Who on the project implementation should learn how to configure and use Oracle Data Hub (PIMDH) functionality?
Same discussion every time I come on to a project. It is very confusing to organizations starting an Oracle PIMDH project what the difference between training and “knowledge transfer” would be. How do I plan this event? Who are the audience/participants? What is the value to the project?
Difference between training and “knowledge transfer”: Training is specific, focused, scripted, and designed to produce a specific result. Training should be closer to the time that the training would be used. PIMDH Knowledge transfer (in my opinion) is purpose driven like training but the outcome and deliverables are measurements of accuracy and success of an implementation. It is building experts for an organization internally by using practical exercises, conversion of terms, project goals and scope, PIMDH experts, business requirements to design the use of PIMDH. You get as much as you give with either training or “knowledge transfer” as far as personal individual gain but the organization gains design decisions and deliverables with “knowledge transfer”. Training is by no means replaced with “knowledge transfer”. “Knowledge Transfer” is an “enabler” for an organization to make better informed design decisions and project planning adjustments. Training is a specific curriculum designed to instruct a task. Training is a subset of knowledge transfer. Training is always a “one-sided” benefit. “Knowledge Transfer” is a two-sided gain. All parties on the PIMDH team inside business experts and outside Oracle PIMDH experts have mutual gain in properly conducted and measured knowledge transfer.
Who’s appropriate?: First, identify the full time members of the PIMDH implementation team. Business analysts, IT analysts, business process owners, requirements gatherers, developers, consultants, contractors, project managers, etc. Of these people, who will be dedicated full time to identifying and ensuring that all business requirements are fulfilled for the PIMDH implementation? Who will be responsible for ensuring the MDM PIMDH experts deliver the appropriate solution in detail? My best or simplest answer is the people that have been committed or held directly responsible for the delivery of the PIMDH functionality to the organization should be part of the knowledge transfer.
Who is not appropriate to attend knowledge transfer sessions? Consultants hired as PIMDH experts who are not directing the knowledge transfer should not be attending actively. They, of course could “audit” the worksessions but not be disruptive. Nothing is worse that another consultant trying to show his/her expertise by offering semantic arguements at the beginning of knowledge transfer. Yikes! An exception could be management consultants who know a lot about the actual business and have past “off the shelf” PIM systems experience to ensure that translations of terms are more easily communicated. These people are assets to knowledge transfer. People who haven’t accepted the solution decision yet are not very good contributors to the knowledge transfer. If you have these people on board, please speak to them and manage their opinions. It is hard for a new consultant to get project members aligned when there is someone in the crowd who refuses to see the organization’s decision regardless of the evidence in front of them.
How do project managers plan this event?: The “knowledge transfer” should be conducted in worksessions. It should combine the gathered business requirements, the industry best practices in MDM PIM initiatives, a level Oracle PIMDH expert (like me), a rigid agenda at the beginning, software (could be a Vision instance by Oracle at the beginning), laptops for all, a dedicated room for the PIMDH project team members to hold these worksessions, a projector to show software, noise free, and office application software to build deliverables.
What does the organization and the project management get out of good “knowledge transfer” worksessions?: 1) A very well run conference room pilot led by internal resources (optimal) showing the maximized use of “off the shelf” functionality within the Oracle PIMDH. 2) Documented matching of business requirements to scripts proving the functionality works. 3) Much better and more accurate gap identification and functional design document production for development efforts. 4) Accurate and precise data conversion and synchronization requirements led by internal resources (again optimal) 5) Instance planning business perspective 6) Organization will have more internal resource PIMDH experts versus relying heavily on external expensive consultants in the long term.
Does “Knowledge Transfer” replace consultants? In the long run beyond go-live the answer is yes, YES, and absolutely YES. In the short run, it takes several implementations for a great Oracle PIMDH expert to offer perspectives that lead clients to faster and high quality design in configuration and integration with other systems.
Expectations of success in knowledge transfer:
1) Expect to conduct a conference room pilot or a configuration validation event where hopefully internal resources will lead a presentation and live demonstration of business requirements being met by Oracle PIMDH.
2) Expect that any gaps identified during the knowledge transfer sessions will be presented with more focused and accurate functional and technical specifications for solutioning.
3) Expect your internal trusted team members to rely accurate project reporting on Oracle functionality because they have personally seen and have been involved hands on with the off the shelf software.
4) Expect design and design adjustment meetings to become less and less dependent on external resources. Implications to change can be handled inside the meeting because the internal decision makers are enabled to literally plan and make the change themselves.
5) Expect collaboration between business and technical resources to be much tighter and smoother. Things are much more understood when everyone is talking the same terms and product knowledge.
6) Expect the business analysts and system analysts to be mutually responsible for the configuration of the software and unit testing the extensions.
I realize that I am not the wiki definition expert in this blog. There are other opinions on knowledge transfer. I only express my stern and steadfast opinion that the key to success and acceptance of Oracle PIMDH implementation is the quality of the knowledge transfer. I claim to be an expert so I should have an absolute opinion.
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