These tips from the trenches offer valuable advice for any project team about to implement an application package.
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Know the technical foundation on which you will be setting up your application package -- do a gap assessment of the existing and new technical environment.
A necessary step in both selecting and implementing a package is detailing the technical requirements required to run the application. Identify the hardware/software environment, interfacing systems, operational and backup procedures, and other key technical requirements.
This is not a typical request for information that goes on forever in boring text, putting you and your potential vendors in a coma. It is a useful matrix that succinctly itemizes nearly every criterion for selecting an application vendor.
Assess the scope, impact ranking and criticality of each business change required to implement a particular application package.
Need to design any job steps as batch procedures? Here's a comprehensive template to use in specifying how the procedure should be coded and all the pertinent associated information.
Planning a project necessitates analyzing your client's business and determining system requirements based on business structure. What business areas will be addressed, how do they translate to functionality, and how is that functionality prioritized? Start with an organizational mapping of business areas to functions, like this example from the insurance/finance industry.
Should you implement an application package? Will it meet your business objectives, deliver what you want, benefit your business and provide value in the process? Spell it out with this spreadsheet.
User involvement is key to designing an effective application and a good user interface. Give the business users a template of standards and procedures to follow so that they can describe how they do their work, including workflow, and thus how the application should work for them.
A handy directory for cataloging and referencing application package suppliers and their product offerings.