Implementation Methodology

Phase 1 – Planning

  1. Macro Planning
  2. Micro Planning
  3. Executive Planning Meeting
  4. Kick-off Meeting
  5. Overview Class

Phase 2 – Process Mapping

  1. Process Documentation Class
  2. Document Current Procedures

Phase 3 – Education

  1. Formal Education Classes, including Reinforcement Exercises and Workshops

Phase 4 – Process Design

  1. Draft New Procedures
  2. Refine Business Assumptions
  3. Identify Programming Requirements
  4. Prepare Pilot Scripts

Phase 5 – Pilot Execution

  1. Pilot Database Setup
  2. Pilot by Module
  3. Finalize Programming Requirements
  4. Document New Procedures

Phase 6 – Consolidated Pilot

  1. Data Entry and Conversion
  2. Consolidated Pilot

Phase 7 – Cut-over Planning

  1. Update New Procedure Documentation
  2. Conduct End User Training
  3. Evaluation and Planning
  4. Go Live

Phase 8 – Post Implementation

  1. Issue Resolution and Consulting
  2. Exit Interview
  3. Post Implementation Audit

Definitions of Module Abbreviations

Phase 1 - Planning

A. Macro Planning

  • ORIENTATION – Systems Conversion, Ltd. (SCL) orientation to business environment and processes including company organizational chart, needs analysis review and plant tour.
  • MACRO OBJECTIVES – Executive management to define macro project objectives and scope.
  • MISSION STATEMENT - Executive management to publish macro objectives and project mission statement.
  • PROJECT TEAM - Executive management and SCL to select Project Team composed of Executive Steering Committee (ESC), Executive Sponsor, Project Manager and module owners.
  • ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES - ESC, Project Manager and SCL to define and document the roles and responsibilities for the Project Team.
  • TIME COMMITMENT - ESC to approve each team member’s time commitment to the project.
  • KICK-OFF MEETING – ESC, Project Manager and SCL to plan kick-off meeting by establishing purpose, date, location and attendees.
  • EDUCATION SCHEDULE – Project Manager and SCL to schedule formal education and reinforcement training classes. The classes will be sequenced in a logical flow that matches the business flow. Understand that the education database will be created on a class-by-class basis as each class inputs specific data through lecture, workshop and reinforcement sessions.
  • KEY ISSUES – Project Manager and SCL to evaluate and determine strategy for key implementation issues:
    • Database configurations (single company, multi-company, multi-plant)
    • Applications to implement (modules)
    • Other unique applications (custom programs, bar coding, EDI, etc.)
    • Technical resources (internal and/or external)
    • Project conflicts (physical inventories, budgeting/strategic planning, year-end, audits, vacations, scheduled plant shut downs, etc.)
    • Cutover strategies - big bang (all modules at once) versus phased.

B. Micro Planning

  • MICRO OBJECTIVES - Project Manager and module owners to define micro project objectives and scope.
  • MILESTONES – Project Manager and module owners to define project milestones. Milestones are defined as deliverable items capable of being evaluated and tested that have no length or duration.
    • Project Milestones – Macro & Micro Objectives, Project Team, Kick-off Meeting, Micro Plan, Document Current Procedures, Issue Log Management, Formal Education and Reinforcement Training, Draft of New Procedures, Data Conversion Plan, Pilot Scripts, Pilot Setup, Modifications & Enhancements tested, Pilot by Module, Data Conversion Programs tested, Consolidated Pilot, Finalize Documentation of New Procedures, End User Education and Readiness Assessment.
  • RISK & DEPENDENCIES – Project manager and module owners to assign a level of risk to each milestone and determine dependencies between all milestones. Milestones with substantial risk must be highlighted.
    • High Risk Project Milestones – Micro Plan, Document Current Procedures, Issue Log Management, Pilot Scripts, Modifications & Enhancements tested, Pilot by Module, Data Conversion Programs tested and Consolidated Pilot.
  • DETAILED TASKS – Project Manager and module owners to define detailed tasks that lead up to each milestone for all phases of the project. Establish dependencies for all detail tasks. Documentation of the detail tasks for the initial planning, process mapping and education phases must be completed within the first 30 days of the project. Keep tasks at a summary level at this time for process design, pilot execution, consolidated pilot, cutover planning, and post implementation phases. Detailed tasks should be created 4 to 6 weeks prior to execution of that task. RESOURCES – Project Manager and module owners to assign generic resources to detail tasks - by job function to provide flexibility for changes in Project Team resources.
  • MICRO PLAN – Project Manager to create the micro plan utilizing project management software. This would include milestones, detailed tasks and resources, along with an estimation of the start date and duration of each task. The Project Manager is to ensure that detail tasks are created, reviewed, and accurate 4 to 6 weeks in the future.
  • ESC PRESENTATION- Project manager to present the micro plan to the ESC to gain approval and buy-in to the project tasks, resources, dependencies and timeline.

