Friday 12 September 2008

Installation versus Implementation

Back in 2006 I attended one of the most useful training courses I've ever attended, on IMA's Accelerated Implementation Methodology. I've spent most of my professional life as a change agent of one form or another and had even picked up a few good methods, tools and frameworks along the way through my MBT. However, AIM has provided what I would call a great change management "pattern" where I can apply the theory and tools I already had.

Cai Kjaer at Optimice thought AIM was so good, he formed an alliance with IMA to use their methodology in Austalia. This morning I was invited by Cai to head IMA's founder, Don Harrison, to talk about AIM. For me at least, this turned out to be a great refresher on why AIM so useful, and also so important.

It has also given me a great way to explain part of what I do as a consultant... basically:

I help organisations to implement information and knowledge work technologies, not install them.

That might sound like an obvious statement - but when I say I don't install, I actually mean something different from what you might think I mean by install. To quote IMA:

"When we analyze project successes and failures we see that project installation and implementation are very different.

A typical project development cycle ends with “GO LIVE” or “CUTOVER”. We call this the installation phase. While it’s a critically important phase of any project, it alone will not lead to full ROI.

Yet many organizations assume completion at the “cutover” point – installation."

So, what I do is implementation, which is:

"more than getting to project launch or “go live” — implementation means meeting all technical, business, and human objectives on time and on budget. "

BTW Don is a Canadian with a great sense of humour. Because of course, if you are involved in organisational change, you need a very good sense of humour...

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