Meta Data Repository Project Plan: The Rollout Phase
By David Marco
This column marks the sixth and final installment of the five fundamental phases of a project plan to build a meta data repository. This month we will complete the Rollout phase.
Table 1: Rollout Phase Tasks
The rollout phase is the final step of the meta data repository development effort. Three key tasks occur during this phase (see Table 1). First, and most importantly, the repository is rolled into production and is accessible to both its technical and business users (see Table 1, Task ID 5.1). Second, the meta data repository team, the project champion, and the key executive management conduct a post implementation review to compare the meta data repository with the objectives of the original project scope document (see Table 1, Task ID 5.2). If the “live” repository matches the scope document and any change requests that were approved during the development phase, you should have a very successful project on your hands (assuming you did a good job on your scope document). If there are differences between the scope document and the repository, the review should reveal where and how the discrepancies occurred and determine what positive/negative affect (if any) they had on the ultimate success of the project. Of course, the results of the review should be thoroughly documented and, if possible, the results of the project quantified. This information is extremely helpful in obtaining funds for subsequent project releases. Lastly, this is the time to begin planning for the next release of the repository project, using the original project scope document and the meta data integration architecture document as the foundation for the second release.
There are two tasks that I have not listed in the project plan for the Rollout phase; Post Implementation Support and Celebrate Your Victory. First, anytime a new system is moved into production it is highly probable that errors or minor enhancements will be identified by its users. Therefore it is wise to make sure that you have properly planned for post implementation support. Second, assuming that the meta data repository has been a big success it is vital to take your staff out and celebrate the success of the project. The days of assembling an IT (information technology) staff and keeping them together for 10 years or more are over. People will stay at your company and on your team if they feel like they are part of something valuable. Many of us spend more time at work than with our families. If you believe that the time you spend at work is only about the money that you earn it won’t be long until you are looking for other work. So take the team out early on a Friday and visit a local food establishment. If you are the project leader make sure to thank everyone for the great success of the project.
hope you have found this informative and valuable as you begin your project. I want all of you to go out and be successful in your meta data initiatives. Remember that building a meta data repository is NOT EASY. Moreover, there is no such thing as an easy major IT initiative. Look at data warehousing, CRM (customer relationship management), ERP (enterprise resource planning), or E-commerce and tell me if you consider any of these projects easy. No significant IT endeavor is easy, however if you are dedicated, you don’t cut corners, surround yourself with good people, and believe in yourself, you’ll experience great success.