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MAS 500
Implementation Planning
4AIP240-1002
© 2000-2002 Best Software, Inc. All rights reserved.
Part 1:
Laying the
Foundation
Part 1: Laying the Foundation consists of the following chapters:
• Chapter 1, Implementation Overview
• Chapter 2, Identify Your Goals
• Chapter 3, Create Your Team
• Chapter 4, Install MAS 500 and Build Familiarity
• Chapter 5, Review Your Work Practices
• Chapter 6, Plan Your Project
Implementation Planning 1
Part 1
2 Implementation Planning
Implementation
Overview 1
Best Software, Inc., the recognized leader in accounting software for mid-
sized businesses, welcomes you to MAS 500, business software that
provides superior power, flexibility, and integration with your existing
line of business applications.
This chapter introduces this Implementation Planning guide, and presents
the implementation process in the following sections:
About Implementation and This Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Who Should Use This Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Terms and Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Implementation Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Keys to Success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Key Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Implementation Planning 3
Chapter 1
About Implementation and This Guide
A software implementation that significantly improves business practices
is a complex process. It depends on many people, system elements, and
business elements to come together and interrelate successfully on many
levels. Implementation includes:
• Designing improved business practices
• Implementing the software
• Preparing all staff to accept and apply the changes to the way they do
their jobs
The steps and elements required by each implementation are unique and
often accompanied by unexpected difficulties and opportunities.
Implementing software is both art and science. It requires:
• Clear goals
• Appropriate resources
• Flexibility and resourcefulness
• Patient effort
• Constant communication
• Ownership of the goals by management
• Ownership of the process by all involved
• Buy-in by the company staff who will use MAS 500 to do their work
The purpose of this guide is to help you set realistic expectations, plan
adequately, and foster the teamwork you will need to adapt the elements
of the implementation process to your company’s circumstances and
goals.
Who Should Use This Guide
This guide is for everyone involved in the implementation as follows:
• Executive, accounting, warehouse, and information systems (IS)
management
• Project team members (supervisors or lead employees from each
operational area to be implemented in MAS 500)
• Implementation consultants
4 Implementation Planning
Implementation Overview
Terms and Concepts
The terms and concepts used in this guide are defined in the tables below.
This table defines the computer components referred to in this guide.
System Component Definition
Terms
Client A computer connected to a server in order to display,
process, and store data on the server.
Database The tables where data is stored, processed, and
accessed by rules particular to the database type.
Environment The hardware and software on which your applications
run, including the servers, clients, network, and their
operating systems. Environment also refers to the
specific setup of these elements on which each
application program runs.
Network The physically connected servers, clients, printers,
cables, and other devices that work together and
communicate via a network operating system.
Operating system Software that controls the operation of computer
hardware (including computers and computer networks),
enabling application programs to run.
MAS 500 databases Each MAS 500 database installation has three
databases — the System, Application, and Internet
databases (best_sys, best_app, best_iapp). They are
data tables used by MAS 500 to process and store your
financial and distribution data.
Security model The access parameters set on data and functions in
order to protect data integrity. The classifications used to
grant user groups processing access (read, add, delete,
modify) to data.
Server A computer that stores and runs programs accessed by
other computers (clients) to display, process, and store
data, allowing concurrent access to data and processing
by multiple users.
Implementation Planning 5
Chapter 1
This table describes the separate systems created to run an
implementation.
System Terms Definition
Backup system A copy of a previous version of the development,
production, test, pilot, or training system. Several
backups of the pilot system are essential, as is a
backup of the production system. Each backup test and
pilot system usually has its own configuration of
activated modules, selected options, initial setup data,
and processed data.
Baseline system A previous version of the test, pilot, training, or
production system. Baseline systems provide time-
saving recoverability as defined in the implementation
terms table below. The baseline system for the test
system, for example, is used to restart testing after
discovering that the current state of the test system
cannot be returned to a reliable starting point.
Development system A copy of the test, pilot, or production system. It is used
only for developing and testing customizations.
Customization work is done on a separate system to
protect the functionality and data on other systems from
unplanned modifications caused by development work.
Live system A production system.
Pilot system An evolving, test version of the final production system.
The pilot system configuration evolves as features are
tested and approved for production. The pilot system is
the testing ground for the configuration and data entry
work done in the Conference Room Pilot.
Several prior versions of the pilot system should be kept
as baselines. See Baseline system above.
Production system The system configured and used to process your
business operations.
Test system If the production system exists, a copy of the production
system. It is used to test system changes.
