Checklist before launching an API Management project

September 15, 2017 Stephane Castellani

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.


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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