Tuesday, November 11, 2014

4 things to do to prevent performance failure

A common issue where I work is buying Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software then finding that when it goes live that it crawls along like a tortoise. The promises of the vendor just don't get realized.

As a project manager system performance is a risk that should be in the risk register. Based on my experience it has a high likelihood of occurrence and can cause significant delays in roll out or adoption.

Knowing the risk is only 10% of the battle. the other 90% is what you're going to do about it.

My top 4 recommendations for managing performance risk

  • Ensure the system architecture is adequate. this comes down to the right number of CPUs, disks, memory. Also ensure you have expansion option.
  • Before you buy, audit the testing done by the supplier. Ensure they have performance requirements written down and that the system has been tested against them.
  • Write performance requirements into the acceptance criteria of the contract. Be extremely clear what the requirement is and that you wont be paying unless you meet the requirements.
  • Perform technical due diligence. Get software installed and load test it. Use inspection tools to evaluate have efficiently it communicates, such as chattiness and packet size.

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