If the production system is being built, a copy of the
initial or baseline system. It is used to test system
changes.
Training system A copy of the production system used only for training. If
the production system is still being built, the training
system is a copy of the pilot system and is used only for
training.
6 Implementation Planning
Implementation Overview
The table below defines key implementation concepts.
Implementation Terms Definition
Conference Room Pilot The process of building the test system by:
(CRP) or Pilot Test (1) Entering setup data and turning on desired
options
(2) Entering transactions manually and running test
scripts to test each process flow,
(3) Evaluating the data accuracy, relevance, and
traceability
(4) Evaluating the results in terms of the mission
goals
(5) Repeating steps 1 to 4 for data or configuration
changes.
The results of the CRP are the production
configuration, processes, and procedures you’ll
establish.
Data export The process of running a program that creates a data
file from application data. This data file matches
required record layouts and delimiters.
Data import The process of running a program that copies data
into your new application. The historical data file has
required record layouts and delimiters. Preparing the
data import file and running the data import program
is easier, quicker, and more accurate than manually
entering data.
Data mapping The process of correlating the storage or data entry
field for each piece of data on your previous
application with the storage or data entry field for that
piece of data on your new application.
Recoverability The ability to return to a workable test or production
system after a configuration or data change causes a
corrupt condition that cannot be undone. The backup
of the system is installed as the current system
version so that the system exists as it did before the
problem occurred.
Reverse import The process of running a program that erases the
data just copied into the new application by the data
import. You run this program when errors are
detected by the data import program. Reversing the
import, fixing the data file, and rerunning the data
import is strongly recommended for handling data
import errors.
For other terms related to MAS 500 but not relevant to implementation,
refer to the Getting Started guide.
Implementation Planning 7
Chapter 1
Implementation Process
The implementation process consists of four stages. Begin implementation as
shown in the following flowchart.
Lay the Foundation
1. Set project goals Chapter 2
2. Create your
Chapter 3
project team
3. Install MAS 500
Chapter 4
and train project team
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
4. Review current Chapter 5
procedures
5. Create your
Chapter 6
project plan
Purpose
6. Tell your staff Timeline
Milestones
Goals, Team
8 Implementation Planning
Implementation Overview
The second stage of implementation is to plan details as shown in the following
flowchart.
Plan the Details
New Procedures
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
1. Plan your new system
Data
Groups Chapter 7
requirements Accounts, Groups,
Classes,Vendors, Items
Companies, Customers,
Inventory, Warehouses
System
2. Plan pilot, System Not yet
Maintenance:
Components:
training, and - What
- What documented
- When
production systems - Quantity
- Who
- Where Data
- Connections
Customized Manual
3. Plan your stored conversion Not yet
customization procedures documented
Schema Upgrade
changes utilities
Data
4. Plan your What data? Chapter 8
Current New
data conversion How much? field field
Tradeoffs
Pilot System Not yet
5. Plan the pilot documented
Data
and go-live activities
Plan Update
6. Tell your staff Progress
Training
Pilot
Implementation Planning 9
Chapter 1
The third stage of implementation is to run the conference room pilot to prepare for
the actual implementation as shown in the following flowchart.
Run Conference Room Pilot
1. Convert data Chapter 9
History New
Data input
Test scenarios Not yet
2. Run comparison tests
Configuration documented
changes
3. Analyze results Meet Not yet
Goals documented
4. Resolve problems Not yet
Add Step documented
Process
Change
Resources
Delete Configuration
Not yet
5. Go live on MAS 500
documented
MAS 500
Status
Steps
6. Tell your staff Schedule
Support
10 Implementation Planning
Implementation Overview
Keys to Success
The recommendations in this section are key to the success of your
implementation. Without them, your implementation is likely to fail.
Training
Invest in appropriate and timely training to prepare implementation
team members and staff whose jobs will be changed by MAS 500.
Appropriate training may be MAS 500 certified classes, technical training,
or training that you develop in-house for your employees. Include a
training developer and trainer on the project team from the beginning so
that the work changes you choose to implement are documented for your
company staff.
