I had a terribly busy time. Tones of work. Lots of new projects in preparation. And that's mean lots of "how long it will take?" and "what will be the cost?" questions. I answer these questions too often ...
Some of the "foresight" work that I did lately was for several Enterprise IDM projects. It was not a difficult task as already lived through some projects in this area. I've considered the size of the target organization, number and types of systems there, the experiences of implementation team and especially the issues (  ) that are likely to be encontered in the projects. And I've produced the estimations.
The projects were quite different. Different organizations, different set of systems, expected deadlines and even different size. But one thig was allways common: the customer reaction. In all the cases the reaction was "Oh, that's too much!".
It surprised me the first time. Aren't the customers aware of the things that the project may uncover? And I've realized that they are not. The customer expects that deployment of IDM solution will be like installing a fridge. You buy it, plug it in, turn the switch and it works. It does not.
Any Enterprise IDM project will need some part of software development. Most obvious case is a development of custom connectors to exotic systems. While that is usually the most time-comsuming part, it is not the most important software development task. There will be a need to customize user interface, workflow processes, reconciliations tasks. And there usually are requirements to integrate the IDM solution with organizational structure sources and task listing applications.
Enterprise IDM solutions are no easy projects. These are definitelly not a turn-key solutions. They needs to be customize. Why? Because the primary goal of Enterprise IDM project is not a simple process automation. The real goal of these project should be cleaning up the mess that piled up in the digital cellar for all the long years.
And that is not an easy task ...