To make the most of PlanningForce tools and methodology, the implementation will follow a detailed and rigorous split into three stages: solution design, development, and deployment.
I. SOLUTION DESIGN
Phase 1 of designing the adequate solution for your company is the assessment of the current situation. The assessment is based on the Organisation, through a human perspective, on Processes, through the analysis of workflows and procedures, and on the Data, systems, and tools present within. A SWOT analysis is then carried out. With the help of interviews and existing data, expectations from the different stakeholders are recorded.
This phase consists of the elaboration of a comprehensive solution proposal, designed according to the existing business processes and user roles. A data model is also created to describe the imported data such as projects, resources and constraints, the exported data that includes the exports and reports in addition to the data process that explains how to use PlanningForce. A document that describes the business rules, the user roles, the required customizations, and the interfaces punctuates this phase.
The final phase of the first stage of implementation is the prototyping. It involves the creation of a prototype to validate the solution proposal. This prototype is used as a sandbox for evaluation, specific validation, playing and testing. It provides a window for modifications and finalize requirements for: customizations, interfaces, and processes. This is done by writing up a list of cases that illustrate realistic working scenarios. By manipulating these cases, the solution can be shaped until an up and running system is ready to be used as a plug in. PlanningForce will provide detailed cases to be used and PlanningForce can be installed.
The first phase of the development of the solution consists of the creation or adaptation of the processes that will describe how to use the new solution described in the previous phase of prototyping. This is done based on the prototype and testing results. Roles and work cycles are structured into processes and sub-processes that describe how the new solution will effectively be used in the organization. This information will be detailed in processes that can be used in the next phases and future training.
Customization consists of developing adaptations. These will address the solution’s specific use requirements that were described in the analysis phase. Desired adaptations are tested and developed according to the specifications set. The solution may be modified according to user interfaces, functionalities, reports, and the scheduling engine. The plugin that integrates the different modifications adapted to the companies is added to the standard solution is tested based on the desired features.
Integration is also known as interface development. This phase creates interface points between the new solution and third-party software databases with which it must interact. This is done in the lab considering data related to interface points and the cases developed in the prototyping phase. Once again, corrections are made until the integration matches the prototype’s desired outcomes. The changes are of course tested, validated, and prepared before the deployment stage is initiated.
Preparation to “Go Live”
This step of implementation carries out the tasks that will get the solution up and running. To do this, existing data is inserted into the new system. Then, analyses that test the solution in real conditions are conducted in order to validate the planning results, its performance, and the processes. User manuals, training documents and datasets are then designed. To finish this phase, master user training sessions are carried out before they are evaluated and coached thereafter.
“Go Live” and Support
This step supports the process of execution. After the system has been launched, support is provided through an array of different channels. Hotline support is available, Key users receive the necessary technical and business coaching on demand. An analysis is carried out evaluating the overall performance and any issues are raised. These issues are then corrected and complemented by preventative actions.
The final phase of implementation is strategic consulting. This phase assists companies in order to improve their performance by making strategic use of their new solution. This is done by an elaborate process that tests different strategies to improve one or more dimensions of the company. These strategies can aim to optimize resource use, improve time-to-market, reduce project failure rate, increase project profitability or to reduce overhead costs.