What is the IT role in a G Suite project?
First of all, the IT has nothing to do with making the decision of going G Suite… They may influence the decision but they don’t make it. Simply because this type of decisions is a business decision in the first place. The more critical job of the IT department is to facilitate this shift and transfer to a new philosophy and technology. The business management will see the product functions and usability through end users who are getting the support they need from IT.
So how are the IT going to affect our project?
End users will complain to IT for issues they face daily. And here comes the core problem. If the IT team are reluctant to work on this, or if they are incompetent in communications with the G Suite deployment team, the issue will sit unresolved for a long period of time! Of course the effects of this will go up the chain to the managers of who complained thus creating this negative feeling that G Suite is causing us issues before we even start using the service!
On the other hand, if the IT team communicated the problem effectively and worked with the G Suite deployment team to resolve the issue, the feedback and impact will be much less and might be even a positive impact that all the issues are being resolved quickly without causing any downtime or effects on the work flow.
What to do in this situation when you face such a bad IT team?
Keep your channel open with the IT team with constant catch up calls, and quick conference calls/face to face meetings
This is an important activity because it ensures that the customer’s IT team is still in the middle of the implementation and they are always going with the new changes and activities. It is also good to have them perform some tasks to assist the deployment team. It is actually a required thing because they are in the direct line with their users so they need to be well trained and competent when the time comes to handover the project.
The importance of these activities also comes from keeping the IT team and their management up to date with all the issues in the project. This is good to give them the trust and the confidence that nothing wrong is going on or no major issue is being recorded or ignored.
At the end, we want to get the users’ complains to be resolved before they reach the deployment team! The deployment team should only worry about critical and large issues that may affect the project overall.
Push for a quick go live date to remove all coexistence and dual delivery setup
This setup can be the reason for many issues. Having email messages being forwarded from one platform to another will cause all kids of troubles. Not going to get into details about the nature of theses issues here… But it is enough to say that we must set a go-live date as soon as possible. Most of the problems come from the nature of one platform is different from the other. This is in both the settings, technology used, and the way to handle email… Once we separate the old environment from the new one, we can assume that 90% of troubles are gone! A coexistence and dual delivery setup is only meant to be temporary… There is just no point of making it permanent or extending its lifetime in the project.
Make sure the IT team are the first to get all the training in G Suite!
IT team must get all types of training! Whether it is end user training or administration training. They should be aware of how to use the service as users so they can help them. And they must be able to administer the service for their organization. Many problems come because the IT team are unable to solve an issue… Or even worse.. Not knowing how to use a specific service in G Suite. I receive a lot of complains daily about small issues form our customer IT teams… Issues they can manage to fix them if they had the proper training… While we work on solving these issues with them, the end user will complain more and more… Thus making his boss start to complain as well… And here goes the chain of complains!
So at the end I’d say that every G Suite project MUST start with the IT. Migrate them in the start of the project. Give them all the training that they want. Make sure they are aware of the common features of G Suite. And never leave them outside the project’s loop and cycle. Every member in the IT department will have something to do in the project sooner or later… So make sure they appreciate the deployment team’s work… And make sure they are willing to transfer to the G Suite cloud completely.
The end result of our project is the very critical point that we need to get… Having a customer who had the perfect experience in the implementation project is really important. Of course there will be issues and problems in a project… But the nature of a project problem that is in every project is different from the acceptance or buy-in issue! A project issues dies with the handover of the project. An acceptance or buy-in issue will never be forgotten by users. It will leave its mark on the product that they are using for a long time!