Today, Ross Blythe, a member of the Business Process Management team at SAP Fieldglass returns to the blog to discuss the significance of proper documentation during the implementation process. Welcome, Ross!
When faced with implementing a Vendor Management System (VMS), documentation is traditionally everyone’s least favorite task – except for the lucky few of us who enjoy design documentation. However, it is absolutely critical to laying the foundation for a successful implementation project.
Design documentation review kicks off once design sessions have wrapped up, testing is complete and your project team has established a written plan for the technical aspects of your external workforce program. Simply put, these documents define the setup of your VMS. It’s important that the project team on the client side carefully reviews these documents and understands them to prevent surprises before and after launch.
In the 17 years SAP Fieldglass has been in business, we have evaluated different ways to capture design decisions and the reasons behind them. We continuously evaluate this process to ensure the right details are being captured as efficiently as possible. These design documents provide key project insights as a program transitions from the Implementation team to Account Services. They serve as a baseline for understanding new workflows, rate structures and other aspects of the new program. Careful completion and review of the documents ensures accuracy and results in a smoother transition.
Documentation review and sign off is not only restricted to implementations, but also prevalent in other activities that may change the program such as customization requests. Before making any customizations to the program’s functionality, SAP Fieldglass will ask for sign off from internal teams and the client. If testing and sign off are achieved, but the review process was not documented thoroughly or if sign off was given without the right stakeholders’ input, more effort will be required to correct that new feature than originally budgeted. This can lead to delays of new launches, program expansions and/or related software deployments.
When captured correctly and reviewed thoroughly, documentation provides a common ground to return to when competing priorities or viewpoints arise over the course of VMS-related projects. These documents are meant to protect the client as much as the technology, ensuring that the project successfully launches and meets the needs of the business. Careful review of documentation ensures that the program and the VMS are true partners working together and on the same page – pun intended.