The Magical Implementation – Picking the Right Assistant(s)

A magical and practical series of tips, tricks, and a real-world guide to implementing impactful end user technologies at scale
(Based on a Data Classification implementation but applicable to most large End User Impact implementations)


Dana McMullan is founder of Pasteboard Consulting, LLC specializing in End User Impact (EUI) Security Solutions with over 30 years of implementation and support experience.  He specializes in, and is credited for leading, multiple global security product implementations.  Dana is also a renowned magician who has toured with his own stage production and has performed in over 15 countries.

This blog series is intended to offer guidance and best practice advice for anyone responsible for implementing EUI applications as told through the mindset of a professional magician.

Installment 1: Picking the Right Assistant(s)

As both a professional magician and a systems implementations specialist, I can confidently say that picking the right assistant(s) is vital to ensure a smooth “performance”.

For instance, when a magician hires assistants, they know that the success of the show is largely in their hands.  You need to have faith that they will be there when needed with the right props to affect a successful performance.  You also need to position yourself that should one of them happen to “Vanish”, that the others can fill in the void on a moment’s notice.  Much is the same as selecting the core project team!

The following represents the recommended core team for a large, complex, and global organization.  While not all institutions can support a full team as outlined below, it is my experience that this construct works most effectively:

The project team shown to the left assumes ample resource availability but optimizes the resiliency by providing redundant responsibility to ensure proper coverage should a key member be away for any extended time (illness, family leave, etc.) or even if a member “vanishes” (termination, resignation, etc.)  While it may appear to be overkill, I assure you that if your organization can support it, you will be grateful in the long term… especially during pilot and production roll-out.

In addition to the core team as described above, and based on the unique characteristics of the software you are implementing, is also critical to have individuals assigned as representatives of each discipline required to support the deployment including, but not limited to:

The above represents the roles involved and not necessarily staffing numbers, as you may have the same individual performing multiple roles.  The time commitment for most of these roles is part time as required at best.

Once the team has been identified, and not unlike a magician’s team working a theater, every project participant, whether they be a lighting director, sound board technician, stage manager, or other, every function plays a critical role in the project’s overall success and should be treated with trust and respect.  Without their active participation, the show is doomed before opening night.

Next Installment In The Series:
  • Safety Crews and Plans for Potentially Dangerous Stunts

Dana can be contacted at

©2022 Pasteboard Consulting, LLC, written for HelpSystems

This post was first first published on Titus website by Dana McMullan. You can view it by clicking here