For maximum benefit, train your staff just before they need to use their
new knowledge and skills:
• Train information systems personnel in the operating system and
hardware before installing your initial version of MAS 500
• Train implementation team members just after installing your initial
version of MAS 500
• Train pilot staff just before running the Conference Room Pilot
• Train remaining staff just before switching to MAS 500 as your
production system
Management leadership
Management participation, support, and leadership are vital. Every
implementation requires complete management support. Ensure that
your management:
• Actively interacts with the implementation team
• Regularly reports on the implementation process and plans to all your
staff
Business goals and practices
Your business goals determine most, if not all, of your implementation
decisions. Ensure the following:
• Business objectives and requirements are clear, specific, measurable,
and well documented
• Current business processes are accurately documented by procedures
and high-level and detailed-level flowcharts
Implementation Planning 11
Chapter 1
Key Resources
Best Software supplements this Implementation Planning guide with
additional, key resources. Use the resources described in this section to
help ensure the success of your MAS 500 implementation.
MAS 500 training
Training is an essential component of successful implementation. To
arrange timely MAS 500 training for your staff:
• Contact your MAS 500 reseller for on-site, certified MAS 500 training
• Contact the MAS 500 consultants in Best Software’s Professional
Services group who provide on-site, certified MAS 500 training:
(800) 854-3415, extension 3519
Installation and System Configuration guide
The Installation and System Configuration guide provides detailed
information and procedures for installing and configuring MAS 500. It
includes system requirements, database and client installation procedures,
registration, and security setup. It also includes procedures and reports for
the System Manager module.
Assisted Company Setup
Use Assisted Company Setup to track and perform setup tasks for all
modules. View instructions to migrate data from other accounting systems
to MAS 500. Refer to Chapter 9, Assisted Company Setup.
Associated installation guides
Some MAS 500 add-on products have separate guides, such as the Web
Reports guide that includes instructions for installing Web reports. If you
are using eCustomer, eSalesforce, eExecutive, or eTimesheets, see the
Internet Applications guide for instructions on installing Web components.
Customization documentation
If you plan to customize MAS 500, read the documentation provided with
the Application Framework to evaluate the extent to which you want to
customize and to plan how to customize your system.
12 Implementation Planning
Implementation Overview
Best Professional Services Group
The Professional Services Group from Best Software complements the
expertise of your MAS 500 reseller with these consulting services:
• On-site training in MAS 500 applications
• Support for review and reengineering of key business processes
• On-site technical expertise during installation and configuration
• Professional project management skills
• Technical and product consulting services
• Custom programming
To contact the Professional Services Group, speak with your MAS 500
reseller, or phone (800) 854-3415, extension 3519.
MAS 500 Customer Support
The Customer Support group for MAS 500 provides valuable assistance by
phone and on their Web site. During and after implementation look for
further information and support on the Best Software Web site:
www.bestsoftwareinc.com/support
This site offers the following information and assistance:
IMPORTANT • A Pre-Installation Issues page for information regarding the supported
Read the versions of client and server operating systems and supported
Pre-Installation Issues communications mechanisms and configurations
section on the Best
Web site before you • Best Online Customer Service for MAS 500 resellers and ClientCare
install or upgrade Subscribers
MAS 500.
• Dial-in support instructions
• Links to the third-party vendors for MAS 500
• MAS 500 product information
• Support plan information
• Support topic information
• News groups
You can also contact MAS 500 Customer Support Services by phone:
From Phone Fax
United States and Canada (800) 944-5481 (800) 378-6560
Other countries (949) 788-5387 (949) 753-6084
Implementation Planning 13
Chapter 1
Viewing user guides online
All MAS 500 user guides are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF)
files on CD-ROM. View these files using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can
be installed from the MAS 500 User Guides CD-ROM.
PDF documents can also be printed to any printer. For more information
on navigating within PDF documents or performing a text search, see the
Acrobat Reader Help.
How to contact Best Software
Best welcomes your comments, questions, and suggestions. Contact us at:
Best Software, Inc.
56 Technology Drive
Irvine, CA 92618-2301
Phone: (800) 854-3415
Fax: (949) 753-0374
www.bestsoftware.com
14 Implementation Planning
Identify Your
Goals 2
This chapter outlines executive management’s role in the
implementation. Executive management sets the goals, selects the key
implementation team members, and communicates the goals to company
staff. The steps for writing the mission statement and presenting it are
outlined in this chapter. In order to choose the implementation team
members, executive management should also read Chapter 1,
Implementation Overview and Chapter 3, Create Your Team.
This chapter should also be read by the steering committee and the
implementation team members.
The sections in this chapter are:
Executive Management’s Role. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Write the Mission Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Choose the Implementation Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Present the Mission Statement and the Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Implementation Planning 15
Chapter 2
Executive Management’s Role
Executive management’s role is to:
• Write a mission statement that sets the goals for the implementation.
• Choose the implementation team and the steering committee
members.
• Present the mission statement and the implementation team to
company staff.
• Support the implementation team’s work.
