The most successful IT implementations result when system knowledge is passed seamlessly to you, the new system user, from the software house, by working in close partnership. The best approaches are staged, with clear and open understanding of how the project will work. Ideally, this should involve stages of the following nature:
Workshop to develop full understanding of your needs. This should involve key system stakeholders from your company and an internally appointed project manager. Issues covered should include system set up, data transfer, and necessary package modifications so that the system will work as you want.
Deliverables should include a written report outlining how the system will be implemented; an agreed and resourced project plan, identifying key milestones and agreed measures to show these have been completed.
Pilot to take the system design from the workshop and validate it using customer data.
Key deliverables – a system capable of going live; tested and proven processes and data; customer staff able to train end users; an updated project plan, reflecting progress and reassessing go-live dates.
End User Training by your own staff, using the system proven by the pilot. Key deliverable trained staff ready for go-live
Go-live with supplier staff on-site to resolve any go-live issues which should, of course, be minimal, if the preceding stages have been properly conducted.