There are many ways for a software implementation project to go wrong. Horror stories abound.
Rather than focusing on what could go wrong, I want to talk about how to do things right. At Caron we do what we do because it is vitally important to the success of our clients. This is our Why, our reason for being. To serve our customers we have developed and refined our project methodology. Our methodology recognizes several important facts about software implementation projects:
- The successful implementation of business management software is a mutual goal of the client and our firm
- The client and our firm must accept certain responsibilities for the project to be successful
- The project must be owned by the client and appropriate staff must be assigned to the project
- Our role is to assist with the project and to provide the knowledge and skills required
- The ultimate responsibility for the project rests with the client
No matter the size of the project, the following 6 steps or phases must be followed for the project to be successful.
The project will start with a detailed planning meeting during which the project tasks and mutual responsibilities are agreed upon. The planning meeting is crucial so that both parties will gain a solid understanding of the project scope, time lines, and key success factors.
Solution Design – Preliminary Training
This phase consists of training key client staff on the setup details of the software, teaching them how data can be converted from the current system, and explaining the important setup decisions that must be made by the client. Upon successful completion of this step, client implementers have the background and knowledge to handle the next step – Design Workshops.
Solution Design – Design Workshops
Based on Preliminary Training, the client implementation team is able to make the setup decisions that are most beneficial to their requirements. We work with key client staff members, through a series of Design Workshops, to design how each software module will be configured to address the specific requirements of the client’s business. During this phase prototype testing may be used.
Testing and End User Training
After the Design Workshops have been completed, we provide guidance for testing to be carried out by client implementers and users. We often provide training to other client staff members that will be interacting with the system on a daily basis. This step is often carried out by the client implementers with assistance from our consultants. Testing acceptance is required prior to end user training and final testing involves feedback from the user community.
Reports and Automation
We assist client staff to obtain useful information from the system through the design or reports. We also assist our clients with productivity by developing small utility applications.
Go-live and Ongoing Support
As a final step, once go-live approval has been given by the client, we help to create a go-live plan and roll the software out to production. We provide post-live support and a smooth handover to our support team.
We recognize the critical role that we fill in the success of our clients. Clients know that they can expect several key deliverables from our team.
Professionalism and Expertise
As professionals, we bring specific knowledge to the table in order to guide our clients to best practices and effective system design.
Being experts in the software is not enough. We also provide project management services to ensure key tasks are included and executed in accordance with a well-structured project plan.
Clear, concise and sometimes blunt communication is critical to project success. We pride ourselves on clarity and certainty in our communications.
We love our work and we approach our projects with a passion and commitment to success.