Adexa Implementation Methodology (AIM)
Adexa is committed to deliver to each and every one of its clients their desired solution and more. This has been our highest priority for over 25 years providing real value to hundreds of Fortune class companies in five continents. Regardless of how good our technology is, it has to be molded to our client’s environment and enable them to get more competitive, more agile and more risk-resilient. This is our promise!
Although there are many commonalities between our different clients, however, each client has a uniqueness depending on their industry, their competitive positioning and size of operations. We have created implementation templates which are relevant by industry and scope of the project. The most important part of each implementation is to understand and agree on what the expected value (to the client) is, how the system is intended to be used and what is the best way to get there. To this end, we deploy an initial Business Solution Design to ensure a thorough understanding of the final goal by all stakeholders. The next question is what the journey looks like and how we will get there? We may deploy either a traditional waterfall methodology or an agile implementation approach. They both have pros and cons, as explained later in this section, that need to be discussed and decided on. The figure below shows a high-level comparison of the two methodologies.
As it can be seen, one approach is more of a short-term planning and getting small results that get bigger over time and the other is more of a longer-term plan which is fixed and more reliable vs flexibility for changes. With more flexibility comes more risk and higher probability of changes in time-line and budget. In reality, most implementations are a hybrid of the two. In other words, each “loop” of the Agile becomes a complete sequence of the Waterfall. Except that the timeline of each “waterfall” within each loop is collapsed to a much shorter time period. Below we provide more detail on each approach.
Adexa Agile Implementation Methodology
Agile implementation is simply creating a pipeline of value while the system is being implemented. It is an iterative process of short-term design, build, release and value that has quality built into every phase rather than check points. It is a more flexible approach to implementation of systems by allowing changes in every phase of the project and ensuring series of outcomes after each phase.
Characteristics of Agile Implementation are as follows:
- Decide on short term goals based on what client’s needs are (value delivered)
- Least commitment planning principle applies here. In other words, do not plan anything unless we have to.
- Ensure short term delivery of value
- Allow flexibility in terms of timelines. Ranges can be defined based on past experience of similar projects.
- Remain focus on the results and the nature of the work.
- Individuals are part of the team to deliver work and results. Do not focus on individuals.
- Quality is built into every iteration
A more flexible approach to implementation of systems by allowing changes in every phase of the project and ensuring series of outcomes after each phase.
Figure below depicts a typical approach to Agile implementation methodology.
As it can be seen much flexibility is provided by this implementation strategy ensuring values are delivered step by step. Goals can be changed as the project is being implemented to mold the system into the environment. The downside is changing timelines, variation in estimated cost and in some cases backtracking, or undoing, due to a substantial realization that was not foreseen earlier causing some costly changes of the previous iteration(s).
In the next section we describe our waterfall methodology which in many ways is similar to the Agile approach with phased delivery and iterative revision.
Adexa Waterfall Implementation Methodology
The Adexa implementation methodology was originally developed over a 10-year period and has been refined and fine-tuned over time in response to our customers’ feedback. The purpose is to ensure an on-time, on-budget and successful deployment of our applications to fully meet our customers’ planning requirements.
In general, with an initial Business Solution Design that sets the foundation for each subsequent phase.
Each implementation of our products goes through the following 5-phases with very detailed attention to quality, training and overall change management throughout:
The project will be “kicked-off” by establishing a consensus on project approach, timelines, deliverables and resources as outlined in this proposal. The core project team will be identified and trained in Adexa’s applications. A preliminary Project Plan and a Project Charter, which will outline the consensus approach with supporting policies and procedures, will be delivered.
The purpose of the Analysis milestone is to verify information about existing business processes, systems and the project vision as laid out in the global design, in order to refine System Requirements, which is the primary deliverable of Analysis milestone.
The primary deliverable of the Design milestone is the Business Solution Design (BSD) document, which is a conceptual design document for future process flows, applications, application configuration and system architecture based on the original System Requirements. This document will detail the proposed solution and provide a detailed work-plan and schedule based on the rollout milestones.