C. Executive Planning Meeting:

  • 2 – 3 hour meeting with Executive Steering Committee (ESC).
  • SCL and Client Project Manager in attendance.
  • Confirm project objectives and scope.
  • Obtain approval for Project Team resources and time commitment.
  • Define roles and responsibilities of the ESC and Project Team.
  • Present macro plan timeline and gain approval.
  • Draft ESC kick-off statements.

D. Kick-off Meeting:

  • 1 day session with ESC, Project Manager, Client Owner Project Team and SCL executives.
  • Conducted off-site at a local hotel or facility to promote the importance and significance of the project and to shield the attendees from interruption.
  • The client senior executive (President, CEO), executive sponsor, project manager and SCL should deliver kick-off statements.
  • Project Manager and SCL Client Owner to review project macro and micro objectives.
  • Project Manager and SCL to review:
    • Keys to success
    • Implementation methodology
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Project schedule (Gantt view of Macro Plan).
  • Project Team
  • ESC attendance is required through lunch with the Project Team
  • Project Team to name project and write a mission statement during afternoon session.

E. Overview Class:

  • Class conducted as soon as possible following kick-off meeting.
  • Conducted on-site by SCL representatives.
  • Instruction from Overview PowerPoint only, AS/400 connectivity is not mandatory.
  • Provides high level overview of all modules and their integration.
  • Confirms project scope by defining which modules and/or software functions will be implemented.
  • First review of software functions and documentation of high level issues and concerns.
  • Project Manager, module owners and Project Team are responsible to update and resolve the issue logs.
  • Project Manager and Project Team attendance is mandatory.

Phase 2 - Process Mapping

Note: Section A of this Phase should be conducted irrespective of the critical path of the Macro Plan. However, Section B – documenting current procedures – may be amended in a “fast path” project, or at client discretion, to document only a “high level” of current practices sufficient to provide the Project Team basic knowledge before they undergo module Education classes (Phase 3).

Under all circumstances the process documentation – both current and future - should be completed in detail as soon as practical after the initial project is complete.

A. Process Documentation Class:

  • 2-day class conducted on site teaching how process mapping and documentation is to be done.
  • Instructed by SCL using SCL student guides.
  • Purpose is to develop “brown paper” drafts of current standard operating procedures.
  • Templates for drafting procedures and examples from prior clients will be provided.
  • Project Manager and Project Team attendance is mandatory.

B. Document Current Procedures:

  • 2 to 3 weeks of Project Team effort.
  • Should be managed by an appointed documentation manager.
  • Identify and document current standard operating procedures.
  • This documentation process provides clearly defined issues for the SCL instructors to use during the education phase. This will help them focus on software functions that benefit you most.
  • This documentation provides the foundation for drafting new “proposed” procedures as a result of the system implementation and preparing pilot scripts that will be used in phases 4 and 5. Finalize the new procedures in a written document.
  • Organize documentation by module and assign responsibility to each module owner.
  • Module owners are responsible for completion of their documentation prior to the education phase. They will each present this information at the start of education for their module.
  • Print modifications required must be identified. This includes all external output (invoices, pick slips, bill of ladings, sales reports, etc.) Examples of these documents must be attached to the issue logs generated.
  • Project Manager, module owners and Project Team are responsible to update and resolve the issue logs.

