Thursday, December 4, 2008

Put one foot in front of the other

So as I was watching "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with my son the other night, I realized how many different things the song "Put One Foot in Front of The Other" could apply to, including Identity Management projects!
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walkin' 'cross the flo-o-or
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walkin' out the door.

Many times, people involved with large-scale IdM rollouts become overwhelmed with where to even begin. But taking things one step at a time not only makes the work more manageable, it also gives you some tangible benefits along the way. The first thing to do is understand what you've already got -- meaning, map out current processes, understand the various systems involved, and figure out who the key players are in each process.

Once all of your processes have been identified and documented, start with one or two of them. With your new understanding of these processes, it will be easier to decide on a vendor or product that will suit your needs. And if the product has already been decided/implemented, you can begin work on incorporating those business processes into the software.

If those first two steps seem too difficult, break them down into smaller steps. At a university, maybe instead of tackling all the various user populations, start with only students. Or even only undergraduates. Whatever seems manageable in your environment. The key is to tackle tasks in a way that allows you to complete them in a reasonable amount of time and effort -- this provides not only concrete results, but gives team members a sense of accomplishment along the way. A 2 year project without any sort of tangible results will certainly cause some burnout on your project team. So...

You never will get where you're goin', if you never get up on your feet! Come on! There's a good tail wind blowin' A fast walkin' man is hard to beat!