When you’re implementing a new equipment finance system -- whether establishing an origination system, portfolio management system or an entire equipment finance ecosystem -- there are key factors to consider that will be fundamental to overall success.

Through the years, Tamarack has learned firsthand what’s essential at the inception of a system-implementation project. There is no ‘right way’ to execute, but there are seven core concepts that, when addressed and agreed upon, provide teams the understanding and direction to independently implement the goals of the project and demonstrate results.

These fundamentals must be fully supported with open, effective communication. Establishing a culture of transparency among all stakeholders not only is good for your project, but also supports your business.

We all have goals of projects coming in on time and under budget, and while there is no secret recipe for that, these key concepts, when embraced and fully supported, will set you up for success.

1. Scope – Setting the boundaries for the project

  • What’s In / What’s Out
  • Priority
  • Timing
  • Sequencing
  • MVP / Phased Approach

2. Requirements – Documenting the details of the scope

Articulate what you need the system to do at a high level as well as in detailed specifications. Look into Test Driven Development and spend time detailing acceptance criteria – think of it as letting all parties in on the expectation setting, communicating internal thoughts into external results. Expect requirements to be refined or even fully changed as you work through the project. As your business changes, so do the requirements.

3. End User / Business Buy In – Ensuring the people who will use the software are on board

The team doing the daily work should be brought into defining the requirements and executing the testing. Since they are the ones who determine how the systems are used and ultimately the project’s success, they should be involved throughout the entire process. Change management can often be overlooked, but ensuring everyone knows not only what will be changing, but also “why” will reduce overall anxiety and allow those empowered teams to work with the future state.

4. Committed Team – Who’s on the project

  • Executive Sponsor – sets direction
  • Requirements Provider – provides the inherent knowledge of what’s needed
  • Requirements Writer – documents what’s needed in agreed-upon format
  • Decision-maker – resolves conflicting requirements or direction
  • Project Manager / Scrum Master – provides structure, reports on team progress and manages differing team priorities
  • Developers / Implementors – configure or customize the system to meet requirements
  • Testers – execute testing to ensure the system works as designed
  • System Administrator - learns the new system and how to make the agreed-upon level of changes

5. Roles and Responsibilities – What the internal and external teams do on the project

Because team members can originate from multiple companies that have been brought together to execute the project, it’s important that all are clear as to where responsibilities lie.

  • Finance company
  • Software partner(s)
  • Systems implementors

6. Agreed Upon Project Management Methodology – How the team will communicate and what tools they will use

Clearly define how the team will document, build and configure the software to meet your requirements. Regardless of formal titles, embrace iteration, communication and showing working software.

7. Testing – Whether the software meets the business and integration requirements

The more thorough the testing, both throughout the project implementation and when all components are complete, the less likely you’ll encounter surprises and the more likely you’ll have accurate working software that meets your needs.

 
Written by

Tamarack

Tamarack Technology, Inc. is a leading provider of independent software, operational, and technology services supporting the equipment finance industry for more than 20 years.

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