Phase 3 - Education

A. Formal Education Classes, including Reinforcement Exercises and Workshops:

  • Class lengths vary depending on the subject. They can be conducted on-site or remotely. A remote class is defined as the SCL instructor working from an SCL office while your staff remains in your facility. Most classes will be scheduled at your location.
  • Instructed by SCL consultant-instructors.
  • AS/400 connectivity and completion of classroom facilities is required.
  • Education is performed beginning with a “blank” database, building client specific data as education phase progresses.
  • Modular education is begun with a review of the current practices and process maps by the module owner, thus to provide all students with a better understanding of the operations and requirements for the PRMS system.
  • Education is conducted by module in a very interactive, hands-on environment.
  • At the start of each class, the module owner will present the current procedure documentation developed during the process-mapping phase.
  • During class, identify and document potential modifications, enhancements and implementation issues. It is imperative that issues are logged at this time.
  • The optimal situation for education and reinforcement sessions is that the entire Project Team, the Project Manager, and any key users and support personnel from the functional area being taught are required to attend all classes and sessions. However, it is recognized that this may be impossible due to business requirements and constraints over the life of the project. Therefore, during the planning phase, SCL’s Client Owner, together with the Client Project Manager, will construct an attendance schedule for team members based upon their functional area of responsibility and including functional areas that are closely integrated with their specific applications (e.g. the purchasing module owner would be required to attend inventory, receiving, planning and accounts payable classes). Attendance is then mandatory for these scheduled attendees. It is recommended that appropriate support personnel from various departments participate as needed.
  • Utilizes “Hands on” sessions generated by the students – similar to “lab” associated with science courses in that students get to set up and observe their own practical applications for the software.
  • Reinforces basic functionality with a beginning look at unique client business practices.

Phase 4 - Process Design

A. Draft New Procedures:

  • 3 to 4 weeks of Project Team effort.
  • Identify and document (draft) your proposed “new” standard operating procedures on brown paper. Working with SCL consultants, module owners and users develop new processes that reflect how your business will operate utilizing the software.
  • These procedures must be defined prior to beginning the Pilot Execution phase.

B. Refine Business Assumptions:

  • While documenting new standard operating procedures, the Project Team will document key business assumptions that require Executive Steering Committee approval before proceeding.
  • Log business assumptions.
  • Present consolidated list of assumptions to ESC and solicit approval.
  • Revise new standard operating procedures as required.

C. Identify Programming Requirements:

  • There are three types of programs that may require development during the project: modifications, enhancements and data conversion.
    • Modifications fall into two categories:
      • Output modifications including screen design, specific business forms and reports are common and necessary in order to customize the presentation of all external documentation. For more detail on this refer to phase 2B.
      • Logic Modifications present the greatest hindrance in staying current with new versions of the software. These should be avoided. The Project Manager should review any proposed logic modifications with the SCL consultants. In many circumstances we can identify other options to achieve the desired results without the need of logic modifications.
    • Enhancements add functionality, over and beyond the software’s capabilities. These programs are written to interface with the PRMS database. These programs still need to be considered when new software versions are implemented.
    • Data Conversion programs move data electronically from your old system to your new system. Conversion programs are used for master files (customer, vendor, product, etc.), open order files (customer order, purchase order, work order, etc.), history files (sales, inventory, general ledger, etc.) and inventory balance files.
  • The goal of any software implementation should be to minimize, if not eliminate, modifications. However, as a last resort, it may become necessary to convert or create enhancements and/or modifications in order to establish or maintain certain business functionality. It is the Project Team’s responsibility to exhaust all other possible means before requesting any modifications or enhancements to the base PRMS code.
  • Each modification and enhancement will draw upon resources and therefore must receive approval from the Executive Steering Committee before proceeding.

D. Prepare Pilot Scripts:

  • Pilot script identification should begin with the Education Phase. This specific phase continues to identify such scripts and formally documents these pilot scripts for use in the pilot execution and consolidated pilot phases.
  • Pilot scripts document every possible business scenario, including those scenarios that are unique and specific to the customer’s processes.
  • Every possible business situation must be anticipated and documented.
  • Pilot scripts should be documented using the format used for workshops in SCL’s Education Curricula.
  • Log pilot scripts in the project management access database provided by SCL.
  • This step must be completed before beginning pilot execution.

