Implementing Budgeting and Planning Software Solutions
Here are some highlighted best practices for implementing Budgeting and Planning Software:
Train Your Users Early
Once the plan has been created, you want to start identifying who will be trained on the solution. You want to do this early in the project so that you have more in-house knowledge and expertise which will help lower consulting costs. Users generally fall into two categories, Power Users and End Users. Power users would be involved in the design and development of input templates/reports, get coaching from your implementation partner and review your development work.
You are creating an in-house expert that understands your current business process and the solution you are implementing. End users can be trained by your Power users and if you record your end user training you can use it to help train new hires later.
Set-up a strong Testing Process
When designing your Users Acceptance Training (UAT) phase, divide it into stages that are easier to manage. Testing can be completed by your end users to give them more exposure to the solution, after it has been ‘blessed’ by your power users. Create test scripts for templates/reports that can be run multiple times to make sure that your results are consistent. Make sure you log and monitor any defects/resolutions. This log will give you a great overview of the overall ‘Health’ of the solution and point out any gaps that may have been missed during earlier phases of the project.
Avoid Technical Complications
From a technical point of view, you must minimize customizations. Utilize as many built in features as you can during the first phase. Only load the actual data you need; your budgeting and planning software solution is not your General Ledger (GL). Use dynamic variables where ever you can, dynamic variables allow you to choose members dynamically based on their hierarchical relationship. This means that a dynamic variable will automatically update if there are any changes to the makeup of the data model requiring less maintenance. This can also help you when defining years and dates.
Implementing Budgeting and Planning Software
Don’t just release your solution to your end users. Make sure that end-user training has been completed to make for a more positive first impression. Have your documentation ready and available. Identify your support team, who should be contacted for questions or issues? Advertise. Let everyone know what is on the way and how it will make improve your current process.
- Make sure the implementation consultants are in sync with your project team.
- Have regular status meetings to communicate project progress and discuss issues.
- Ask questions! All parties should ask questions to avoid making assumptions.
- Choose your team. Consultants come with various skills and different levels of strength in each skill. Some are strong in business communication and some have stronger technical skills. Work with your implementation partner and request if you can put together a team of consultants with skills that best fit your needs.
- During User Acceptance Testing (UAT), meet more often to review issues and priorities.
- Review your solution as it develops, not at the end.
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