I am a huge fan of the Conference Room Pilot (AKA “CRP”). What is a CRP? An exercise to simulate the operation of a system, the processes the system supports, and the users who will interact with the system. This is done, preferably a couple times prior to “go live” implementations. The CRP helps project teams identify…

  1. Identify the scope (breadth and depth) of the solution and it’s impact to the organization’s people, process, and technology;
  2. Business process issues that may need to be changed;
  3. User impacts which will require sponsorship, communications, and training;
  4. Gain practical insight of what the software really does (well and not-so-well);
  5. Help develop design (if CRP is conducted early on) and scope development work efforts.

There are many more benefits of conducting a CRP. I recommend conducting a CRP-like session during three stages of the project:

  1. Early in the project, soon after the vendor has been selected. This is often a paper-based simulation that allows the project team to understand the project’s scope.
  2. Following the “As Is” and “To Be” business process visioning. It is a great way to validate the future-state;
  3. Once the functional specifications are defined to make sure the team has not “missed” anything.

Some of the benefits of doing so include:

  1. Less expensive than running a full simulation, a pilot implementation, or full implementation;
  2. Minimize the risk of evaluating and testing the complete solution;
  3. User-oriented and more realistic than system testing.

Give us a holler if we can help you think through your CRP planning!

Topics: CRP, Systems

Miguel Guevara

Written by Miguel Guevara

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