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Collaborative Implementations - Laying the Foundation for Success - Part III

Collaborative Implementations - Laying the Foundation for Success - Part III

Collaborative Implementations

In the second part of this three-part blog (originally to be a two part blog, but I just couldn’t help myself), the preparations discussion was continued for laying the foundation for a successful ERP implementation. We’ll finish the process here for the desired outcome. This part begins with the preparation and pilot testing.

Solid Preparation – The Key To Success

After hundreds of implementations the partner team has a solid understanding of what needs to be done to complete the project successfully, and because in depth discovery and analysis would have been conducted by this point with the client team, a good understanding of the client’s needs specific to their industry has also been achieved. One of the next steps in the road to success is the process of basic training, Q&A Forums, and product modeling.

It is important to prepare the client team in a couple of ways regarding the solution being implemented. Basic training of the software as it is without configuration and adjustments provides the foundation for the client team to understand what is available in the software and how it is intended to work by design.  This is rarely exactly what the client team needs in the final capabilities, so it serves as a basis from which to craft the final result.  The client team works hand in hand with the partner team to gain a firm understanding of what is available and how it works. One accomplished, both teams are in position to take a solid look at what is ultimately needed versus what is already present – often called a GAP Analysis.

The client team must then, with the guidance of the partner team, evaluate what missing capabilities are a must have, what are those that are desired but not mandatory, and lastly those that are simply not necessary. This process takes strong communications based on the foundation already laid between the two teams in the spirit or collaboration. Many of the important questions are hashed out during a question and answer forum where open discussions yield the positive results leading to a finalized capability plan.

Once the gaps are identified and resolved, the two teams come together to model the final product configurations. This can occur before the final customizations are completed or it can be done before hand, but in either case both teams collaborate to craft the desired outcome for the client. Upon both team’s agreement, the project enters the testing phase.

Pilot Testing

It is often wise to enhance pilot testing by breaking it up into two distinct sections, each with specific results required before proceeding. Generally for us, we’ll begin by working with just the client project team to walk through every transaction for every module to ensure that everything comes together as planned.  This will often require several iterations to complete to satisfaction. It is during this process that collaboration takes on a greater level of importance so that everything the client team needs to have ready by go live time is indeed present and ready.  It is also the time when the step by step procedures can be documented, discussed and approved for the rest of the client team so that these tools can be ready when it is necessary.

Once pilot testing is completed with the client project team, the “Mock Go Live” pilot testing is engaged.  In this process the client team, with the support of the partner project team, trains the end user community in both the software and the step by step procedures.  Full security is added at this point and the two teams work to simulate the actual live setting for the users to experience.  This process takes the most collaboration to date between the two teams to complete.  If the foundation for collaboration has been properly laid beforehand and nurtured to this point, the process will go smoothly.  However, if the collaboration between the two teams has not been properly built by this point, significant issues may show up during the testing.  It is imperative to work out the issues and strengthen the communication between the two teams and the end user community before attempting to go live.  In this part of the project, the client project team will be able to use the communication, collaboration and leadership principles gained to this point to properly and effectively lead their team to project completion.  Effectively the “Mock Go Live” pilot testing process hand off the control and ownership of the project from the partner team to the client team, much like handing the baton in a relay race.

The Final Approach – Going Live

This is the point where it all comes together as the two teams work to complete the project and successfully transition to the ongoing support after live. Both teams come together to plan, staff, organize, direct and control the this transition, and working and collaborating as effectively one team is a requirement.  A significant amount of planning and preparation goes into this part of the project, but by this time everyone involved has a good idea of what needs to be done, and when.  It is the execution that is most important here and for the first week or two following the go live date. 

If the steps outlined in this series of blogs has been generally followed, it is highly likely that a successful outcome will come to fruition.  I am often reminded that pilots have an axiom that say that just about anyone can fly a plane, but it is the know-how and experience of taking off, landing and what to do  in an emergency that is required.  It is similar in an ERP project as well, where the experience and know-how of the partner team combines with the business acumen and knowledge experts of the client team that brings about the optimal results, and this can only be done through committed collaboration.

About Coretekx HGL, Inc.

Our company, Cortekx HGL, Inc. ( is an Acumatica partner, as well as an experienced Microsoft and Sage partner. We have been providing quality ERP systems since 1995 and done enough implementations to understand the benefits and value a complete system like Acumatica can bring to your company's bottom line.
Want to learn more about ERP implementations or cloud ERP vs. on-premise ERP options? Contact us at 818-593-4777 ext. 211 and we will be happy to help. Talk to you soon!


Cliff Hall,
President, CEO
Cortekx HGL, Inc.

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