This is a very large subject and here we can offer a general summary of the approach that we have honed over the last twenty five years.
Whilst each and every implementation presents some unique features, indeed some clients like us to use elements of their own preferred methodologies, all our implementations tend to form a standard:
In our experience the initial phase of any project is crucial in determining its ultimate success. It is at this stage that all the underlying ground rules are documented and agreed.
Activities here include project scope definition, definition of reporting structures and responsibilities, definition of fault reporting and change control procedures, definition of project resources such as team composition metrics and project constraints like timescale and budget imperatives. In addition there is a clear focus on defining the desired business outcomes i.e. the benefits to be achieved and other objective factors that will determine success.
Output from the Initiation Phase is typically documented in the form of a Project Initiation Document (PID). An Outline Project Plan (OPP) is also produced at this stage, but this is in draft form only as until the next phase is concluded it is not possible with any certainty to determine whether the three facets of desired scope, timescale and cost are fully compatible.
The Study Phase looks in detail at the work to be done under four main headings:
- Data Migration
Customisation and Configuration are investigated together. Customisation covers the changes required to the base SS/G package. Configuration covers the extent to which implementation requirements can be accommodated through the rules parameterisation available. Integration and Data Migration are described separately elsewhere.
Output from the Study Phase is in the form of a set of specifications and a Detailed Project Plan (DPP) detailing all the work required in all four streams.
In every SS/G implementation we are called upon to integrate with a number of corporate level systems. Typically these will include:
- Printing (Rendering)
- General Ledger
Although the above are typical, in practice the number of systems to be interfaced with may be significantly larger.
As part of our initial study, we will chart the interaction between all corporate systems and identify all possible candidates requiring some form of interface with SS/G. For each of these we will identify the optimum approach. This may be by batch data interchange, real time transfer or even manual keying. Experience has shown that there may be considerable flexibility in the character and phasing of interfaces. Additionally this type of analysis can reveal legacy systems, the function of which can be entirely absorbed into SS/G.
A key aspect of our approach is to define who will undertake what aspects of the work and at what stage.