defining-it-project-successPart 4 of 5
In my last post I wrote about creating the Implementation Plan. In this post we will move forward with executing on that plan. I break down the execution phase into 4 parts:
1. Task Definition
2. Task Assignment
3. Task Completion
4. Review/Evaluation

Task Definition
When defining the specific implementation tasks that need to be completed, you should break them out for each milestone you defined in your implementation plan. For each milestone think about all the steps that need to be completed to successfully complete that milestone. Defining these tasks is essential to quantifying the work to be completed and allow you to assign the tasks. When creating these tasks, try to be specific but not too specific. For example I might use “Complete Desktop Installations” rather than a series of tasks for installing every employee’s workstation individually.

Task Assignment
Now that you have defined the specific tasks needing to be completed by your team, assign the various tasks to them. Along with these assignments it is critical to assign deadlines for completion. By breaking the tasks down to a more specific level as described here, it forces you to keep your implementation timeline realistic. In the previous step when you defined your milestones, you set deadlines for completion of each major milestone. Make sure that your timeline for task completion fits your milestone schedule, or consider revising your milestone timeline.

Here is an example, using the Setup and Configuration milestone:

  • Feb 16 – Complete D-Tools LanSync installation and configuration
  • Feb 17 – Complete Desktop installations
  • Feb 18 – Watch videos/ take training on Setup process and best practices
  • Feb 20 – Complete setup and configuration process
  • Feb 23 – Review setup with implementation team. Modify if necessary

Task Completion
Once the tasks have been defined and assigned it is time to get to work! Make sure everyone on the team understand what they are required to complete and the significance that their tasks play in the overall completion of the project. It is important that everyone knows where to find helpful resources such as user guides, access to training, etc…

Review/ Evaluation
After the completion of the tasks for each milestone it is vital that you review and evaluate the tasks that were completed. This helps you, as a team, to identify any areas for improvement and to make sure that things are going as planned. It is especially important to complete the review and evaluation after completing the database creation tasks and after completing your first sample project using that database. Catch mistakes and identify areas for improvement before the system goes live and into production. Granted, you will continue to improve your database and your process in general for using the software (covered in the next post – Ongoing Maintenance and Optimization), but you want to identify any critical errors before moving into live production.

I generally use 3 criteria during a review:

  1. Identify what has been done well
  2. Identify what areas must be revised due to errors
  3. Identify what areas may be up for discussion and determine which direction to go

Now Get Started!
If you are planning a full implementation of D-Tools (not just using as a design tool) I highly recommend starting with the Sales functionality and then moving into other business functions. We consider the proposal (containing your project data) to be the core element of further D-Tools use.

Once you have completed each of your milestones associated to implementing a D-Tools business function (Sales, Design, Accounting Integration and Workflow Management) it’s time to get started and begin using the software for that function. It’s important to remember that your system setup at this point will not be perfect; you will continue to maintain and optimize the system as you integrate it more fully into your business’ operations.

The last post in this series will focus on post implementation maintenance and process optimization as you move forward with your use of the software. Don’t forget to read the first three posts in the series.

If you would like to receive some helpful implementation support materials from MED that support the implementation planning process described in this series of posts Click Here.