• Regularly review the progress of the implementation.
• Champion the changes introduced by the implementation.
Write the Mission Statement
Importance of the mission statement
Writing a clear, well-considered mission statement sets the foundation for
success. The statement must come from top management and be
presented to the implementation team and to company staff by top
management.
If executive management delegates writing the mission statement to the
implementation project manager or the implementation team, company
staff and the implementation team will not perceive that the
implementation has been directed by executive management. Visible
executive leadership is crucial.
The implementation team works following the direction of the mission
statement.
Writing the mission statement
Executive management should write a clear mission statement for your
business, specifying their vision for the company. The goals of the
implementation should describe the business improvements expected
from the implementation. When writing the statement, executive
management should consider these questions:
• Why are you in business?
• What are your critical business requirements?
• Why are you implementing a new system?
• What problems do you expect MAS 500 to resolve?
• Which business areas are weak and need to be strengthened?
• Which business areas are strong and can be capitalized on?
How do you expect to use MAS 500 to make them stronger?
• How do you want the results to be measured?
Increased business volume
16 Implementation Planning
Identify Your Goals
Increased profits
Decreased costs
More repeat customer business
More referrals
More product lines
Expanded services
• How do you expect MAS 500 to help achieve these results?
• What are the necessary objectives?
• What are the nice-to-have objectives?
• When do you need to have MAS 500 in place?
Mission statement evolution
Understand that your requirements will change as the project team
reviews the current business practices and becomes more knowledgeable
about MAS 500. These changes may in turn result in modification of the
goals or of the mission statement.
Share this understanding with the implementation team and with
company staff. Encourage clear and open communication from the start.
Use of the mission statement
The implementation team uses the mission statement to:
• Evaluate your company’s current business practices
• Create specific, measurable, and realistic implementation objectives
to help your company achieve the mission statement’s goals
• Execute the implementation so that your company meets these goals
Implementation Planning 17
Chapter 2
Choose the Implementation Team
To choose the implementation team executive management should:
1 Read Chapter 1, Implementation Overview and Chapter 3, Create Your
Team in order to understand the implementation process and the work
that the implementation team members will do.
2 Identify the steering committee (see Steering Committee on page 21) and
choose the project manager for the implementation team (see
Dedicated project manager on page 23).
3 Choose the implementation team members, or have the steering
committee and the project manager read chapters 1 through 3 in this
guide and choose the other implementation team members.
Present the Mission Statement and the Team
After writing the mission statement and choosing the implementation
team members, executive management should communicate the goals and
introduce the implementation team to all company staff.
Present the mission statement
Meet with the implementation team and present the mission statement.
1 Read the statement and discuss its key points.
2 Provide printed copies of the statement.
3 Encourage a dialog: ask for and answer questions. Use the meeting to
establish communication with the project team.
4 Affirm your support for the project.
Present the implementation mission and team
After meeting with the implementation team, hold a company-wide
meeting to present the mission statement to all your staff.
1 Read the statement and discuss its key points.
2 Provide printed copies of the statement.
3 Present the implementation team and identify their roles.
4 Ask for and answer questions.
18 Implementation Planning
Create Your Team
3
This chapter presents guidelines for effective implementation teamwork
throughout the company and within the project team. Teamwork is
essential for a successful implementation. Consider these guidelines as a
starting point for building teamwork for the implementation project.
Team Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Companywide Partnership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Keys to Teamwork Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Implementation Team Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Member Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Project Manager Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Implementation Team Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Project Team Work Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Project Team Holds Initial Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Implementation Planning 19
Chapter 3
Team Resources
Limited team resources are often a significant challenge in
implementations. The need to continue current business operations on
your legacy system while you implement your new system can tempt you
to underestimate the implementation work, rush through key decisions,
skimp on training, underplan, or underestimate the effort required.
Trying to solve the challenge of limited team resources in these ways is
counterproductive, making implementation more difficult and time-
consuming. A more productive solution is to supplement your
implementation team with the assistance of your MAS 500 reseller, the
Professional Services Group at Best Software, consultants for other
applications being integrated with MAS 500, and your other employees.
The Companywide Partnership
Recognize and use the underlying partnership among all your staff with
regard to the implementation. The company-wide partnership is the
interaction of management, the implementation team, the steering
committee, and all company staff in support of achieving the
implementation goals.
Everyone cooperating and working together leads to a successful
implementation. The figure below illustrates the company-wide
partnership.
Companywide Partnership
Company staff
prepares to use
Management the new system
sets the goals
Setup


Use: 0.4032