Checklist before launching an API Management project

Your company is ready for API adoption and you are asked to prepare an API Management RFP. Here are a few tips that will help you be well prepared before contacting the different API Management vendors.
rfp

Tip #1: Don’t take a tactical view instead of a strategic one.

  • Only considering the project at hand and not what you might need to do in the next one will limit your effectiveness and unnecessarily constrain you to a smaller solution that will not serve longer term needs.
  • This implies you need something more ‘complete’

Tip #2: Don’t launch an API Management RFP if you don’t have a single decision maker who owns the budget.

  • Identify a clear power sponsor with the budget before launching an RFP process.
  • You will avoid very long and tiring efforts due to several organizations pushing for conflicting requests.

Tip #3: Don’t use IT funds to purchase instead of business sponsoring.

  • IT has minimal discretionary spending (80% just to keep the lights on) and so there will be a tendency to try to constrain the solution to something of less cost and less functionality.
  • Better to focus on how you can achieve business goals to get business sponsorship to buy the right product.

Tip #4: Don’t settle for only improvements in infrastructure.

  • Greater value will result if along with infrastructure modernization you also address a business goal like improving customer service or streamlining partner enablement.
  • If necessary, limit the scope to address a more narrow problem but it should rather be deep, creating a steel thread that starts with infrastructure modernization and ends in clearly visible business value.

   Tip #5: Don’t neglect Governance & Organization aspects.

  • API Management is an organizational as much as a technical platform.
  • Focus on change management:
    • Trainings
    • Evangelization
    • Best practices
  • Govern your platform
    • Processes
    • Roles
    • Tools

Tip #6: Don’t approach API Management solely from a technical perspective.

Tip #7: Don’t forget the API delivery platform, from design-time to deployment on runtime.

  • API Management is not just runtime.
  • How do you plan to set up a Continuous Integration and Delivery platform?

Tip #8: Don’t limit your scope to private APIs.

  • Open APIs have to be a long-term target.
  • Prepare your infrastructure, platform & governance for an Open API target.

Tip #9: Don’t adhere to previous governance limitations

  • Think agile and don’t get lost into complex internal processes.
  • Think how your future API Management solution can help you reduce time to market.

Tip #10: Don’t try to do everything at once.

  • Adopt an MVP Approach.
  • Which are the most important APIs to start with?
  • Set up a pilot team.
  • Show the value step by step to get adoption from the pilot team.

 

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