• Cathal Doyle

Post go-live: when has an Anaplan or IBM Cognos project really delivered?

You’ll have recently seen the news reports about the new skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in London: the concave shape and reflecting panels on the new building reflect sunlight onto a nearby street. The intensity of this reflected light has so far melted parts of a car, a bicycle and has required the building owners to block off some surrounding pedestrian areas. Terms like ‘death ray’ are being bandied about, which never sounds good.

This building was designed and built by some of the leading people in that profession, cost over £200m, and went through rigorous planning permission and testing from 2006 before construction started in 2009. The issue of reflecting sunlight was well anticipated in this case and clear steps were taken to avoid the problem. However, something clearly didn’t go according to plan as problems have been widely reported. I have no doubt that the those responsible for the building will take care of the problem, but it made me think that they would probably rather not have had to face this issue, and would have expected that it would have been designed out during planning and before build.

The plain truth is that these things just happen sometimes. Even during Cognos and Anaplan implementations, despite everyone’s best efforts to design the correct solution and test out any potential problems, there will always be the requirement for a stabilisation period after go-live. That is when we pick up unforeseen problems. A Cognos or Anaplan project is never complete until stabilisation is complete: go-live is just milestone, stabilisation comes next, and then the project is finished and sustainment starts.

So I recommend keeping the champagne on ice until everyone has been using the solution in anger for at least one cycle after go-live: and no death rays, please…