Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ESSO and Healthcare, in the Trenches (Part 1)

I've been involved in the early stages of a fairly large ESSO project as of late. Since it's been a while since I've been involved hands-on with a project, I've decided to write a short series regarding my experiences. The goal is to impart some practical lessons that a PM could use the next time they decide to undertake an Enterprise Single-Sign On project, with special emphasis on healthcare.

I love working with healthcare institutions. There's always hundreds of apps to support, disparate teams with fragmented goals, and pushy users with lots of power (clinicians). Sarcasm aside, its always interesting given the unique landscape.

Lesson 1: In-House Homework first, Hold Back the Vendors

The client had been embarking on this project for nearly two years. Out of the gate, they called every vendor under the sun to see which products fit their needs. The problem was that they didn't clearly identify their needs up front. The good news is that the client was smart enough to recognize their mistake. They put the vendor calls on hold (indefinitely), and decided to do some in-house homework. The client identified that improving the clinician's experience was their primary driver, which helped a ton with the steps to come (as I'll demonstrate in future posts). They followed this up with the following very intelligent steps:

* They garnered some serious executive sponsorship
* They completed a thorough application inventory


In my next post, I'll dive a little deeper into the two points above. Anyhow, this experience rang loud, especially in light of the recent storm of articles on KPMG's Identity & Access Management Survey findings (here, here and here):

"More than two thirds (68 per cent) of executives surveyed for KPMG’s 2008 European Identity & Access Management (IAM) Survey believe the effectiveness of projects is hampered because they put too much focus on technology and fail to address the organisational and procedural changes that are required. As a result, only a handful, (11 per cent) are fully satisfied with the outcome of their IAM projects."

Ouch...SIs better do something and quick. (I'm sure that KPMG has nothing to gain from that!)

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