So you took the plunge and purchased a shiny, new PSA tool for your organization, now what? All of your hard work doing your due diligence and testing potential solutions has led to this – you are now ready to implement. Here’s the top 4 things that should be considered and planned for when implementing your new PSA tool.
Setup and Configuration
Usually you will be working with vendor resources when determining how to set up your PSA tool. By this point (and during the selection process) you should already have a good handle on what your business requirements are and share those with the PSA vendor to help tailor a solution that will work for you. PSA solutions are typically highly configurable and without a guiding light of requirements to provide a baseline, you could wind up fumbling in the dark when it comes to your system setup.
This is something that should have been identified during the selection process but if it wasn’t, don’t fear, API’s are here (maybe!). As you go through the implementation, you may come across other systems that your PSA can potentially integrate with to yield better business value (ex. integrating with HR system to bring in planned vacation schedules). Effort to build these integrations should not be discounted. Depending on the business processes the integration is supporting, it can take a significant effort to design and implement any kind of interface.
As with most systems implementation projects, you’ll likely have to give thought to what data needs to be migrated from your legacy system. Your data migration needs should be driven by simplicity and reason as opposed to budgets and schedules. Identifying key areas of data that need to be migrated is paramount – time entries, project plans, budgets, schedules, personnel information, cost & bill rates are all typically needed by a PSA system to fully do its job. You not only need to determine what data comes over, but how much of it (ex. are you cutting off timesheet data at a certain point?) and in what format (ex. spreadsheet, database export, etc.)? This is probably the single biggest task to plan and successfully execute during your PSA implementation.
You need to give some advance thought to what kind of training requirements your organization has and what the vendor is prepared to deliver. If there are gaps between the two, it’s up to you to decide how best to fill those gaps. Perhaps a train-the-trainer approach with the vendor and then designate trainers within your organization to bring staff in for education on the new tool that coincides with your project schedule. Keep in mind that you will likely have to have several different training courses (administration, project management and team member to name a few). Each of those perspectives should have its own list of items to be trained in.
Implementing a new solution anywhere is not easy, even for professionals who do it for a living. Considering all of these points when putting together your rollout plan will set you up for success in delivering your new PSA solution to your organization.
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