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Ten Best Practices for Identity Management Implementation

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, June 27, 2005
3:03 pm

Management of the Identity Management implementation process is as crucial to the success of an Identity Management system as the technology underpinnings selected for the task. My work focuses more on implementation than technology. Therefore, in cooperation with colleagues in the Sun Identity Management practice, we have identified Ten Best Practices for Identity Management Implementation. We recommend these as broad guidelines on how to approach and execute Identity Management projects. We welcome your suggestions and criticism.

  1. Set Strategy – A cohesive Identity Management strategy will set overall objectives and give guidance to individual projects or project phases.
  2. Secure Sponsorship – Project sponsors must have a vested interest in the business objectives of the project, have spending and decision making authority, and retain a cross-functional view of the project.
  3. Plan Quick Wins – By segmenting the overall solution into manageable parts, an organization can realize quick, visible business benefits.
  4. Select Project Leadership – Full-time, proactive project management is essential to the implementation of an identity management strategy.
  5. Define Business Process – Organizations should define as many of the end-state business processes as possible prior to designing the technology solution.
  6. Select Implementation Team – Identity projects should be staffed with qualified, experienced, motivated, and dedicated resources.
  7. Gain Commitment from Supporting Resources – Owners and administrators of managed resources throughout the larger organization must also be committed to identity management success.
  8. Provide Proper Infrastructure – Investing in the proper technical environment for an Identity Mananagement project will ultimately pay off in reduced errors, more effective troubleshooting,and more efficient coordination of configuration components.
  9. Assure Data Quality – Project managers should build time and resources into their project plans for an assessment of data quality and for remediation of any deficiencies.
  10. Conduct Post Production Turnover – Following a formal process for post production turnover allows all parties to set proper expectations for ongoing support.

Each of these Best Practices will be addressed in upcoming blogs. Stay tuned for more.



6 Responses to “Ten Best Practices for Identity Management Implementation”

    Hi Mark,
    Could not have agreed more…

    Comment by Uttam Majumdar on February 22, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Hi, I’m looking for Sun Identity Management Workflow Development Best Practices & Guidelines, do you know a site where I can find some advice?, Thanks

    Comment by Edgar Torres on August 15, 2007 at 9:04 am


    I am not aware of a Sun Identity Management Workflow Development Best Practices & Guidelines document, although I have queried my peers about it. If I find such a document, I’ll blog about it.


    Comment by Mark Dixon on August 16, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Hi,this is chaithanya. I’m looking for Sun Identity Management Workflow Development Best Practices & Guidelines, do you know a site where I can find some advice?, Thanks

    Comment by chaithanya sagar on December 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    check out this Sun identity course, it has very useful practices:

    Comment by Edgar Torres on December 2, 2008 at 8:28 am

    With little technical differences, managing an identify project is similar to managing any IT project.

    About the proactive project management, I have just published an article on the subject: http://www.pmhut.com/how-to-be-a-proactive-project-manager (containing 3 best practices on this particular issue).

    Does anyone know what is the typical cost of an identity management project?

    Comment by PM Hut on February 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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