Phase 5 - Pilot Execution

A. Pilot Database Setup:

  • Establish a new pilot company database separate from the educational database used during formal education classes. This PRMS member company should have been established at the onset of the program by the Client’s IS department or by SCL Technical Consultants assigned to the Project.
  • Manually establish system control settings for each module.
  • Manually setup master files for each module. Do not use conversion programs to populate master files.
  • Master file data must be representative of the client’s current live environment.
  • It is not necessary to establish a full set of master files in the pilot company but sufficient records should be established to simulate all business scenarios in a test environment.
  • Identify and document database setup and maintenance operating procedures.
  • Requires substantial participation of Project Team and SCL.
  • Project Manager, module owners and Project Team are responsible to update and resolve the issue logs.

B. Pilot by Module:

  • Performed using “vanilla” PRMS code without customization or enhancement, with the intent of identifying special requirements and developing PRMS procedures and “work-a rounds” to meet these needs without need for enhancements or modifications.
  • Test business scenarios defined by the pilot scripts created during the process design phase.
  • Perform testing by module with limited integration of functions between modules.
  • Focus on perfecting the mechanics of each module’s functions.
  • Document procedural problems or programming requests via issue logs.
  • Document the results of testing the business scenarios in the project management access database.
  • Present results of pilot process to the Executive Steering Committee.
  • Requires substantial participation of Project Team and SCL.
  • Project Manager, module owners and Project Team are responsible to update and resolve the issue logs.

C. Finalize Programming Requirements:

  • Modifications and enhancements identified must be designed, programmed and tested prior to beginning the Consolidated Pilot phase.
  • Logic modifications and enhancements must be extensively tested as they become available subsequent to programming and according to written test scenarios.

D. Document New Procedures

  • Complete the documentation of your new standard operating procedures. Working with SCL consultants, users develop new processes that reflect how your business will operate when you convert and go live. This step must be completed before beginning consolidated pilot.

Phase 6 - Colsolidated Pilot

A. Data Entry and Conversion:

  • Project Team participation is required.
  • Consolidated pilot is a “dress rehearsal” for your go live date and demands that everything performs, as it should the first day of implementation. There is no room for introducing variables in consolidated pilot without risking errors when you go live. If the consolidated pilot is done correctly the week you go live with this project will flow very smoothly.
    • Data conversion and manual entry and clean up should be conducted in the manner identical to the “live” conversion plan. All modifications and enhancements should be available for pilot testing.
    • Each approved modification, enhancement, and data conversion program must be designed, programmed and tested prior to beginning Consolidated Pilot.
    • The database for the consolidated pilot must be created in the same method that it will be created for the live database.
  • Verify the Consolidated Pilot conversion the same way you plan to verify the “live” conversion.
    • Establish manually converted master files and reconcile to old database.
    • Verify accuracy of electronically converted files – master files, open order files, history files and inventory balances file.
    • Reconcile open AR, AP and beginning inventory balances (RM, WIP, FG) to the general ledger.

B. Consolidated Pilot:

  • 2 to 3 weeks of committed Project Team effort. 
  • Consists of a fully integrated system test incorporating modifications, enhancements and data conversion programs - a full “dress rehearsal” for your go live date.
  • Daily consolidated pilot scripts must be created to provide structure, organization and specific direction for all module owners.
  • Test product flow starting with demand creation and order entry, moving to planning material procurement and manufacturing and ending with shipping, invoicing, collection and review of financial results.
  • Focus attention on the demands and constraints each module places on another as the pilot is conducted in a fully integrated environment.
  • Output reports that have been designed for the system must be tested at the actual printers that will be used after the go live.
  • Project manager, module owners and Project Team are responsible to update and resolve the issue logs. All issue logs must be resolved prior to the completion of the consolidated pilot.
  • The ESC and Project Team must understand that the consolidated pilot is the proving ground for whether all systems are ready for the cutover date. If the Project Team conducts a successful consolidated pilot then SCL will support proceeding to the next step. If unsuccessful, SCL will evaluate the current circumstances and problems and recommend corrective action. Action plans can vary from simply extending the pilot to allow for more testing to delaying the cutover date in order to conduct a second consolidated pilot.

