Making the time for Sage 200c success
One of the biggest causes of a stressful Sage 200c implementation is a lack of internal resource. It is incredibly easy to forget in the hype of planning about the resource required to actually implement the system. Most people look at the cost involved in a new system, then analyse and create a business case. Often what they don’t plan for, is the time required by users of the new system to implement it successfully.
The implementation of Sage 200c will likely streamline processes and create more capacity within your team. However, the actual implementation of Sage 200c does require resource internally. You need time for solutions scoping, review, setup and perhaps most importantly for testing.
Depending on the level of implementation support, the modules and the scale of changes that are required the amount of time may differ. Set yourself up for success by making sure you are aware of the amount of work required by your team.
Is there really that much to do?
It really does depend on which modules you are looking to implement. It depends on the state of your processes, as well as the level of support you have agreed on. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be, the more work likely to be involved. However, it’s important to remember that this workload is split between you and your implementation partner.
Let’s have a look at the different types of activities you need to factor into any implementation plan.
Your Scope session may just be a day, however, to really maximise the value from this session – preparation is key. This preparation could be guided by your partner but at a minimum should involve reviewing what you want to achieve with the implementation, pain points from different user perspectives and your future business plans. Collating examples of processes and reporting for scoping gives your consultant the best tools for a comprehensive solution design.
It is sometimes a good idea to produce process maps and internally review these before sharing them with your consultant. Schedule time for pre and post scoping meetings internally to refine the details of your system design and set up. Scoping is arguably the most pivotal point in any implementation process. Give your consultant as much as possible and make sure between you – you get this bit right. At itas, we guide our customers through the scoping process with Pre-Scoping Questionnaires & Guidance, Post Scoping Reviews & Documentation as well as offering process mapping sessions to compliment your scoping days.
Documentation Review and Feedback
Depending on the level and size of implementation that you choose, there will more than likely be a number of different pieces of documentation to review. These can be both project and Sage 200c specific paperwork. Examples include Project Initiation Documents, Functional Specifications and Project Updates. It is important that you allow time for the preparation of documentation as well as the review. You consultant will likely right you up a Specification Document as well as a Project Plan – you should put aside time to review these and make sure you are happy with them. Often, it takes time to get those documents perfect and back & to’s between you and your partner may be necessary.
As with any new skill, different people learn at different paces and in different ways. So it is crucial that you understand and discuss your training requirements with your team, and then with your consultant. There may be different styles of Sage 200 training, at itas we often both a “Train the Trainer” approach as well as a standard “End User” training. Figure out what works best for you, talk it through with your Project Manager and allocate days as necessary. If you decide to deliver training internally yourselves, then make sure that you allocate enough time for your trainers to do so. Everyone wants to save money, training is not the place to do this. New software can be stressful, as creatures of habit we do not always like change. Good quality training gives your users confidence in their ability and can make the whole process less painful.
There are different levels of implementation and depending on your knowledge, budget and what you want from the system, you may choose to do most of the setup yourself. You can also get advice and support from your Sage 200c partner. Either way, you need to ensure you fully understand what your responsibility is and what responsibility is your partner’s. Types of setup activities could include Profit and Loss set up, preparation of import files, or perhaps setting up users and roles. Generally, your implementation partner would do most of the setup for you – they are the experts after all. But even then, you may be required to do preparation of data files – a new software implementation is a great excuse to cleanse your data. Use the opportunity to clear down the Suppliers you no longer use, populate the address fields properly or redesign your Chart of Accounts. This can be a time-consuming exercise but is also extremely valuable.
Testing and Review
This is one of the most critical parts of any successful Sage 200c implementation. It is incredibly important that you allocate plenty of time to work through the different business scenarios in the new system. Make sure to test everything you want the system to do for you. If the system doesn’t work the way you want AFTER you go live, then it can become a lot more difficult, not to mention stressful to get it all sorted. This is your opportunity to get all the kinks out of the system and to really understand how the system works. It is also the perfect time to put into practice all that wonderful training you have just had! Over allocate time here, never under allocate. It will be worth it – trust us!
Successful implementation of Sage 200c takes time as well as money. It is important to make sure that you weigh up both the cost of implementation support from your partner and the knock-on effect for your team.
We offer a range of implementation options to suit different budgets. Choosing to go for fewer days from your consultant, that doesn’t mean there is less work to do. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.