Preparation is essential to the success of the trial. Those involved will include most of the project team members and any end-users whose knowledge can contribute to the development of the simulation script. The script should commence with a normal transaction and then the effect of this can be examined.
A simple process can have a lot of complexity attached to it, and this is magnified when deviations occur. The aim is to ensure that there is a response for handling such deviations.
Particular attention should be paid to any tasks that involve software modification. Does the modification do what it is supposed to do? Does it affect other parts of the system how it should?
Another task is to develop the pilot programme. This will summarise the sequence of the scripts, when they will run and provide an estimate of how long they will take. It will identify who is involved in the running of each script and ensure that the people and the facilities are available.
The preparation is complete when the scripts are prepared, the data is ready and the programme of events is established.
Another opportunity the pilot presents is to see how running the software affects disc space and other applications on the network. Once any issues have been dealt with, the pilot should be repeated. This cycle continues until all the issues are resolved.
ERP: The Implementation Cycle, by Stephen Harwood, is part of the Computer Weekly professional series. To order call 01865-888180