Frequently Asked Questions
There are many factors that influence the success of the project. Such factors include people, processes and technical infrastructure. Below are some of the more common factors which, if addressed effectively, will make for a successful implementation.
- It is important to ensure internal sponsorship from the board and the right mix of users and technical staff on the project team to agree that the requirement specification is correct – before any configuration work starts.
- There should be a project manager with the power and authority to make decisions and get things done.
- The end users should be made fully aware that the system is to be implemented and the specific benefits that it brings to them.
- Failing to scope the project effectively can be a real challenge. We place great importance on this stage, as it is the foundation of the entire project.
- Out of the scoping exercise we produce two linked documents – the detailed Requirement Specification and the Statement of Work (which details precisely how the project will run, roles, responsibilities etc.). We also understand that requirements change even as the implementation progresses, and this is accommodated in the change control procedure we agree with you in advance.
- The functional requirement priorities should be sorted out and we will consider phasing the project to ensure some quick wins and strong user buy-in. This may mean focusing initially on one area of the business.
- We will avoid adding too much workflow or automation – the users may not be ready yet.
- It should be decided what data your reports should contain, as this will drive what needs to be configured or integrated into the system.
- We will consider data readiness - the state of the data that will need initially importing. We will need to know where this data resides and if it has been consolidated and cleaned ready for uploading into the system.
- We should identify the integration points and decide exactly which systems need to be integrated into the solution and how that should integration should work.
- User acceptance and system testing should be accounted for in the overall project plan.
- Controlling the user acceptance training (UAT) stage is important as users can add to the scope and delay project go-live.
We expect to work with you on the scoping exercise for a few days to get the requirement specified and the statement of work (the final quote) completed.
We expect you to ensure that your people are available, empowered and committed to getting the project live, working within the roles and responsibilities identified in the statement of work.
We expect the correct technical environment to be in place, and an individual who really understands your data.
There should be a senior manager or board member who is the project sponsor with overall accountability for the project.
- You will need user training and system administration training.
- We will determine how best to deliver this in the scoping exercise. Where there is a large user community it might be more practical to adopt a train-the-trainer approach.
- User training is half a day to one full day depending on needs.
Generally, anywhere between 2 and 12 weeks elapsed time. Some systems have been implemented in less than 2 weeks – it will vary based on your situation.
It takes a few hours to implement the system out of the box, it will take a number of days to configure the modules, it takes more days to map in your work processes, and more to deal with the initial data upload and integration. As you can see, the time will be driven by what is finalised in the scoping
The starting point is to take your basic requirements in whatever form you have documented them and turn this into a proper requirement specification. This is handled at the scoping stage as outlined above. Based on this information we also provide a statement of work that details the project approach, if you need to “start simple”, how to phase the project and how the project will run.
The scoping exercise involves one or two of our staff on your site for a few days to carry out detailed interviews or workshops with key members of staff – primarily the representatives from each department and technical staff. After this we write up the findings in two specific documents:
- Requirement Specification Document
- Statement of Work Document – providing accurate man-day costs
- These two documents are interrelated and provide the basis for the entire project.
- They ensure all parties enter the project with eyes wide open, fully aware of the requirements, the timescales for delivery and any constraints or risks.
- They detail the requirements down to field level per module, the processes that are to be mapped in, the number of days needed to deliver the project, the costs, the roles and responsibilities for your and our team members, a basic project plan, any identified risks and constraints, the change control procedures and more.
This is driven by the number of days estimated in the scoping exercise which should be carried out as a first step. Any quote is given before a scoping exercise is simply an estimate and may throw up additional unanticipated costs later.
We are flexible in how we work with you. This is often based on the level of resource, skills and time that your team can make available. It may be that certain of the project tasks can be handled by your team has been on our System Administration training course. This is all determined in the scoping exercise.
Most important is that we work as one team - combining your staff with ours to deliver the solution. Please refer to the Guideline Steps to Implementation later in this document – it summarises the key steps involved from start to finish.