Today’s enterprise-level software solutions come packed with features and abilities to implement industry best practices in asset and workplace management and to establish a platform for continuous improvement into the future. However, EDI understands that a successful implementation is more than just installing and configuring the software. There are many factors that go into making successful enterprise software projects.
A Proven Methodology
In the consistent delivery of quality professional services, EDI has established over the course of many years a comprehensive Project Methodology. The methodology is designed to provide a standard for executing EDI projects so that our processes are reproducible for all clients with a high degree of quality. This reproducible process also provides EDI with the capability of being able to learn and to realize continuous internal process improvements in a quick timeframe. The EDI Project Methodology has the flexibility to adapt to the specific customer requirements such as project phasing, time constraints, budget limitations, regulatory compliance, and functional priorities.
The EDI Project Methodology is implemented as a series of project phases. This philosophy is taken from common industry project execution standards. Project phasing provides a means of focusing effort, managing expectations, minimizing rework, and establishing management checkpoints throughout the project execution.
For a more detailed description of the EDI Project Methodology, click here.
A Team Approach
When you hire EDI, you are not hiring one person. You are not hiring a project team. You are hiring our entire firm and all of the experience that we have gained since our inception in 1999. Our project teams have direct lines of communication to EDI management, to other project teams, and to our service desk. We are able to bring in specialized help as necessary and have quick and easy mechanisms for escalating problems within our organization. Additionally, EDI implementations include close involvement with our clients. Our project teams are not just staff; they are a combination of EDI staff and client management, Subject Matter Expert’s (SMEs), and End Users. The success of an implementation will be driven by the entire team, not individuals from either organization.
A Focus on Data
Everybody’s heard the term “garbage in, garbage out” before, and it certainly pertains to enterprise software implementations.EDI focuses on data in two ways:
- Initial data collection and/or migration into a new system: EDI employs a well-defined approach in gathering and migrating all data elements necessary to have a completed system. This could include physical walk-downs of equipment for asset management where two-person teams of asset management specialists equipped with lights, dental mirrors, ladders, screwdrivers, configured software tools, Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs), floor plan survey, etc. accurately read, call, and record the data. EDI is also extremely adept at ETL data migrations from existing systems or databases into a format that is loadable to the enterprise software.
- Sustainable processes for keeping data current and fresh: It’s important to start off with clean data, but how do you keep that data clean? EDI designs workflows and processes within the software to ensure the right data is captured at the right time, and that the data is being audited and reviewed on a regular basis.
This gives our clients confidence in the analysis of the information coming from their enterprise solutions.
Training, Training, Training
Training plays an integral part in the success of an implementation. EDI understands that training is not just an exercise that happens before the system is turned on for the first time. Training encompasses the knowledge transfer, in terms of software, processes and culture, passed along to our clients over the entire life of our engagement.
As shown in EDI’s Project Methodology, the delivery of training for end users typically occurs in the Deploy phase of projects. However, the identification of training requirements and development of training materials actually begins much earlier in implementations. EDI recommends training the client’s core project team members in the fundamentals of the software prior to participating in the Define phase of the project. This enables the core team with knowledge of key fundamental processes and capabilities of the software, which improves the results achieved in further project phases.
Once requirements are finalized, EDI works with our clients to identify the roles and processes for which training will be required. Then, during the Develop phase, as iterations are completed and system configurations finalized, the training team can begin the development of relevant training materials. This development can be done in cooperation with client’s training departments to ensure training material formats and content align with client’s established standards.
End user training is typically role based training and is based heavily upon the workflows and business requirements of the specific project or client. EDI’s goal is to train end users on how to perform their jobs using the software in the new business processes as opposed to simply training them in how to use the software.
Likewise, the actual delivery of the role based training may be done completely by EDI’s trainers or it may be delivered via a train-the-trainer approach whereby EDI’s trainers will train the client’s trainers, who will ultimately train the end users. End user training is typically provided in courses aligned with business roles based upon specific functionality and depth.
System Administration Training follows an analogous path to that of end user training with some initial training to administrators and IT staff in early phases of the project and project specific training and/or knowledge transfer prior to project closeout. EDI’s goal is to provide the right level of training and knowledge transfer throughout the project to enable to the client to be completely self-sustaining by the end of the project.
Resistance to change is one of the biggest obstacles in implementing processes and systems that allow an organization to attain a successful implementation. Organizational Change Management (OCM) will help to ensure process and culture change is occurring, help with communications and change management aspects of the project, and will help course correct the project team to help ensure business goals are achieved. EDI facilitates specific, OCM-centered workshops will allow personnel who are impacted by the change to feel like they are involved and part of a program that will help the organization meet their overall goals and objectives.
EDI assigns an OCM consultant for its implementations. The OCM consultant’s role will ensure communication plans, project plans, training, and other key components of the implementation include change management-related tasks and efforts to drive real process and culture change. The OCM consultant will help ensure the project ties together all components in a manner to align with the overall business change objectives of the client. This will ensure communication plans are developed and executed, stakeholders are identified and included, and that training and education plans are focused on the business change goals of the project.