Get a Quick Win with Your Next Implementation – Prototype!

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If you’re the project manager waiting to show executive management that “quick win” from your project, there’s nothing like a performance report out of the prototype, formatted exactly with your data and their requirements, when management thinks you’ve barely started on the project.

Prototyping allows you to develop management and financial reports before the heat of the live implementation.  Some reports and forms just won’t wait; you need invoices, purchase orders, and checks in the first few days of implementation.  Utilizing the prototype, you know your data is displayed on those forms exactly like you need it.

There is a lot of information available on Choosing the Right Software.  The clincher, the decision maker, should be the prototype.  Before 100% commitment to the software purchase, before all personnel are trained, and before processes and customized components are re-designed, we advocate the prototype.

Implementations of vertical market software, implemented into a company that represents their “sweet spot,” involve different personnel, different data, and frequently a new version of the software.  Each variable is associated with risk even in a vertical market situation, enough to mandate a prototype.  So how do you balance the value of the prototype with its cost?

Choosing the size and makeup of the subset of data for the prototype is a first step.  Too much data slows you down; too little data misleads you if something significant is missed.  A subset of data makes your prototype nimble so you can test alternative settings quickly.

A subset of data is more than just “the front of the building.” Think of your data as a matrix with a timeline as one axis and type of transaction as the other axis.  If you slice your subset of data correctly, you pick up pieces like international address fields, phone numbers that that don’t fit U.S. convention, or the 1% of inventory items that require 5 decimal point precision in their quantities.

The powerful attributes of Microsoft SQL allow you to backup, restore, and re-test quickly with a prototype—“do overs!”

Prototyping with Microsoft Dynamics GP provides you an early platform for training your personnel.  More comfortable with their own data, users learn more quickly with more meaningful data.  If mistakes are made or different processes are considered, the reliance on Microsoft SQL to restore to a backup makes the users more confident they can explore the system without causing problems.

At Computeration, we’ve developed unique prototyping concepts that help us lower the cost of an implementation so much, it’s obvious the prototype pays for itself.  You avoid missing the details; you can re-use the prototype for part of the live implementation,

The prototype is a proof of concept that the ERP system you’ve chosen will perform the functions that you need.  As you push the subset of data through the design, you evaluate whether the system should be changed or the process should be changed.  Microsoft Dynamics GP has industry standard processes within it that provide excellent templates for change of processes in small companies, tested and proven in your unique situation via a prototype.

Read more about prototype processes of Computeration – Idaho Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

3 thoughts on “Get a Quick Win with Your Next Implementation – Prototype!”

  1. This is very interesting. Traditional software prototyping tends to concern itself with how a system is organised and how we might interact with it, but in your case it's much more data-centric.

    I found it interesting enough to write a short response:
    http://softwareprototyping.net/2009/08/22/erp-prototyping/

    ...on the softwareprototyping.net blog. I'd be very interested to hear more about the use of prototyping in 'data centric' systems - please do pop by and leave a comment or send an email as using prototyping techniques in this way is something that I think needs to be promoted!

    All the best!

  2. If you're looking for the environment for YOUR prototype, be sure an contact GoIWx Hosting. We specialize in Dynamics GP and are a Partner Only firm with access to 76 data centers across North America!

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