Granite Solutions Groupe’s Trust Accounting Platform practice has a proven track record of helping clients upgrade and implement new systems effectively and efficiently.
In our experience we have supported implementations, upgrades and migration projects across business, operations and technology for multiple clients bringing our subject matter expertise in Trust3000, SEI-SWP, and Charles River IMS. Our expert consultants have been deployed from the discovery/strategy stage through execution and delivery and all the way to Go Live. Supporting the front, middle and back office teams our consultants focus within specific business units and drive the completion of individual workstreams. This case study will present some of the best practices we have learned along the way that are critical to success.
Understand the key pillars that will set your project up for success:
Before your project gets underway, invest some time in building the foundation. All of the following factors have played a role in the success of platform implementation projects we have been a part of:
- A desire to make change
- Executive leadership sponsorship
- Project leadership structures in place
- Change management
- A comprehensive communication plan
- Awareness of key deliverables and milestones
- Understanding of key principals/factors for making the change
- Stakeholder management and involvement
Conduct a Gap Analysis to understand the current state and visualize a path to the future state.
The analysis will assess the performance of current technologies and resources that are in play as well as make you aware of how highly configured and customized current platform is today. This will be critical to informing the level of difficulty in to disconnecting, recoding, and reconnecting to new technology. It will also identify internal and 3rd party vendor surrounding applications that will be affected by the implementation.
Have a fully developed Program and Project Plan that sets out short-term and long-term courses of action and outcomes.
The plan will allow you to track your progress throughout the implementation, monitoring how and when you deliver your outcomes, if they are delivered within specified time periods, within quality parameters and on budget. It will also outline processes to manages risks and resolve issues that may arise.
Set clear expectations around vendor responsibilities and your organizations responsibilities.
Bear in mind that different parts of the implementation will require different levels of support from your vendor and your organizations resources. Ensuring that all parties involved in the project have a clear understanding of their responsibilities will facilitate a smoother implementation. Clearly communicate timelines, trial periods, Go Live dates and respective accountabilities.
Familiarize yourself with all the resources at your disposal and how they can work together most effectively.
A very common misconception by organizations is when they think their full-time employees will handle the bulk of the implementation work. While this is true in a lot of areas, they still have full time roles within the company as well. You need to know what your business model for a successful implementation is and what resources are at your disposal - full-time employees, consultants, and your temporary labor pool. Understand what resources your technology partner brings to the table, who their preferred consulting partners. Leverage them to make your project a success.
Execution and Delivery
This stage is the longest process in an implementation, upgrade or migration. With multiple projects being done across the business, operations, and technology teams communication and transparency is crucial. Having an dedicated methodology within the project management space allows the following key areas of execution to be monitored, tracked, and deadlines met:
- Building, testing, configuring, validating the new business model
- Data staging, data mapping, data migration
- System Integration, Technical Infrastructure
- Training, Learning and Development in place
- Business, Technical, and User readiness
As you the Go Live date approaches, preparation is key.
The height of any implementation project is the moment when the new system or application is brought online. A carefully orchestrated and well-practiced Cutover plan will ensure that steps that could potentially result in project setbacks are not missed in the anticipation.
Post Go Live is crucial to operational effectiveness.
The continued success of the platform will largely be affected by the level of support available after the platform is live. Ensure that you have adequate internal resources and vendor support and sufficient transfer of knowledge between the two to keep the system operating effectively.