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    Exploring the Agile Methodology for Incentive Compensation Management Software Projects (Part 1 of 3)

    The implementation of technology projects requires a lot of consideration, planning, and commitment from the project team.  Your project foundation should demonstrate a solid understanding of the business needs, technology, and resource availability to optimize the use of time and budget. Incentive compensation management software implementations are no different, and with the right project methodology, the transition from idea to a successful deployment can be smooth.

    In this blog series, we will cover three different project methodologies and their relative merits and challenges for incentive compensation management software deployments. Each methodology has unique advantages to consider in the context of the project variables, including resource availability, project funding model, stakeholder engagement, and targeted business results. In this first part, we will explore the Agile Project Methodology in an incentive compensation management software deployment scenario.

    Agile for Incentive Compensation Management Software Projects: Get There Quickly

    The Agile Methodology is best suited for projects where the requirements are not clear, but generating an immediate return on investment is necessary. Use this approach to avoid lengthy rounds of requirements and design sessions. Some of the benefits to the Agile Methodology for incentive compensation management projects include:

    • Compensation analysts and other business users are involved during the entire project. This focuses the discussion around the business needs – allowing you to address unclear business requirements to early. This on-going involvement can lead to higher adoption rates amongst end users.
    • The easier change management process in an agile setting is well suited to accommodate the diverse stakeholder groups typically seen in incentive compensation management projects.
    • Progress is more transparent, which makes it easier to monitor the budget and schedule. Again, with a diverse stakeholder group transparency will ensure the representation and involvement of each constituent throughout the project.
    • Progress is illustrated on a regular basis, boosting the morale and motivation of the project team. This is very important for compensation administrators who can experience the stress of being a project subject matter expert on top of their usual responsibilities.

    Agile for Incentive Compensation Management Software Projects: Consider the Unknown

    Teams looking to adopt the Agile Methodology for their incentive compensation management software deployment should consider these key points:

    • The Agile Methodology focuses on delivering practical solutions, which requires less development of documentation. However, this decrease in quality documentation can be challenging to the system support teams after the project ends. For incentive compensation management systems that are truly business owned, this can work well. Conversely, an IT group or a third-party vendor may struggle to own a solution that is light on documentation.
    • Without detailed up-front planning, budgets and schedules are harder to define at the start of the project. This may delay and complicate consensus among stakeholders on the project goals and resource commitments from each beneficiary of the project.
    • Complete user engagement from the incentive compensation team throughout the entire implementation ensures the delivery of a product that aligns with the business needs, however it comes with the cost of their active engagement on top of their regular work.
    • In this model, testing is an integrated and ongoing process, which may raise some questions from the audit team. Clear expectations on both sides must be understood before the project begins.

    In summary, agile incentive compensation management software projects can successfully deliver results very quickly, but organizations must be comfortable with risk and flexible on scope to strike the right balance between resource expenditure and solution value.

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