Times 3 Technologies has a core philosophy of establishing long-term partnerships with its clients. This philosophy is reinforced through its structured approach to implementation projects and ensures total client involvement throughout.
This ensures the complete involvement of our client’s critical resources. In addition, Times 3 Technologies recommends the use of a project manager to work in conjunction with either a client project manager or key personnel for the duration of the project for the following reasons:
- The long-term partnership philosophy is reinforced
- Shared responsibility and accountability
- Transfer of knowledge and skills
- Ability to leverage the client project manager’s organisation specific knowledge and expertise
- Ability to leverage Times 3 Technologies Project Manager’s product, service and methodology knowledge and expertise.
In order to optimise the success of this philosophy, a phased approach is often adopted for projects. Detailed planning and project management, with a primary emphasis on deliverables and deadlines, has become core Times 3 Technologies competency.
Typically the implementation process for a Sage Line 500 implementation will proceed as follows, however certain steps or procedures might be superseded to meet clients requirements. This structure may be viewed as a guideline to a proposed implementation.
1. Project Planning and Management
Implementation projects commence with the Project Definition Workshop (PDW), which is attended by members of the project team from both the client organisation and Times 3 Technologies. The purpose of the PDW is to obtain executive and project team member buy-in to the project, and to agree to the scope, deliverables and timelines of the project. The output of the PDW is the Project Initiation Document (PID), the purpose of which is to define and get agreement on the following:
- The scope of the project;
- The roles and responsibilities of the different parties;
- The deliverables of the project;
- Acceptance criteria for the deliverables;
- How change requests will be managed;
- How risk will be managed;
- High-level project plan
The project management of the implementation will include:
- Project Definition Workshop (PDW)
- Project Initiation Document (PID) which is the output from the PDW
- Continual project management
- Weekly project management meetings
- Bi-weekly steering committee meetings (including project leader from client)
- Sponsor review meetings on monthly basis
2. Phase I – Investigation
Objective: The primary objective of this phase is for the project team to familiarise themselves with the nature of the clients business and to align themselves with the client’s interests as far as the proposed business requirements for the new system are concerned.
This phase consists of the following elements:
Workshops are designed so that Times 3 Technologies can obtain as much information as necessary relating to the clients’ requirements. The deliverables from these workshops will be a comprehensive CONFIGURATION DOCUMENT (CFD). It is important to understand that the completed CFD is one of the most important deliverables of the project, being used to define business processes within Sage Line 500. It is vital therefore that the correct people are identified to attend each workshop in order that they are fully prepared and contribute to the session effectively.
Configuration Document (CFD)
Once the CFD has been compiled, the document is approved internally and signed off prior to distribution. Once this has been done the document is distributed in accordance with the distribution list.
CFD Acceptance Meeting of the Executive Committee is held to:
- Discuss the completeness and accuracy of the CFD
- Refine the document where necessary
- Sign off the CFD
The CFD is regarded as the blueprint for the application configuration.
3. Phase II – Planning
Upon completion of Phase 1 – Investigation, a more in-depth understanding and appreciation of the client requirements may require that the high-level project plan be revisited and updated to more accurately reflect expected timelines for the project deliverables. The output of this phase is a detailed project and training plan, typically detailing the following:
- Work Breakdown Structures.
- Task Start and End Dates.
- Resource Allocations.
- Milestones and Deliverables.
The training plan addresses the various training requirements such as modules, delegates, time scales and intensity.
4. Phase III – Pilot and Test
Objective: The primary objective of the Pilot is the proof of concept as detailed in the CFD and to gain management approval for the final implementation of the solution.
The following actions are undertaken during the Pilot phase:
- Gathering additional information/ current data from the client
- By module
- Client to set up key business process scenarios
- On site set up
- Full installation of Sage
- Build Sage according to CFD ‘mission critical’ features
- Internal testing (proof)
- Scenario testing (client acceptance)
- Complete pilot exercise
- Destructive testing exercise
Following the completion off the Pilot the scenario results, documented outputs, customisation requirements (costed) and results of the destructive testing exercise are presented for sign-off. Additional output is basic procedural documentation as per the CFD.
5. Phase IV – Training
Customised training is provided using the Pilot system and sample company data incorporated in the system. This ensures that users readily accept the new system as they are presented with ‘familiar’ data and processes in a practical, hands-on environment.
Delegates are provided with their own workstation (depending on location of the training), comprehensive training manuals, and are provided with refreshments and lunch if required.
Training of end-users on the all modules is done as follows:
- Either one or half-day’s training per module (determined by module complexity)
- Maximum of 6 delegates per training session
This may be structured differently to meet the requirements of the Client.
Re-visiting the CFD where changes are required to business processes, as well as destructive testing by the users themselves completes this phase.
6. Phase V – Go-Live
There are two main components included in this phase. Firstly, conducting a Readiness Review, and secondly, the live conversion of the data. It is possible that these two exercises can take place in parallel depending upon the availability of resources.
The tasks undertaken in this phase are:
- Conversion/ data take-on
- Develop on test system
- Test conversion routines
- Test data take-on processes
- Verify and sign off
- Transfer to live database
- Transfer to live database
The Readiness Review is a thorough examination of what we have achieved, to ensure that nothing has been overlooked and that everything is ready before switching to “live” operations. The final action in this phase is the switching from the test environment to the live system.
7. Phase VI – POST IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT
The objective of the final phase is to iron out any problems that the client may experience during the early part of live operation. These problems may occur due to inefficiencies in operation not exposed during the pilot phase, customisation errors or operator error due to inexperience. During this phase Times 3 Technologies monitors the systems effectiveness.
The post implementation support and refinement phase is concluded by the Project Closure Workshop and project sign-off.
The Post Implementation Support will be conducted on an ad-hoc time and materials basis.
This phased approach is designed to ensure the smooth introduction of new technologies, systems and business practices into our client organisations, and the amounts quoted represent a time and material estimate based on our past experiences. This will be revised and presented for your approval after completion of the Project Definition Workshop and the drafting of the Project Charter. The project will then continue once the full budget has been approved by your organisation.