Don’t Think You Need a Drill When All You Really Need is a Hole
The key here is that many times the solution is given so much focus that the real goal of the requirement is overlooked.
When implementing a software solution that allows for low cost customizations like FAMCare, avoid the temptation to get carried away. The reality is there are things to think about that should be part of your customization plan or SOP.
Consider these tips or commandments :-) for FAMCare customizations...
- * It does not matter how reasonable the cost, they will mount up quickly if too many modifications are entertained. View each one as if it was using the last precious dollar in the budget for customizations.
- * Always remember that when you create a customized version of a form, it can no longer get automatic updates that could include valuable enhancements. The enhancements will have to be manually replicated in your custom version by a developer.
- * If every implementation session is viewed as an invitation for "list making" of requests -that are often more personal preference than system necessities, the project will never be completed.
- * Adopt the idea of a Parking Lot in which to hold ideas and requirements that are not critical to operations but nice to have. For example, maybe a special form is not in the standard library, but it holds no data that needs reports from the database. Just scan the paper form, upload it to the client record and wait until a later time to decide if it needs to be entered in the system as a form.
- * Many times Good Enough is just GOOD ENOUGH for now.
- * The purpose of a form is to capture data, the cosmetic preference should not be given unnecessary attention until it is proven to affect performance.
- * Don't be distracted by shiny objects. Alerts, email notifications, graphs and the like can be very useful but overuse can become counterproductive.
- * Support can end up to be more difficult since the vendor's help desk staff knows the base system as delivered and not the particulars of customizations. Even something that appears harmless like renaming a menu item and/or moving it to a different location in the sub-menus can cause extra effort by the support team.
- * Finally, don't try to recreate your "old" system. Focus on what the system needs to do, not what the old system does. Remember, there is a reason for going through the effort to replace it.
About the author:
Bill Lowther is a Senior Business Analyst at GVT.