Make Your Project a Success: Airline 'Must Haves'

Are you looking for ways to ensure your upcoming implementation or migration project is a success? Join Lauren Petty, Sr. Manager of Strategic Projects, Professional Services who will share the requirements (Must Haves) that can guarantee project success for your airline. She will cover tips, tricks, and recommendations for each phase of the project to help you achieve your ultimate project objectives. You will be equipped with ways to prepare data, build a high performing project team, define a governance structure, measure the value of the project, and most importantly ensure product adoption across your organization.

About the Speaker

Lauren Petty has over 10 years of experience in program ownership and product management. She contributes vast experience in agile product management, passion for customer success, and has a long history of delivering results. Lauren uses data-driven insights, industry experience, and influencing skills to champion process and product improvements. Lauren is responsible for overseeing the standardization of travel product implementations and time of value for the customer. As well as working to improve customer experience in PROS projects and ensuring product adoption.

Lauren provides a perspective from both the customer and provider sides of the technology industry with unique experience in both. As a specialist in product management for airline inventory management connectivity, data & analytics. Lauren has experience as a PROS customer who led the airline team implementing PROS revenue management as the Head of Revenue Management at Virgin America developed pricing and revenue strategies and business processes to ensure accurate accounting. Led testing for all pricing and inventory solutions and supported website testing, integration with connectivity, and payments. Managed the Revenue Management team at Frontier Airlines mentoring analysts on PROS RM product to improve competency in the revenue management system.

Full Transcript

Lauren Petty Hi, everyone. I'm Lauren Petty, the senior program manager of strategic initiatives here at PROS in travel professional services. I'm going to walk you through the ways to make your project a success and all the airline must haves. Our ultimate goal is for your airline to start capturing value from our products as soon as we cut over the product. Whether it's implementing our RM advantage or one search. We want you to start gaining value as soon as you cut over. We want your teams to start seeing the added revenue our products bring your airline. In order for this to happen, there are four important phases. First, pre kickoff, then implementation, transformation, and value capture....
The pre kickoff phase sometimes gets overlooked because we're extremely excited about the value the new product can give to our team. PROS' sales team and the customer delivery managers have met with the executives and managers at your airline to explain what their implementation will look like. But there is a lot the airline needs to do before the implementation can begin.

First executive commitment is extremely important. Then, having a clear vision on the project scope is paramount. If a project scope is not defined before implementation begins it can prolong the project. In order to understand project scope, your airline also needs to understand your current business processes and how the new product PROS is implementing will fit into those business processes. And if the airline needs to make adjustments to those processes the keep to add the value of the PROS product.

Next is third party alignment. It's not just PROS and your airline that have work to do, it's also your third party. So we need to ensure that your third parties can make the commitment of the timeline.

Let's talk a little bit more about executive commitment. Your executives are the ones who have sponsored the project at the beginning, but we need them throughout the implementation. They help us form a united team by identifying the internal stakeholders and aligning departmental objectives. They establish the long term strategies for how the product fits in and they involve key decision makers when needed, and they promote the change of implementation throughout the airline and they help us secure support from other teams within your airline.

Let's talk about the implementation phase. Now, this is the phase that your project team will spend the most time with the professional services team. We always hear communication is important in everyday life, but communication is key for a successful implementation. Both the airline and PROS needs to communicate in a sufficient and efficient manner. We have a number of checkpoints throughout the implementation with your project team, whether it's executive level with the monthly steering committee meeting or the weekly scorecard and/or the daily scrums. Data preparation and connectivity is another important aspect of our implementation. It's so important that I'm going to talk about this later.

Also, another important action is to identify the business expert. The business expert is going to have a deep understanding of the business process and the business needs and they'll help drive the test cases that prove that we'll be building. PROS will provide guidelines for testing, but it's your airline's responsibility to build your own test cases.

Like I said, data and connectivity is very important. Data and connectivity is always the long pole in the tent for implementation. Getting the required data in the right format and connecting to third party systems allows PROS to start validating the data and the connections and this benefits our implementation. PROS' project team will provide you a systems interface document and we'll work with you on what data is required for your implementation. Once you have figured this out, you should start preparing the data and any connections with third parties. For example, the RM products need information such as historical inventory and schedule data. If you can start preparing this data after the project kick off this will help us and this will allow our project teams to start validating the data.

As I said, business experts are also a must have during implementation. They need to have a clear understanding of the current processes, a deep understanding of the business needs, and also understand the corporate objectives. This allows for them to make decisions on how processes will have to adapt and improve to add the value to your airline. They will assist the PROS business consultants on change management within the airline. The business expert is also going to drive the creation of test cases.

Documenting test cases: Thorough and concise test cases are a must have for implementation. Remember when building your test cases you not only need to test integration and performance testing, but you also need to test user acceptance. Of all forms of testing, user acceptance is essential. And the key word here is user. This is crucial because they're the people who will be using the PROS product on a daily basis. Once your super users are trained in super user training the business expert and the super users need to start creating test cases. So they can perform the testing for not just integration of performance, but user acceptance so we ensure when we turn over the keys that cut over the product works for the user. Processes do need to change and adapt to use the PROS product, so the testers need to understand this and include this in their test cases.

Since processes have to adapt transform the transformation phase is so important.We need the airline to have a clear expectation of how this solution will work within the airline. And we also need internal champions to help with this transformation without a clear understanding and internal champions. Thus, the implementation will not be a success. This is how this will allow PROS to perform change management if we have clear expectations and internal champions.

PROS' change management consists of training, business transformation, and shadow management. Training will consist of super user training and end user training. Super user training who will prepare super users for substance testing and user training will prepare analysts for their everyday life. And business transformation is where our business consultants come in and we'll discuss the current business processes and implement the best practices to use the PROS solution and provide the best value. And then shadow management will occur during and after cut over where our business consultants will meet with users on the job and assist with questions that arise during the user's regular day.

After, the last phase is value capture. After PROS' P.S. team has finished the implementation, we want to ensure you capture value of the product. You need to always evaluate your current processes and improve them as the product evolves and your airlines evolve. On top of that, PROS can do a revenue opportunity study to show the value our RM products have brought your airline and our consultant team can do a regular health check to ensure complete adoption of the product after implementation. This is a partnership and PROS wants to ensure you're getting complete value of our products at your airline.

Thank you. And please let me know if you have any questions.

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