Managing systems implementations

Richmond Consulting Group helps asset finance companies select, implement and upgrade their leasing systems.

We provide hands-on business expertise across the full implementation spectrum, including:

  • System evaluation and selection
  • Managing asset finance systems implementations
    • Pan-European rollout and systems harmonisation
    • Leading requirements definition and design
    • Testing systems for quality and performance
    • Implementing data and finance controls
    • Driving data conversion and remediation
  • Project rescue and recovery

Managing systems implementations

In a recent Richmond survey more than 75% of companies said their asset finance system implementation had failed to realize the expected benefits.

Richmond's Impact approach helps our clients overcome the odds by ensuring the factors that lead to success are covered by deploying smart, effective implementation techniques, and by co-leading teams with energy and sense of purpose.

The result: a track record of over two decades of delivering projects that succeed.

Implementing a new asset finance system can be a source of competitive advantage. Recognizing that these systems are mission critical and must address complexities unique to the industry, such change is not undertaken lightly.Richmond's Impact® implementation methodology has been developed from our collective experience of implementation approaches that delivered results.

Working alongside you Richmond helps:

  • Deliver systems efficiently and safely. Our agile approaches ensure mutual understanding between software vendors, users and stakeholders, avoiding the re-work caused by mis-interpreted requirements and late changes
  • Fast-track the requirements, build and test phases
  • Bring asset finance industry expertise to bolster your in-house teams

The Richmond Approach to system implementation

Richmond undertakes implementation projects using three alternative approaches depending upon which is right for the client and for the project. These are:

  • Traditional, waterfall approach
  • Agile, iterative development approach
  • Hybrid agile approach

Traditional waterfall approach

Where traditional, waterfall projects are mandated, Richmond uses a 6-step implementation approach:

Plan and design

  • Implementation methodology agreed (agile vs waterfall)
  • Requirements defined & agreed
  • Functional design defined & agreed
  • System & interface configuration & customisations agreed
  • Data migration mappings and strategy
  • Plans – resources and timings

Build

  • Configure system
  • Build interfaces to internal and external systems
  • Develop customised software elements
  • Re-engineer processes where necessary
  • Build data migration routines

Test

  • Check delivered functionality meets design requirements
  • Integration check that all components work together
  • Defect identification, fix scheduling & re-tests
  • Data conversion validation and tests
  • User acceptance tests

Deploy

  • Software deployed
  • Documentation delivered
  • Training delivered
  • Defect workarounds, if any, in place
  • Cutover plan initiated
  • Operations made ready

Go live

  • Cutover plan executed
  • Data conversion validated
  • Go live approval given
  • Switch on live operations for new system

Support

  • Post implementation validations
  • Held-over defects fixed
  • Transition from project team support to live support
  • De-commission legacy systems
  • Lessons learned
  • Benefits realisation audit

Tools

  • Richmond uses best-in-breed software tools where clients' projects permit their use, including tools for:
    • Project planning & management
    • Issue logging & tracking
    • Test management, collaboration and reporting
    • Defect logging and management
    • Use case delivery (for collaborative delivery and approval of requirements documentation)

Agile approach

Agile approaches can be considered where the system being implemented requires substantial configuration, customisation or development. However, before embarking on an agile projects clients will need to be aware of their very different organization and progress reporting prerequisites .

In agile projects:

  • Initial requirements are high level only and form a “product backlog”
  • Responsibility for detailed requirements definitions, priorities and development* is devolved to sprint teams comprising business and developers working closely together
  • Integration and functional testing is undertaken by the sprint teams
  • Development sprints typically last 30 days with daily work decided by the teams. "Development" in the context of implementing packaged software means system configuration and parameterisation as well as customisation & development.
  • The traditional project stage-gates such as Requirements, System Design, Build, Test are amended to Sprint reviews and delivering the minimum viable product ("MVP")

 

Plan and initiate

  • High level plan
  • Engage stakeholders
  • High level requirements defined
  • Funding estimates & boundaries approved
  • Initiate project

Design, build & test – agile approach

Deliver minimum viable product

  • Continual focus on creating the minimum viable system that can be used

Richmond's Impact approach

Impact involves an integrated project team organisation focusing on delivering Use Cases with the benefit of the Richmond library of asset finance industry best practices.

The Impact project structure involves the organisation of subject domain teams comprising users, subject matter experts, the software company staff and Richmond facilitators working in unison. The team goals are mutually agreed Use Cases which users have understood and agreed. Similarly the software company is required to exit the Use Case design phase with understood and agreed configuration, parameterisation and customisation build requirements.

Use Cases combine the requirements phase with the functional and process design phase into a single delivery phase. They also form a solid foundation for subsequent test phases and the provision of user documentation and operations manuals.

Use case build software tools are used constructing the Use Cases and for team collaboration.

A typical systems implementation landscape for an Impact project with Use Cases:

 

Working with Richmond

Asset finance expertise

Serving our customers for over 20 years

Global reach - local execution

Delivering projects in Europe, the Americas, and Asia

Practical and pragmatic

Experienced, knowledgeable, safe