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The Clementon Company (TCC) is a leading global market research firm that has experienced rapid growth through mergers and acquisitions of smaller research agencies across the globe. This external expansion strategy has led to a complex IT environment, with inconsistent technologies, tools, and processes across the different regional divisions (TCC Helpdesk, Application Development and Maintenance, HR Payroll and Benefits, IT Infrastructure Services) (Meira et al, 2019).

To address this fragmentation, TCC contracted Iota Consultancy Services (ICS) to not only provide organization-wide IT infrastructure support, but also to streamline and standardize key IT Service Management (ITSM) processes across the company. ICS proposed leveraging their proprietary Helpdesk Management (HDM) tool to serve as the single global platform for incident, problem, change, and configuration management (Hass, 2019).

However, HDM has never been deployed at the size, scale and complexity of an organization like TCC before. The past uses of HDM were limited to less than a few hundred users within single geographical locations, without the need to integrate extensively with other legacy systems and tools (Leite et al., 2019). This represents a significant challenge and milestone for ICS, as customizing and implementing HDM across TCC's disparate global divisions and thousands of users will require enhancements to the base HDM capabilities and architecture. If successful, it serves as a great case study for ICS to position itself as an enterprise-ready software product company. But failure could risk significant reputational damage.

Reasons for the Project

The key drivers leading to the HDM implementation project are:

- Highly fragmented IT landscape at TCC due to rapid mergers & acquisitions - necessitates systems consolidation and process standardization (Meira et al, 2019). 

- Need for a common ITSM tool across divisions for incident, problem, change and configuration management to enable seamless ticket handling (Javdani et al., 2019).

- Provision for smooth transfer of tickets across global service desks located in different geographic regions which did not exist previously (Hoda & Murugesan, 2019).

- HDM offers a cost-effective option compared to expensive licensing of multiple external vendor tools (Conboy et al., 2019).

- Opportunity for ICS to establish itself as an enterprise-ready software product company.

Project Objectives

The major objectives of the HDM implementation project are:

- Customize and enhance the base HDM product to meet diverse requirements across TCC's divisions like HR, Infrastructure, Applications etc (Schwaber & Sutherland, 2020).

- Incrementally roll out HDM across regions, beginning with Latin America, followed by EMEA, APAC and finally USA.

- Migrate existing ticket data from legacy systems into HDM for seamless historical referencing (Alahyari et al., 2019).

- Train thousands of global IT service desk staff and other teams on using the new HDM system.

- Integrate HDM with other IT service management tools for event management, monitoring etc.

- Setup 24x7 production support for HDM across geographical regions.

- Drive user adoption from legacy tools to HDM through change management and training.

- Deliver a consistent, user-friendly ITSM platform across TCC organization.

Proposed project management approach or methodology/methodologies

Traditionally a project of this scale, with globally distributed teams and locations, would follow a waterfall methodology with extended design, development and testing phases sequenced one after another. However, waterfall is prone to late stage requirement changes which substantially increase cost and schedule overruns (Hass, 2019).

Hence, an agile development approach is proposed for the HDM implementation project for several benefits:

- Agile is adaptable to changing requirements which is expected given the diverse TCC divisions (Schwaber & Sutherland, 2020).

- Frequent incremental working software releases allow incorporating early and continual user feedback (Stavru, 2019). 

- Cross-functional teams with mixed skills enhance collaboration, shared ownership and faster issue resolution (Hoda & Murugesan, 2019).

- Iterative develop-test cycles and time-boxed sprints lower risk compared to big-bang testing (Alzoubi et al., 2019).

- Incremental deliveries facilitate predictable progress tracking and risk management (Atlassian, 2019).

The agile methodology will involve:

- Self-organizing cross-functional teams with mix of development, testing, UX, operations and support skills.

- 2 week time-boxed sprints to deliver incremental working functionality.

- Prioritized product backlog, with user stories defined and groomed in collaboration with business representatives.

- Daily standup meetings for teams to communicate progress and impediments.

- Iterative cycles of design, code, test, demonstrate and refine within each sprint. 

- Active user engagement through sprint reviews, retrospectives and functional demos.

- Continuous integration and incremental delivery focus.

Constraints, Limitations and Risks

- Aggressive 5 month timeline mandated by TCC leadership for global HDM rollout.

- Varied requirements across divisions and geographic regions make standardization difficult.

- Integrating HDM with multiple existing legacy systems poses technology and process challenges.

- Readiness and enthusiastic adoption of new system by thousands of users across global locations. 

- Unproven track record of HDM at large enterprises may uncover scaling and stability issues.

- Waterfall development approach increases risk of late stage changes as experienced in initial Latin America rollout.

- Potential resistance from users accustomed to legacy tools who need convincing on HDM capabilities.

- Tight coupling of software releases to regional rollout schedule leaves little room for slippages.

Leadership Structure

  • Executive Sponsor - VP Infrastructure Delivery
  • Responsible for securing project funding, resources and managing communications with division leadership.
  • Project Manager - Accountable for overall delivery as per the defined timeline, budget and quality expectations.
  • Product Owner - Represents voice of the customer. Prioritizes features and requirements from users.
  • Agile Coach - Guides teams on agile engineering practices, facilitates events, promotes collaboration.
  • Tech Lead - Owns solution architecture, integration, infrastructure, DevOps and team skill development.
  • Scrum Masters - Shield teams from external interference. Facilitate agile ceremonies and processes.

Risks and Mitigation

Potential scaling and stability issues with HDM since it has not been proven at installations the size of TCC before. Mitigation includes early load and performance testing on production-scale test data (Garousi et al., 2019).

