Action Planning for Unified Communications
Action planning for Unified Communications (UC) is actually very straightforward, though it is very different from planning for a new IP PBX.
For our clients, UniComm Consulting follows a 9-step process, illustrated as:
As you can see, the planning process starts with learning about the market (which you're doing here, for example) and with a review of your organization's strategy to determine which areas deserve the most attention. The next three steps are an examination of the value chain activites in these important areas. You can read more about how to do that in the article Top UC Apps Are Now Apparent. Essentially, you are looking for those processes with significant communications elements in them and trying to find where those communications are not working well today (the "hot spots") or could be dramatically improved with new Unified Communications tools.
Once you have found the problems, step 6 uses a combination of flowcharting, brainstorming, business process analysis, and case study or vendor reference information to suggest improvements to the business process using UC technologies. Step 7 then uses a scoring technique to prioritize those UC apps that have the highest potential payoff with a low or appropriate level of risk.
Then, in step 8, you look at the available products from vendors to find the best tools for the solutions that were designed in step 6 and that are consistent with your strategy in step 2. Note that this phase comes late in the cycle, not at the begining, since you can't pick the best technologies without knowing which problems you are trying to solve.
Lastly, in step 9, you create a UC implementation plan. Here's a Sample UC Plan TOC (Table of Contents) for the UC implementation plan.
The entire Planning Process is available as a two-day Telecom+UC Training workshop, "Planning and Implementing Unified Communications."
We welcome questions and discussion about this topic. Please send an e-mail message to MParker@UCStrategies.com.
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Text (c) 2010 M. F. Parker. Content (c) as indicated.