As a consultant at Big Bang, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great companies over the last little while. However, last January I was asked to be a part of a NetSuite implementation project that meant I would need to be relocated to Texas for a couple of months to work with a leading firm. I was more than happy to jump on the opportunity to work alongside such a well-oiled machine and considering the Montreal weather in January, I would have been a fool to decide otherwise.
The team I worked with during the mandate was made up of around 60 consultants and developers, which is a big change from my usual team of 5. While working with such a large team of talented people, I realized that the bigger the team is, the higher is the need for constant communication and cohesion. Even though the tasks are clearly distributed over the functional and technical teams, it’s essential that everyone stays up to speed with everyone’s work. Each person’s work has a clear impact on what the rest of the team is working on. No matter its size, a team needs to be in sync. While most of the functional team was working on premise, a substantial number of people from the technical team were based in a different time zone. The time difference between the two teams allowed the project to move at a steady pace 24/7. This is an incredibly efficient way of working, which is why Big Bang also involves their Mauritius team in big projects in order to move them along as swiftly and effectively as possible.
As with every project, a consultant must fully understand the client’s needs. However, in the case of a large enterprise such as this one, there is an extensive list of comprehensive needs involved. Like smaller-sized projects, an enterprise-level project like this one requires thorough testing. I personally took part in many quality and performance checks such as functional unit testing, negative testing, regression testing, string testing, and system integration testing.
There is no room for error, as any defect would have an enormous impact on the business, no matter how quickly we could potentially fix it after going live.
No stone can be left unturned. The same meticulous method is also needed for all documentation. All steps must be documented and clearly communicated with the client every step of the way.
To me, this mandate was an incredible opportunity, and getting to work abroad is an experience that I would recommend to anyone who gets the chance. At all times, my peers, managers, and the Big Bang CEOs were there for me to make sure that I had everything I needed to make this project successful. Working away from your home base can sometimes be a little pricey if you take full advantage of the new adventures available to you (which you should), but luckily my fixed expenses were reimbursed.
If I had to take away only one thing from this learning experience, I would have to say that even though smaller and larger projects might differ from various angles, no matter the size of the implementation, the steps and milestones of a project are very similar. A well-executed project, no matter its size, will have a good planning phase, will be coordinated efficiently, and developed and tested thoroughly. The 7 steps you take to ensure that the project team ramps up effectively, needs are documented, solutions are proposed and reviewed, development work is validated and your system is deployed smoothly are important no matter the size of the company, the industry or the platform being used.
If you would like to learn more about the 7-step methodology used by Big Bang please feel free to contact us.