Johannesburg, 17 Jan 2024
The creation of business units with a dedicated project management department has enabled software solutions provider Fusion Software to deliver more focused implementations and assure project success.
This is according to Kirsten Heuer, Fusion Software PMO Manager, who says the company’s decision to create dedicated departments for DevOps, project management, sales and support over a year ago is proving beneficial to clients. “For our clients, this structure simplifies communications and support. They know exactly who will take care of them at which stage of their project; they are empowered to escalate matters, which speeds up response times,” she says.
Heuer explains that the project management office works closely with Fusion Software’s other departments and clients to successfully implement new projects. The team of six project managers has extensive systems implementation expertise and includes a qualified accountant who brings deep industry understanding to the department. “Having an accountant in our team makes a massive difference in accounting implementations, as they speak the same language as the client, understand the systems they come from and can address common problems and concerns,” Heuer says.
She outlines her department’s process: “We implement the entire Fusion Software product stack, our department manages all aspects of the project, including liaising with our DevOps team when there are custom development or integration requirements, and then once the system is live, we hand it over to the support team. When we go into a project, we first sit with the client to do a business requirement specification (BRS) to understand the client, their process and their requirements. It’s crucial that we are all on the same page, and that we refer to the BRS throughout the process, because things may change as we go along. We also do workshops with the client, with end-to-end run-throughs of their processes within the Fusion Software solution.”
The team prepares a project plan with dates to finish specific deliverables. A project manager will work closely with the client and all other stakeholders through the system development life cycle (SDLC).
For a cloud (off-the-shelf) implementation, Fusion Software aims to conclude the project in a month, while for an ERP implementation including accounting, etc, the timeline is about three months, depending on the client's requirements.
“Change management, transparency and honesty are very important to us in any implementation. Therefore, if there is any concern about progress on a project, we communicate with the client immediately. We strive to be honest and to provide clear and concise communication,” she says.
“It is very important that clients understand we need to work together to make the project a success. We need clients' input, especially around processes and requirements, data importing into Fusion, and we need their support for any integration requirements.”
Heuer says the demand for integration is growing in the market. “More and more organisations are moving to digital platforms and looking to achieve streamlined, end-to-end systems that users across the business can access,” she says. “Software implementations can be challenging, but we don’t shy away from a challenge, and we strive to build long-term relationships with all our clients. The planning that goes into it is what counts. Our motto is: 'If you don’t plan, plan to fail.'
“2024 will be a very exciting year for us. We are constantly bolstering our processes to offer our clients the best implementation services available on the market!”