Phase 7 - Cut-over Planning

A. Update New Procedure Documentation:

  • The new standard operating procedures documentation that was prepared during the Pilot Execution phase will be evaluated and all necessary changes or additions must be completed to the extent necessary to train the user community. This re-engineered version must reflect policies and procedures changed during the pilot and consolidated pilot processes. It represents improved methods using the software and in many cases acts as a “how to guide.”

B. Conduct End User Training:

  • 3 to 4 weeks of company-wide effort.
  • Conduct end user training using the documented procedures. This will be performed using the consolidated pilot database. 
  • The Project Team can provide instruction with assistance from SCL, or by SCL consultants assisted by the Project Team members, depending upon the engagement’s scope.
  • Training database must incorporate tested modifications; enhancements and any data converted via data conversion programs.
  • Organize training by business resource - customer service, inventory control, manufacturing planning, etc.
  • Begin training by conducting an overview class to educate the users about system integration and configuration. Executive management must attend this overview class.
  • Continue training by conducting classes by business resource to educate users concerning their respective job functionality.
  • Complete training by conducting a series of inquiry & reports classes. These classes will provide training for employees who are not directly associated with the execution of the software. This group may consist of executive management, department managers, account managers, salespersons, etc.

C. Evaluation and Planning:

  • Comprehensive review of the Project objectives.
  • Conduct a readiness assessment.
    • Successful consolidated pilot?
    • Modifications and enhancements tested?
    • Data conversion programs tested?
    • Procedures documented?
    • End user training completed?
  • Review the conversion process and prepare a checklist and sequence timeline for these activities.
  • Acquire signed “Options and Owners” checklist and acceptance statements from Project Team Members; get approval from ESC, Project Manager, module owners and department managers.
  • Plan and schedule physical inventory and month-end procedures.

D. Go Live:

  • Complete physical inventory and month end procedures according to the Conversion Plan.
  • Execute data conversion plan to populate live database according to the Conversion Plan.
  • Convert to new system with SCL consultants on site to insure a smooth transition.

Phase 8 - Post Implementation

A. Issue Resolution and Consulting:

  • When problems are identified, develop corrective action immediately and follow-up DAILY.

B. Exit Interview

  • Held 2-3 weeks after “go live” when all conversion issues and problems have been addressed.
  • Meeting with the SCL representatives, including the Client Owner, and the Executive Sponsor and Project Manager
    • To discuss the conduct of the project
    • To review the Project objectives and the status of their attainment
    • To define an ongoing program to protect the knowledge base
    • To set up the Post-Implementation Audit.

C. Post Implementation Audit:

  • Scheduled audit 4-6 months after going live to determine how effectively the users are using the software and utilizing the functionality they learned during the Project.
  • Review functionality present in the system that is not yet being effectively utilized.
  • Review decisions regarding functional deployment made during the project to determine when/if this functionality should be developed.
  • Provide an assessment of the overall benefit of the Project to the Client.
  • Prepare and present a report to the ESC and Project Team grading the implementation based on the status of:
    • Project objectives and scope.
    • Software knowledge retention and understanding.
    • Adherence to documented procedures and instructions.
    • Accuracy and integrity of database (master files, open order files, etc.)
    • Accuracy of inventory balances – perpetual and book.

Definition of Module Abbreviations

AP – Accounts Payable

AR – Accounts Receivable

BC – Buyers Center

BU – BOSS Usage

BT – BOSS Technical Details

CF – Order Entry Configurator

DE – Discrete Execution

DR – Distribution Requirements Planning

EM – Engineering Data Management

EV – Executive Overview

FA – Fixed Assets

FC – Forecasting

GL – General Ledger

HR – Human Resources

IN – Inventory Control (Physical & Cycle Counting)

MP – Manufacturing Planning

MS – Manufacturing Setup

MU – Multiplant

OB – Order Entry & Billing Setup and Execution

OV – Overview

PC – Product Costing

PO – Purchasing

PR – Payroll

PT – Potency

QC – Quality Control

QR – Quick Response Engine

RE – Repetitive Execution

RO – Replenishment Orders

SC – Scan

TA – Trade Allowances

TD – PRMS Technical Details

VW – View

WB – Manufacturing And Sales Analysis Workbenches