Adexa delivers value in multiple phases of implementation or business releases. Thus you start benefitting from our technology in a very short time.
Proposed revisions to the BSD will be discussed and appropriate changes made for re-submission. The approval for the BSD, unless otherwise noted, must be by the customer project sponsor or his/her delegate and the Adexa Engagement Manager. Adexa uses a rapid prototyping approach to support the conceptual design phase, in order to validate the requirements and preliminary system requirements. This prototype will be constructed using a conceptual data set and will be used throughout the Design milestone for design validation purposes.
The first step of the Construction milestone is to document the detail design specifications for areas that include application configuration, interfaces and data flows. This document is called DSA. Based on the design specifications all application configuration and interface building activities etc. will be completed. The milestone will be finished with unit testing of the configuration and interfaces.
Testing consists of integration and system/functional testing of interfaces and applications. The details of testing plans will be developed as part of the testing strategy. The milestones will be completed with acceptance criteria sign-off representing system readiness for production.
Deployment phase will include final User-Acceptance Testing (UAT) and sign-off. System will be migrated to the production environment and be ready for the first production run. Final technical and functional documentation will be delivered.
These methodology components would be applied as appropriate based on the roll-out plan identified above, i.e. Initiation, Analysis, and Design would be performed as work blocks with the appropriate Construction, Testing, and Deployment activities in the remaining work blocks.
Project Team: Roles & Responsibilities
Adexa will provide project resources with relevant skills and experience, working directly with the customer project team and resources to support the successful and timely completion of the Statement of Work (SOW). Project activities will consist of interviewing, process mapping, data analysis, model building and testing, data mapping, process and system documentation, training, coaching and communication.
We will manage Adexa deliverables of the Statement-of-Work with support from customer. Key roles will include planning, preparation assistance, project administration (including providing status updates and monitoring deliverables), issues/risk management, coordinating day-to-day tasks for all personnel, supporting the use of the implementation methodologies, and supervision of Adexa personnel and its subcontractors.
The engagement manager assumes full responsibility for the success of the project implementation and for ensuring customer is satisfied with the performance of Adexa. This position helps to identify strategic areas for improvement of business processes via skill, knowledge and experience. The Engagement Manager is tasked with ensuring that the appropriate resources and skills are assigned to the project and provides guidance and leadership to the project team. If any major issues arise then the engagement manager is responsible for developing the framework that will ensure that the issue is resolved in a timely and effective manner.
The Project Manager leads the project team in successfully executing to the implementation plan defined in the Business Solution Design document. The Project Manager is responsible for scheduling project resources to ensure that the goals are met on time and within budget. The Project Manager is the main facilitator for information transfer from and between customer team and Adexa. The project manager tracks and reports the project status against goals and milestones as well as ensuring that the project team completes the project within budget and scheduled constraints. The Project Manager must resolve any resource conflicts that may occur during a project. Responsibilities also include day-to-day leadership to project consultants, solution definition and model solution development. He/she directs all training of customer team. This individual, through extensive knowledge of planning and scheduling, works with Adexa and customer team members to institute implementation of planning process changes if required.
Solution Architect/Subject Matter Expert
The Solution Architect is an experienced Senior Adexa resource accountable to deliver a System Design that addresses client’s business issues and needs. The Solution Architect also provides Quality Assurance and guidance throughout the project life cycle.
Consultants are responsible for completing daily implementation tasks such as documenting processes, model configuration, and TCL script development, building report generators, mapping data flows and testing. Consultants develop and test internal model logic and write any custom algorithms that may be required to support the customer’s required solution. They work closely with more senior team members to provide project and model documentation.
Adexa Framework / Integration Consultant
Adexa Framework / Integration consultants are focused on integration related, reporting and analytic activities to ensure that data is available, accessible, viewable and useable at the right time and right format to meet project goals and objectives. This role ensures that integration requirements are defined and that the agreed solution is implemented. Framework consultants are to help in the establishment of data update policies and procedures for MDM. They help in the design of scripts to move data in and out of the planning system as well as the construction of any necessary interfaces between Adexa and legacy systems.