational. Scepticism about your team’s ability to deliver anything transformational. Internal scepticism about the actual solution. The combined effect is to create procrastination within yourself and across the organisation. What you need is a reason to overcome the procrastination along with a reason to keep everyone’s attention on that reason.

Common sense would dictate that a migration to cloud should start with a low criticality business application. Taking a tip from the students of Sensei Ohno, we need to look at misconceptions in that common sense.  The low business critical app approach does not get attention. Who cares if the SharePoint app storing information about health and safety policy goes in the cloud?

It’s a different story if the migration programme starts with a business critical application. Since the app is important to the organisation a sense of urgency is created – because when you play around with something business critical important people notice. There’s nothing like doing something where failure is not an option to focus hearts and minds. A successful outcome is proof that it can be done, which can literally kill off all forms of scepticism.

Donato Piccinno, author of ‘The Ultimate IT Project Manager,’ is an MBA graduate and accredited project manager with 20 years cumulative experience in FTSE 500 companies delivering focused business change, applications, cloud and infrastructure projects. He delivers a broad spectrum of technology propositions managed within client expectation alongside management of organisational change.

To follow Donato’s regular articles on LinkedIn, click here.

Donato Piccinno
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