Converting designs into working systems

Implementation is the second of the two phases in software development and it is the normally the costlier phase.

It should be a known quantity i.e The timetable and costs for the Implementation phase should be known up front before it begins. Establishing the fixed cost and timetable is the subject of Project Specification.

Implementation generally proceeds as follows for each Process Definition

1 You supply CCS (or authorise CCS to collect) sample or complete data from existing systems (e.g. in the form of database backups, spreadsheets, documents etc)

2 We import this into a data format (e.g. a SQL database) that will operate with the system that will be developed.

3 We create a First Beta Version of the module based on the PD and other information gathered from Process Definition meetings. The first Beta Version may include only minimal features but demonstrate 'look and feel' as well as interoperability with the your existing systems.

4 We deliver it to the you within an agreed time limit.

The aim of this step is to create:

  • A working program, or subprogram on the your site
  • A process where you can test the system and provide feedback to us
  • A process by which updates to the software can be delivered and installed routinely

You test it and create a List of Refinements which you pass back to us.

We incorporate your refinements into a new Beta version and deliver it back to you.

NB. The list of Refinements should neither contradict the PD nor contradict any previous List of Refinements. If they do then process definition needs revisiting.

The cycle of Beta creation, test, and refinement continues until the version is acceptable to you. You can then deem it final.

List of Refinements.

These refinements should not alter the requirements specified in the PD - they should merely refine the PD by filling in details.

If these refinements contradict the PD then the implication is that PD is either incorrect or incomplete. In this situation work should immediately revert back to Process Definition. Any quote for time and cost of Implementation that is based on a revised PD will itself need to be revised.

Each List of Refinements should be agreed by the project manager and if possible all members of the Customer's PD team .

Putting new Software into your system

If you are intend to be the contact point then here is an outline of the procedures that you will need to perform as part of the software delivery process. Software is developed module by module and delivered as such. You need to test each unit of software as it is delivered to you. There are generally three levels of testing:

Version 1 - key data

Data Entry - All the data that needs to go in can go in.

Navigation - You can get to the screens you want when you want to. The menus are logical or intuitive.

Search and Select - You can find data using searches

General Look and Feel - The software is something that you are comfortable with and your users will be comfortable.

Calculation - Calculations are correct and Numeric Results are correct

Version 2 - support data

Histories / Logs are present where specified

Reports are available where specified and contain the correct information

Version 3 - Integration and go-live

When you are satisfied that each unit works correctly and that the units that form a subsystem work togther correctly then go live

Version 4 - Final touches

After your users have started using the system you can begin to easliy identify some enhancements

Data access Speedups and optimisations

Useability - additional toolbar shortcut commands and keyboard shortcuts