The Proof of Concept (POC): a pragmatic response before launching your Atlassian project


Posted by
Alexandre ALQUIER

February 9, 2017

When an Atlassian project is deployed, the POC becomes a natural – and unavoidable – phase in the execution. It acts as a concrete validation step in the implementation of a project which is radically new.

With more than 1,500 Atlassian projects executed to date and 10 years of experience, Valiantys has built an approach to the POC which is adapted to the Atlassian environment. This methodology aims to be very pragmatic, results driven and permits delivery of the project in Agile mode, meaning it’s delivered in phases and adjusted until the deliverable corresponds to the expected result.

This article aims to present our approach, highlighting how you can benefit from a POC.

poc-atlassian

Why a POC?

Here are the key issues that a POC will undoubtedly resolve:

  • To reassure rapidly the choice for the solution and its capacity to respond to the requirements.
  • To obtain strong user support by involving them as early as possible in discussions, choices and customisations of solutions. We understand that change management remains a major risk for these types of projects and therefore we try to educate future users well in advance of delivery, as this is critical to the project’s success.
  • To anticipate the future phases of deployment by creating a first design of the solution.
  • To identify the first level of risks that must be mitigated.
  • To provide the first elements necessary to define an overall budget for a project’s deployment.
  • To facilitate decision-making with a relatively low level of commitment.

 

How is the POC executed? Our approach

Provide a suitable organisational foundation for the project

The success of this type of project – which is very short – depends on the ability to define from the start a small, competent and available team for the project.

We advise our clients to designate a Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) which will be the chosen intermediary who will intervene on the project with the expert consultant; by having a liaison between the Valiantys team and the clients we eliminate the excess noise. A set of tools facilitating collaboration on the project will also be deployed (JIRA, HipChat, etc.).

Define the POC’s objectives and clearly identify the criteria for success

In our initial meeting we typically address the following questions:

  • What is the goal of the POC? What results should be obtained?

Do we want to validate the adequacy of the solution with the needs and requirements expressed? Or do we want to test a weak point or risk already identified (functions not covered, the need for add-ons, integration problems, the need for a specific configuration, ensure the user interface meets their expectations, etc.)?

  • Who should the POC address? Who needs to be convinced that the chosen solution is correct? ?

Should we reassure the end users of the user-friendliness or functionality? Or should a steering committee be prepared for decision-making on the project?

Understand and analyse the needs which define the POC’s parameters

We organise a workshop between project managers which facilitates defining the needs, analysing the requirements and describing the expected configuration. This workshop’s objective is to assure that all necessary information for the implementation of the POC is accurately described.

Different topics should be addressed, such as:

  • The general view of the business processes which should be supported
  • The definition of the profiles and user permissions
  • The identification of the macro functional and technical requirements
  • The reflection around technical integrations

This workshop should also help define priorities at the implementation level. The objective is not to cover all the needs but to validate one or several cases of important uses that will validate the criteria of success, defined previously.

poc-whiteboard

Show the use cases

Atlassian tools are extremely versatile and sometimes it’s not transparent as to what they can do for a particular use case. Out strength at Valiantys lies in our ability to understand a need and quickly offer the customer a set of very concrete solutions to deal with it. We rely on our vast experience and knowledge which we apply on a daily basis in order to serve our clients. The solutions that we present on our website testify to this desire to share these use cases and experiences.

Solutions for teams:

Solutions for industries:

We organise a number of webinars to present these solutions. Recently, we conducted a webinar around project management with Atlassian tools (JIRA, Portfolio) and the add-ons in the ecosystem (BigPicture, Tempo).

It is completely natural that we integrate these very interactive approaches in the execution of our POC projects. Demos of Atlassian products are offered as well as implementation examples from our Solutions, which we share with you in detail. These are important sources of inspiration for your upcoming implementation phase.

Implement, iterate, restore

The objective of the implementation phase is to take full advantage of Atlassian products along with the add-ons: ease of installation, configuration and customisation. The challenge of a POC resides in the ability of a consultant to implement quickly the parameters and use cases validated with the client.

For this, we adapt an iterative approach (2-3 iterations on average) which allows to show a result quickly and adapt the implementation instantly from the feedback obtained. The idea is to have strong interactions with the client so he feels completely invested in the implementation phase and testing.

For even more flexibility and reactivity, Valiantys offers to host your POC thanks to our Starter Hosting package, perfectly adapted to these types of projects.

poc-schema

The added-value of Valiantys

The POC responds perfectly to the needs concerning:

  • Deploying JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, etc.
  • Upgrading a version.
  • Migrating a solution (Clearquest, ServiceNow, Maximo, Mantis, Redmine, WikiDoc, etc.).

This stays (and should stay) a short phase of the project (between 3 – 15 days of work), so it doesn’t require significant investment. When the client is in the decision-making phase or has already launched a project for implementation, we consider that the POC is the centrepiece in the deployment cycle – creating a significant margin in your ROI.

Do you have a project using Atlassian tools? Would you like to know more about the Valiantys POC?