Multiple Phases, Multiple Timelines

I’m about to begin planning for a new project.  This one’s a bit complicated, in that we’re going to roll out different functions at different points in time.  Each go-live will be the culmination of a phase, and of course, each phase includes various stages.  Of course, there will be two major upgrades during the course of the overall project – this is Workday, after all, and they do three a year.  Even better, we’re doing both U.S. and Canadian payroll, so we have to figure out how to run parallel tests against the two current payroll systems.  There are a total of four systems with current data to be converted, plus a bunch of integrations to other system to be developed.  There are even several completely new integrations which will replace current processes that are entirely manual.  Does your head hurt yet?

Obviously, I need to look at this graphically in order to identify the interactions and possible dependencies.  So, I used Visio to plot a view of the timelines of the four phases and the two upgrades.  The next step is to identify the deliverables for each phase, build a WBS, and then try to schedule it out.  Along the way, I need to develop a management plan for the various implementation tenants (Workday-speak for “instances of the software”).   I’ll also need work with Scott, the Conversion God, to figure out the details of migrating phases 2 through 4 to a working production system.  We do it when we need to, but three times in four months will require some detailed planning.  Especially for the payroll phase, as we bring in year-to-date balances from multiple sources.

You might see some more posts on this project, as it evolves and as time permits.


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About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty five years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including SaaS solutions like Workday and premises-based ERP solutions like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. In addition to his articles and blog posts, he curates a weekly roundup of articles on project management, and he has authored or contributed to several books on project management.

4 thoughts on “Multiple Phases, Multiple Timelines

  1. Dave, I really like your diagram. It is visually informative and elegant. Looks like you and your team will be very busy for a while. I am interested in if you plan to add more detail to your overview Visio as you flesh out your WBS and dependencies.

  2. Glad you liked it, Sandra. I’m working on a high-level Gantt chart, to make it easier to add detail lines from my WBS. I also need to work out how we’re going to share the tenants, which is Workday-speak for instances of the software. Once we have the Phase 1 system in production, we’ll need to test the subsequent phases against whatever is current. In addition, we’ll have dependencies between Phase 3 and Phase 4 in a lot of the choices to be made. So, we’ll have to schedule all of the phased activities as a single project.

    It’s an interesting exercise. I’ll share more of it as it develops.

  3. Hi.. love the diagram. do you happen to have a template or similar to set this up? I have been trying for a while but this is exactly what I am looking for.

  4. Hi Thomas,

    I’ve EMailed the Visio file for the diagram to you. I hope it’s useful.

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