The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing for a Costpoint implementation is that you are a unique and special butterfly with certain needs that must be met. Yes, that may sound like a cheesy line from an inspirational speaker trying to sell his new self-help book, but we stand by it. This isn’t Windows 95 we are installing; this is a complex and powerful business system that is used to streamline your processes, handle unfathomable amounts of data, and keep you compliant with any and all standards that you are held to. This is an instance where you make the system adapt to you and not the other way around. Costpoint is made to work for you and your processes, so implementing it in a way that gives you any less is doing a disservice your organization and the software’s capabilities. With 20+ years of experience, trial and error, and countless implementations we have developed a plan that takes your unique processes and bends the software to your will by designing a planning, testing, and go live procedure that is completely customized to your needs. With best practices accounted for and expanded on, here is our thorough and thought-out Costpoint implementation plan.

1. Business Rules Analysis

The first step in our implementation process is to identify how your business runs “As Is”. That means identifying the processes you have in place and seeing if they can be improved with your new system. This analysis is broken down into two parts, “As Is” and “To Be”.

Review & Document “As Is”

  • Interview all personnel involved in the process
  • Flowchart process
  • Document the “As Is” Procedure
Design the “To Be”

  • Can Costpoint handle the process?
  • Test & evaluate the new process
  • Document steps to implement

2. Project Planning

During the project planning stage we evaluate your organization’s structure and build an implementation process that will work best for you. The project planning stage is broken down into five parts.

Technical Plan

  • Discuss the new environment and how you want it set up
    • Production environment
    • Test environment
  • Discuss your hosting options
    • On-premise
    • Cloud
  • Discuss who you want to do the implementation
  • Evaluate how Costpoint will work with vendor’s systems and processes
  • Develop System Architecture Diagram
    • What you will need
      • Hardware?
      • Software?
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)/Scheduling

  • Create a diagram of your processes
  • Estimate the time required to complete these processes
  • Identify the resources needed to complete each of these processes
Communications Plan

  • How you want to keep everyone (employees, board, public, etc.) informed about your company
    • Meetings, briefings, emails, etc.
Training Plan

  • Who gets trained?
    • Testers
    • Users
  • Do you want to outsource training?
  • How do you want to be trained?
    • Hands On
    • WebEx
    • Lunch & Learn
    • Videos
    • Training Guides
Testing Plan

  • What gets tested?
    • We recommend testing all modules and systems, new and old
  • Who tests?
    • Subject matter experts
    • End users
  • What sequence do you want to test in?
    • A to Z
  • Testing environment
    • On your own
    • Central location
    • When?

3. Technical Needs

During this stage we will set up and configure all of the technical aspects of running Costpoint. This includes:

  • Configure hardware
  • Install software
  • Confirm accessibility

4. Testing

The testing stage is one of the most important phases in the implementation process. During this stage we will ensure that all your processes, modules, and functional components of your software are working correctly. We emphasize this part of the implementation process because we have seen many implementations go sour due to implementers not properly testing the system before go live. To ensure a properly functioning system we thoroughly test both functional processes/modules and regression/integrated systems.

Functional Testing

  • Use test case/scripts to perform testing
    • Ensure consistency
  • Test all modules, new and old
  • Use small sample sizes
    • Ensure variety
  • Create issue logs
    • Keep track of issues
    • Keep everyone on the same page
    • Ensure problems are fixed properly
  • Review testing
Regression/Integrated Testing

  • Use test case/scripts to perform testing
    • Ensure consistency
  • Test all modules, new and old
  • Test all upstream & downstream systems
    • Ensure all add-ons and 3rd party systems work properly with each other
  • Use larger sample size
  • Create issue logs
    • Keep track of issues
    • Keep everyone on the same page
    • Ensure problems are fixed properly
  • Review testing

5. Go Live

When it is time to go live our implementation plan ensures the smoothest cutover process possible. We evaluate your schedule and cutover needs to pick the best possible date and time for your organization. We also ensure that your staff, vendors, management, etc. are properly informed and supplied with the appropriate documentation and guides to provide a smooth transition.

Go Live Prep

  • Prepare Cutover Plan
    • Based on who you need, resources available, when is best in your business cycle (ex. End of timesheet cycle), etc.
  • Prepare communications
    • Make sure everybody is informed and on the same page about when the cutover is taking place and how long the system will be down
  • Distribute training guides and reference materials
Go Live Support

  • Helpdesk functions
    • On site
    • Email
    • Phone
    • WebEx
  • Expect some issues
    • Be prepared, there are always issues when implementing a new system
Lessons learned

  • Get feedback from users and personnel about how the new system is working for everyone
  • Prepare a report for management & project team

To ensure a smooth implementation you need to ensure you have the best team behind you. At CRI we take pride in practicing and perfecting our time-tested implementation process to provide the most functional and effective system post go live. We don’t take shortcuts and we don’t leave anything to chance. We provide the best-suited system for your needs that we possibly can. Don’t take a gamble when it comes to the systems you use to run your business, ask us how we can help you with your next implementation.