IES' System Implementation Approach
IES uses well-established methodology for planning and completing software implementations. We are a top Microsoft Dynamics implementation partner with expertise in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, GP implementation, and more. In all situations, an implementation is a joint venture between our consulting team and the client's team. Consequently, we tailor the services provided in any implementation to meet the expertise and experience of the client's staff.
For each project, large or small, we put together a project team. The project team can comprise of just one consultant or our whole staff. A project manager is appointed and is responsible for the project on behalf of IES. The project manager manages the consultants allocated to the site.
What is the Project Manager's Job?
The Client's Team
However large or small the client's implementation team, specific roles should be allocated to the person who will take responsibility for them. The key role is the client's project manager (PM). This person coordinates the project from the client's end and ensures all members of the client's team are carrying out the tasks allocated to them in a timely and accurate manner. The client's PM liaises with the IES PM. Other key roles include: 1. The Core Team: these are the people that know the client's business and internal processes very well. They will work with the IES consultants on the system scoping and prototype (see below) and identify who will be the initial "master users." 2. Project Sponsor: this is the person in authority (such as the finance director) that will most likely have ordered the system and who is ultimately responsible overall. 3. Financial Authority: this is the person that can place change orders and approve chargeable consultancy time and issue purchase orders. 4. IT/Technical: this is the person that will be responsible for the client's IT and will work with the IES consultants on technical issues. When IES starts a project, it is helpful to have an organization chart showing the names of the people that fulfill these roles, the amount of time they have available, and their skill sets.
Are There Different Approaches For Small and Large Implementations?
IES is an expert Microsoft Dynamics implementation partner, and will take the most appropriate approach to ensure a successful implementation. We have outlined a "middle of the road" approach here. For other implementations, we extend the work we do in each of the areas described. Multi-Site Roll Outs For clients that are rolling out to multiple locations:
1. IES can perform a time-phase implementation at each client workstation.
2. IES can train client staff to perform their own off-site implementations.
3. IES can work in contact with the client staff on the remote implementations schedule.
What is "the System"?
When IES refers to "the system," this refers to whatever we have contracted to supply or configure. It can be simply Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics CRM; it can be either one of these solutions with integrations to other systems; or it can involve custom development work.
It is very common that clients need to integrate their new systems to other existing software. We are highly experienced at this type of work. The outcome of such integration work can provide huge time and cost savings and also ensure far greater accuracy of data across all systems within the organization.
Clients may require a custom application to be written in order to cope with specific aspects of their business. We provide and support this type of service using our own development team.
The system scoping is one of the first things carried out in the project. This is where the client walks the IES consultant through their business processes and system requirements. During this session, the IESconsultant will be considering how to best configure the system to achieve these requirements, and will be asking the client detailed work process questions. The result of this session is a "scoping document." This document describes the client's processes and requirements. At this session, the client should have a sample available of all invoices, credit documents, remittance advice layouts and reports (operational and financial), and other documents that will be required of the new system. These can be hand-drawn, mocked up in a spreadsheet, or provided by the existing system.
The project plan is the next stop that occurs in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM, GP, or NAV implementation. The project manager and the client plan the project's key action points, allocate tasks between the client's and IES' project team, and set dates for these.
This is the process of physically installing the software onto the client's network and ensuring that it operates appropriately for all required workstation configurations. At this stage, it is usual that IES will train the client's IT representative on how to install workstations for future reference.
IES will a prototype system. This is a "test system" set up with the relevant key members of the client's team (usually these are referred to as "core users"). This prototype replicates how the client will use the system utilizing sample data such as the chart of accounts, A/R and A/P records. Once this prototype is configured to allow the client to test their day-to-day processes and workflow, it is then demonstrated to the relevant users for their input.
Report and Form Writing
IES can take whichever approach the client prefers to report and form writing. For example: IES can write all required reports and forms. IES can write some reports while training the client to write subsequent reports. IES can train the client how to write all necessary reports. The considerations: Does the client wish to have the reports and forms very quickly? In which case, it may be better for IES to write key reports and forms. Is there time for IES to write some while training the client so the client can also write some? This will enable the client to gain necessary knowledge and to reduce their consulting spend by creating some of these themselves. Does the client want thorough training to reduce their consulting spend by writing all reports themselves?
System Administrator Training
This is the training required for IT or system management staff. Typically this will incorporate such issues as security, back-ups, restores, user management, and so on.
User Training and Acceptance Testing
Once the prototype is complete, it is normal to provide a number of days for user training. (The "core users" can often perform this training having worked through the setup of the prototype, or IES can perform the training). Adequate testing should then take place to ensure that the workflow and all processes operate correctly. Any areas that are not operating fluently will then be adjusted. Further user training may take place after acceptance testing.
The final part of the implementation is data migration. There are a number of considerations: 1. Static data: IES can import historic data straight from the client's old system, or this data can be exported to a spreadsheet and further manipulated before it is imported. Many clients use the implementation of a new system as an opportunity to set up historic data and to cleanse their old data. Historic data includes the chart of accounts, customer and vendor records, inventory items, and so on. Often, a new chart of accounts will be created for a new system. This can be done on a spreadsheet and then imported. 2. Transactional data: This can include only open items and balances, or historical data. IES can advise on the pros and cons and different approaches to dealing with transactional data. 3. Set up from the prototype: Once the prototype is accepted, the "system set-up" can be converted to the live company.
The consultant will be on-site for the first day or so of live operation. This ensures user confidence and that if there are any problems or questions, a response is immediately available.