Softline Group // SAM tool implementation: lessons learned

SAM tool implementation: lessons learned

In my previous blog “SAM tool: The first step to maturity” I wrote about what an organisation faces after a SAM tool is implemented. Now I go further back, to the process of implementation.

What are the most common pitfalls? And what are the points of attention for you as stakeholder or maybe even principal of the project? In other words: what are the lessons learned on the ‘organisational, process and technology’ level?


Make sure your organisation is ready for the project. The fact that you will install SAM tooling does not imply that the job is done. On the contrary!

  • The chosen project methodology (f.i. Prince 2) probably requires the participation of one or more of your colleagues in the steering group. Grab this chance to be at the helm with both hands! But be careful: you will have to invest time if you want to play your role as principal successfully. So make sure that you book in that extra time!

  • Be aware of the fact that the implementation and commissioning of SAM tooling requires time. After all, it is a complex product that will affect various divisions of your organisation. It is important to know beforehand whether the internal project members will be able to participate during the entire project, because training new project members will cost you extra time. Time you will need for other tasks!



The fact that the decision has been made to start the implementation of a SAM tool, does not mean that the processes in your organisation have now reached full maturity, or are compatible with the new tooling.

  • Executing a SAM assessment previous to the implementation helps you to evaluate the software state of affairs within your organisation. By validating these data, you will have a clear view of the required improvements and how to match the processes with the tooling. Also, the assessment report provides a solid foundation for a technical and functional design.

  • Include (on site) training on the job as an element of the implementation project. By doing so you will get guidance and you will gain experience through examples from you own daily practice.



SAM tooling is not complex in itself, but to be able to assemble the right data you must be connected with all divisions of your infrastructure. So please pay attention to the following:

  • Don’t rely on the judgement of your technicians only. Have the functional and technical designs tested by representatives of different disciplines within your company to make sure you don’t miss out on any data centre, subsidiary company, in-house services, external location or fusion partner in the roll-out. And don’t forget IT-change management and IT-portfolio management. Not only to discuss the changes that are required for the roll-out, but also to have an early scope on future technologies, removals and migrations.

  • Is the management of your IT-infrastructure (partially) outsourced? Be sure to involve all parties in an early stage in your implementation. All heads have to be in the same direction, preferably before the project starts, because a third party will not allow the roll-out of ‘external’ tooling on the environment that they manage.

Finally some advice for your planning: your will need the help of your own administrators to realise the technical roll-out. Be aware of the fact that they will not be available 8 hours a day for your project!