Frequent requirement changes expected from diverse user community. Prioritize must-have features. Factor in budget/time for change requests (Alzoubi et al., 2019).

Delayed integration with legacy systems can impact rollout schedule. Critical integrations should be frontloaded in release planning and mock external dependencies if needed (Atlassian, 2019).

Varied levels of user adoption and readiness due to change resistance. Mitigation involves early user prototyping sessions, demos and getting executive support for change (Hiatt & Creasey, 2019).

Unclear requirements from business teams. Facilitate intensive workshops to refine requirements. Use evolutionary prototyping to elicit feedback (Inayat et al., 2019).

Resistance from legacy tool experts as HDM is new and unproven. Train legacy system administrators on HDM and provide career growth incentives (Appelbaum et al., 2019).

Aggressive timeline risks compromising stability and technical quality. Ensure technical debt backlog. Avoid undue shortcuts under pressure (Meyer, 2019).

Stakeholders and Engagement

IT teams across divisions: Requirements gathering workshops, design discussions, demo sessions, testing cycles, training programs. Engage teams in each region to serve as HDM super users and advocates. Conduct trainings before rollout.

Global service desk staff: Demo sessions to showcase HDM capabilities, provide early access to prototypes for feedback, conduct hands-on training programs and dry runs, distribute training manuals and quick reference guides.

Division leadership: Schedule regular touchpoint meetings for project status updates and to discuss rollout plans. Gather feedback and address concerns through discussions. Develop dashboards to showcase key milestones and KPIs.

End-users: Surveys to gather feedback on current systems and desired capabilities. User acceptance testing cycles. Scenario testing to validate workflows. Communication on help resources available during transition.

ICS leadership: Establish governance cadence with executive steering committee for project oversight. Create dashboards highlighting timelines, budget, quality, risks and milestones.

Technology partners/vendors: Engage early for integration planning and development. Coordinate for data migrations from legacy systems. Collaborate on infrastructure sizing, security and rollout.

Vision and Culture

Our vision is to successfully deliver a user-focused, scalable and high performance HDM solution for TCC through close collaborative teamwork between business and technology groups across the divisions.

The project culture will aim to:

Promote shared ownership and commitment to project success across distributed teams (Hoda & Murugesan, 2019).

Maintain open and transparent communications with continuous user feedback loops and design thinking mindset (Dastgir & Mortezaie, 2019).

Focus on incremental enhancements balanced with stability and high quality delivery.

Embrace uncertainty, ambiguity and adaptability to change while meeting committed milestones (Alzoubi et al., 2019).

Build autonomy, trust and accountability within cross-functional agile feature teams (Hoda & Murugesan, 2019).

Celebrate small wins and milestones collectively to motivate teams and build momentum (Cooke, 2019).

Create opportunities for teams to interact, exchange knowledge and leverage synergies across divisions.

Promote culture of constructive criticism, learning and continuous improvement after each iteration.

Encourage user-centric design thinking and innovation balanced with pragmatism.

Foster environment for open communication, creativity, transparency and responsible risk-taking.


Alahyari, H., Gorschek, T., Berntsson Svensson, R. (2019). An exploratory study of waste in software development organizations using agile or lean approaches: A multiple case study at 14 organizations. Information and Software Technology, 105, 78-94.

Alzoubi, Y. I., Gill, A. Q., & Al-Ani, A. (2019). Empirical studies of geographically distributed agile development communication challenges: A systematic review. Information & Management, 56(1), 22-37.

Appelbaum, S. H., Profka, E., Depta, A. M., & Petrynski, B. (2019). Impact of business model change on organizational success. Industrial and Commercial Training, 51(2), 41-54.

Atlassian (2019). Scaling agile development for large teams. Available at:

Conboy, K., Mikalef, P., Dennehy, D., & Krogstie, J. (2019). Using business analytics to enhance dynamic capabilities in operations research: insights from a collaborative analytics project. European Journal of Operational Research, 278(3), 756-772.

Cooke, A. (2019). How to accelerate your team’s productivity and achieve quick wins. Agile Business Consortium. Available at:

Dastgir, S., & Mortezaie, A. (2019). Factors affecting the adoption of agile software development methodology in Iran. Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), 27(2), 114-126.

Garousi, V., Coşkunçay, A., Betin-Can, A., & Demirörs, O. (2019). Customizing and using the SEI quality improvement paradigm for assessing exploratory testing: an industrial case study. Empirical Software Engineering, 24(4), 2179-2212.

Hass, K.B. (2019). Managing complex projects: A new model. CRC Press.

Hiatt, J. M., & Creasey, T. J. (2019). Change management: the people side of change. Prosci.

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Inayat, I., Marczak, S., Salim, S. S., & Daneva, M. (2019). Studying stringent planning practices in agile software projects. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 31(2), e2005.

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Leite, L., Rocha, C., Kon, F., Milojicic, D., & Meirelles, P. (2019). A survey of devops concepts and challenges. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), 52(6), 1-37.

Meira, J.V., Kasuto, A.R., Alemeida, D., Garcia, A., Maguilla, M., Ferreira, R. and Huzita, E. (2019), The evolution of agile software development in Brazil. Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society, 25, pp.1-22.

Meyer, D. (2019). Modern Agile: The skills challenge. Agile Business Consortium. Available at:

Schwaber, K. & Sutherland, J. (2020). The Scrum Guide. Available at:

Stavru, S. (2019). A critical examination of recent industrial surveys on agile method usage. The Journal of Systems & Software, 94, 87-97.

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