Customer Services staff were each spending more than three hours per week collating details of new customers. This time was given back to them by setting up a simple, computer-generated report which pulled information from the company's existing database.
Rethink your working practices
The implementation of a new accounting package gave the opportunity for a complete rethink of the company's accounting practices. Working with the accountant, a new analysis-coding scheme was developed, which represented the business activity better and enabled more appropriate management information reporting.
The merger of two companies meant two sets of IT; some applications were unique and some were duplicated, but the majority partially overlapped. A phased approach was adopted; listing each application and its contribution to the business, and then, in a carefully planned and controlled manner, adding functionality, merging datasets, and retiring systems, to achieve a single integrated application set to serve the new business. The key objectives were to transfer the business onto a single set of systems as quickly as possible, whilst minimising risk and maintaining continuity.
Software testing is regarded by many as a black art. Yet taking a systematic approach (as has been used with a number of companies), it's been undertaken in a controlled and understandable manner; delivering high quality systems, to time and within budget.