Okay last week we covered Pre-assessment/Scoping / Kick Off, this week we are going to cover
This is the brain dump. You want to get everything out of brains of the existing system users and future stakeholders, and try to ensure you know what they expect you to build for them.
Questions, Questions, and More Questions
Asking lots of questions is the key……..
It is recommended that you try to have this meeting face to face if possible but before you even have those meetings you want to have your team study the scope, the plans, the reports and any available sample data ahead of time.
It is critical we have our high to mid-level scope nailed down before we get to this stage otherwise, we run the risk of stakeholders sneaking in “nice to have functionality” or possibly “unnecessary bells and whistles” that management never thought were actually required and never agreed to pay for. In some cases the application simply cannot do the nice to have functions that the stakeholders would like have or the implementation team is not being paid to build the functionality into the system. Either way you look at it, the scope was set so take steps to make sure that it doesn’t get increased without additional increases in budget and time.
The implementation team knows the plans they have to configure, now they need to dive in deeper on those plan, ask probing questions about those plans, and get a base level of understanding for those plans. Ask the client for examples when the implementation team doesn’t understand what is being asked for.
Always ask the client what are the most difficult calculation or tasks you have to deal with right now? Typically those tasks or calculations are the ones that will cause you the most problem during the configuration or build phase.
Your organization likely already scoped out the number of payees involved, as it was a factor in determining the pricing of the application license. With that said, you do still need to get an idea about the reporting hierarchy of the payees being compensated. In many projects there will be roll ups, roll downs, or roll overs of credits. Understanding the hierarchy/reporting relationships during discovery is an important aspect as it is typically one of the first things you do during the configuration.
Sometimes your organization knows what they want from a report other times they don’t. You don’t have to reinvent the reports your organization currently has; however, you can use them as a starting point for future report design. The key is to get a sense or idea of the information your payees and management are going to need in the future. If you can determine that at this point in time it will pay dividends later.
In most cases your organization probably has the data in multiple locations. You probably currently do back flips to get the data put together in a format that you can use for you or existing systems. Unless you have everything in a data warehouse somewhere, you are going to have to revisit where all your data resides because you are going to either need to integrate it yourself or you will need to pay some else to do that in order for your data to be consumable by the sales performance management system you have purchased.