Posted by Cirrus Learning Center Team on Jan 10, 2024 11:41:44 AM
Cirrus Learning Center Team

Stakeholder communication is essential to ensure any implementation of new technology is successful.  For customers implementing the Cirrus Bridge it is no different. In many cases, customers are retiring an existing Shibboleth service that has been running for decades and provided faculty, students, and staff access to hundreds of Service Providers. Working with many customers, Cirrus has identified that a good communication plan is essential at the beginning of each implementation.  

Here are common stakeholders outside of information technology teams that should be considered when creating a communication plan and a high-level list of the information that is helpful to share.

Service Owners 

The service owner acts as the primary point of accountability for the service and plays a crucial role in ensuring that the service meets the needs and expectations of its users and stakeholders. - OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT [Large language model].

• Project background

• Risks about how the project may impact their service

• Timing for the milestones that pertain to the service, like testing windows and cutover dates

• Request for testing support

• Information about how to test. For example: 

• Update hosts file on an end-user machine or some customers choose to create a testing enclave of managed computers with hosts files pre-configured

• Information about how to help troubleshoot if the test was not successful

• Create a SAML Trace of the failed authentication in the test environment and a SAML Trace of a successful authentication in their current environment and submit the SAML Trace files to the implementation team

How to Perform a SAML Trace

• Convey the expectation of a signoff that the testing was successful by a certain date 

• Request availability to validate critical services are functioning as expected upon cutover 

End Users

People who authenticate to the Service Providers. Communication may be needed if there is a User Interface change or the user experience (UX) differs.

• Ideally, if testing were successful by Service Owners, there would be no need for end users to be alerted.  However, some customers let end users know when the change is happening and direct them on how to report access issues, for instance, contact the Help Desk.

Help Desk

People who help people troubleshoot and resolve access issues could be provided:

• Project background (brief)

• Risks about how the project may impact services

• Cutover dates

• What to do if they encounter access issues with SPs at cutover