Project Management Methodology – The Key to Successful Project Implementation
When flying around the country, we get to speak to top executives from industry and often the topic of IT Projects come up.
On many occasions, we hear comments like, “Make sure you have a big cheque book; Always over budget; Put my business at risk as I battled to deliver for the first month; It did not meet our expectations”; and so on.
At DATASCOPE, what we have found through sometimes bitter experience is that one must have and stick to a solid Project Management (PM) Methodology during an IT Software implementation. This methodology does a few vital things; viz:
- Ensures a clear project path with key milestones and due dates;
- Gets the customer and software solution provider onto the same page and creates a clear project responsibilities “joint-effort” charter;
- Limits business risk and ensures a successfully managed project.
One important point is that the PM Methodology is never an end state. In other words it is not a static audit document but rather must continually get improved after every implementation. All learnings must be filtered back and included into the methodologies quality requirements.
Now one may be saying, “What is this PM Methodology all about?” In DATASCOPE’s opinion, the key elements are as follows:
- Site visit to client to understand their strategic business requirements. This meeting must be with the right level of senior management. A walkthrough of the operations is also essential.
- Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) proposal document must then be presented back to the client with project budget costing.
- Based on approval, a detailed Functional Specifications document is compiled. This is a very important document as it spells out how every transaction within the business will take place.
- Again, based on sign off, a User Acceptance Testing session is arranged. Using the client’s data, this two day workshop at DATASCOPE’s offices mimics every transaction in a “live” environment. This is also an opportunity for the client to raise items which may have been omitted in the Functional Specifications document.
- Once the UAT is approved, the on-site installation of hardware and software commences. The software is configured using the settings from the UAT.
- A detailed bin location labelling spreadsheet is compiled. Once approved all bins are labelled. In most cases pickface area are identified along all lower racks. Stock codes are identified with bin locations based on an ABC analyses and this data is imported into the software with the pickface min, max and reorder levels which drives the replenishment process. These pickface labels are also printed and put up. Stock is then physically moved to its correct pickface bin.
- Training is a vital part of the project. DATASCOPE has invested heavily in a Learner Management System (LMS) which is proving to work extremely well.
- Purchase receipting and Landed Cost tracking receipting is then activated which ensure that all incoming stock is labelled. The remaining stock which will not move before the stock take is then labelled. This is a long process and must not be under estimated in a large warehouse.
- An on-site dry run of every WMS transaction is then completed to ensure that all settings, printers, scanners etc. have been configured correctly. This dry run ensure a smooth go-live.
- The next step is to prepare for the stock take and go-live weekend. The stock take is completed and the site is now ready to go-live on the new WMS.
- A period of handholding the site normally takes place before it is handed over the DATASCOPE’s Support Team.
Now the above all sounds like quite a mouth full. It face it is and the only way this can be successfully accomplished within a 8-12 week period, is by sticking to DATASDCOPE’s PM Methodology every step of the way!
Published in Edition 027 - July 2014