When it Comes to SAM, Begin with the End in Mind

You may be familiar with this phrase– “Begin with the End in Mind” if you are a reader of motivational books. This is one of the habits in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Steven Covey. I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with Software Asset Management.

I have been involved in IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) for over 20 years.  I have seen more than my share of failed ITSM and Software Asset Management (SAM) system implementations and often the root cause is due to not “beginning with the end in mind”.

It starts with the overwhelming excitement of finally getting a system that is going to help the business with the ever-increasing SAM workload. Naturally, clients are anxious to get the system installed and up and running so they can start to realize value from the investment that they have made.  An aggressive timeline for implementation is set and the technical design is started. This is usually where things start to derail.

The bulk of the upfront effort is spent on the technical solution and getting the system up and running. Clients tend to lose sight of the business drivers that led to the purchase of the system in the first place.  At this point the company stands up a system with good intentions and turns the product over to the business for use. The business begins to pump data into the system so they can start using it and realizing the value of the system. When it comes time to deliver meaningful information from the system and it falls short, immediately the system is considered defective and the expected value is not realized.

By simply helping the key stakeholders to understand the importance of beginning with the end in mind, many of these pitfalls can be alleviated and proper expectations set in advance. I am suggesting that by gaining a better understanding of and alignment around the requirements, business drivers, expectations, and required outputs of the system from all of your key stakeholders, in the beginning, your SAM program will be more successful.

Starting projects with a comprehensive blueprint of what is considered a successful system implementation is one of the most important things we can do to ensure the overall success of a project and realization of the expected business value. So please, “Begin with the End in Mind.”


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