Accounting Software Implementation – A BHAG!

Big hairy audacious goalSelecting and implementing new accounting software is a big undertaking. In fact, it should be considered a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal – or BHAG for short. And, as with any BHAG, breaking the bigger goal down into smaller blocks adds structure and clarity to the process.

Let’s look at some of the blocks that comprise the Accounting Software Implementation BHAG. Specifically, in our Phase 1-3 Implementation Checklist we identify the four areas of review:

1. Environment
2. Set-up
3. Data Conversion
4. Implementation

For each of these areas, there are individual tasks to which a timeframe should be established. Each of these tasks can be placed into a general timeframe we define as Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III. Finally, each task is assigned a Responsible Party for monitoring and tasking that goal. This basic chart may work well for smaller implementations. For larger installs a full blown project plan (PERT or GANT) using something like Microsoft Project may be desired, but the concept is similar.
If you pull our checklist and see Area I, “Environment”, the first task is “order software.” Depending on when the desired Go Live Date is, and allowing for installation, training, and conversion time, this task would generally fall fairly early in the process, most likely Phase I. However another task in that Area, “Order Check Stock”, might take place closer to the Go LIve Date, perhaps in Phase II.
Breaking down the overall project into these smaller steps allows the implementation team to better manage the project for a greater chance of success, and a lower level of stress. So attack those BHAGS head-on by breaking them down into more manageable steps and documenting the resulting project plan.   Click here for the Accounting Software Implementation Checklist and visit our library for other helpful tips.