Setting up the Cloud Programme

Set up your cloud programme for success. Secure Sponsorship with realistic expectations that endure hard times. Manage the risks. Find out how.

This article is part of the limited preview of the “The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap”, a generic roadmap for any enterprise cloud adoption programme.

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Cloud and Enterprises
  3. The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap
    1. The Cloud Programme Roadmap
    2. The First Iteration of The Cloud Programme Roadmap
    3. The Unavoidable Disclaimer
    4. The Roadmap for The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap
    5. The Manual for the Missing Manual
    6. Building the Business Case
    7. Starting the Cloud Programme
      1. Key Achievements
      2. Setting up the Cloud Programme
        1. Sponsorship and Funding with Realistic Expectations
        2. Managing Risks
      3. Attracting the Right Mind- and Skill Sets
      4. Putting People First
      5. Determining the Build-Out Principles for Cloud
      6. Getting Into the Details
      7. Recording Outcomes: The Cloud Guidebook
    8. Iteratively Building the Delivery Pipeline
    9. Iteratively Executing the Delivery Pipeline
  4. A Cloudy Future

Setting up the Cloud Programme

The business case documents the delta leap the organisation expects to achieve by adopting the cloud. However, at this point, the organisation still requires a corresponding cloud programme to eventually deliver those changes.

Sponsorship and Funding with Realistic Expectations

As with most programmes, one of the first steps towards inception is to secure sponsorship and funding that eventually allow to start it. The cloud programme is no exception. Its magnitude and impact however demand special attention in order to avoid unpleasant surprises in later phases.

The ease of eventually delivering the cloud programme greatly depends on a realistic management of expectations

The first step is to acknowledge the fact that the cloud programme is an organisation-wide transformation programme. With organisation-wide dependencies and impact. Touching nearly every aspect of the technology landscape.

As such, the cloud programme can easily have decades (plural intended!) of running time with numerous setbacks and delayed payoffs. There are no guarantees for success and initially costs are bound to increase rather than decrease; they tend to manifest themselves in step functions. Yes, brace yourself for Bill Shock!

Moreover, deliveries will most likely be iterative where the first couple of iterations should we written off as necessary but vital learning exercises. As a consequence,

Not every deliverable will necessarily be business facing and there is a guaranteed delay until the business can leverage the cloud.

More crucially, all previous iterations of a deliverable need to be exited and retired after the completion of a new iteration in order to avoid being slowed down by the weight of experimentation, ultimately harming future progress.

While the above might paint a grim future for the cloud programme, it merely aims to provide a wholistic projection over the course of its lifetime. The benefits stated in the business case still remain but the road to their realisation might very much be riddled with the above lessons learned the hard way.

Sponsors who are aware of potential problems from the outset might be more willing to fund resolving them once they actually occur. Again, a vital ingredient to the success of the cloud programme is managing expectations. Realistically.

Once sponsorship and funding have been secured, the cloud programme can and should be started with an accompanying stringent governance model that keeps the programme honest and increases its chances of success.

Managing Risks

Let’s be honest. The cloud programme is neither trying to building a space rocket nor a deep sea voyager to venture into unchartered territory. But rather roll out a more or less industry standard solution that has most likely been implemented elsewhere before. As such,

The reality is that the programme is much more at risk of failure due to inter-human friction than from unprecedented technical complications.

Hence, one of the main tasks of the programme is to control the rate of change and keep it at a sustainable level using key metrics.

Otherwise, the wave of changes created by the cloud programme can lead to the programme collapsing under the forces it unleashed. Even if it manages to somehow stumble on, the rate of change the cloud programme is able to deliver will slow down to a near standstill.

Controlling the rate of change begins by managing the message and expectations. An organisation that expects the cloud to miraculously solve the majority of its problems may regard most outcomes of the cloud programme as unsatisfactory and hence demand more changes. Regardless of how good the outcomes are within the given constraints. After all, it’s a perception business as much as a people business.

Where unprecedented technical complications occur, they tend to be stem from undetected or unresolved dependencies. The cloud can have very deep dependency chains. Most of them have a more or less industry standard and proven resolution. What they all really need is sufficient lead times.

The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap aims to minimise the above risks as much as possible. Bear in mind that those are only the known risks. Keep a close eye on the unknown risks and try to minimise those as much as possible as well. How, I hear you ask?! Well, again, follow a scientific approach and look for disconfirming evidence.

Attracting the Right Mind- and Skill Sets

Find out more about it in the next article.

So, How Do You Set Up the Cloud Programme?!

While the above Worx for Me!™ when it comes to setting up the cloud programme, you may have an alternative or better way.

Think this is all rubbish, massively overrated, or generally heading into the absolutely wrong direction?! Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn and teach me something new!

As always, prove me wrong and I’ll buy you a pint!


Dominic Dumrauf

An Enterprise Solution Architect by profession, an avid outdoor enthusiast by heart, and a passionate barista by choice. Still hunting that elusive perfect espresso.

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