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Running a Collaboration Program is More than just the Technology

January 17, 2014 - 0 Comments

“We already have program management,” is a typical statement I hear when speaking with a customer about collaboration program management.  The unfortunate truth is, most organizations do not have formal program management or know how to effectively manage a Collaboration specific Program.

Instead, when talking about program management you should ask “Why is a collaboration program different and what should I consider?”  Here are a few explanations:

There are many misconceptions about Collaboration Programs, but one of the biggest, and potentially most impactful, is that you only need to focus on the technology design and build.  I can tell you from my experience in running many programs; a successful collaboration program requires a lot more than a successful technology implementation.

I’m not going to bore you with the formal definition of a program and how it differs from a project, but I will tell you that a successful collaboration program typically includes several non-technology projects (component projects) that must be planned and managed in order for the collaboration technology to be deemed a success.  Examples include operational readiness, organizational change management, migration readiness, and more.  Many times, programs fail to identify and manage these component projects.  As a result, the collaboration program slows, business cases fail, ROI isn’t realized, adoption lags, issues arise, and satisfaction declines.

On the other hand, I have personally managed programs where these component projects were properly managed at many large enterprise, commercial, service provider, and government customers.  The positive impacts of following the Collaboration Program Management best practices were obvious and tangible.  The below metrics are some of the major documented impacts.

Steven harriett collab blog _ program management 1_17_14

The impact of “doing it right” in a Collaboration Program, is often best realized in the financials, schedule, and speed of migrations.  The Harvard Business Review found that 1 in 6 programs have a cost overrun of 200%, on average, and a schedule overrun of almost 70%.  By leveraging our expertise and experience, companies ensure collaboration programs are in budget and on schedule. To avoid cost overruns, accelerate migrations and ensure success we developed a consulting based service called the Collaboration Program Management Consulting Service (CPMC).  We have proven collateral, playbooks, templates, and methodologies that we build customer programs with while incorporating learned lessons and industry best practices.

Cisco’s Collaboration Program Management Consulting service offers modular services to address almost every Collaboration Program Management need.  Whether your program is in the planning phase or already in-flight, Cisco can help.  Visit for more information and an exclusive invitation to a live presentation on top lessons learned, hear a case study and learn more about how this service can benefit you and your organization.

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