Before developing such a plan, pause a moment and reflect on what are some of the key questionsthe plan will have to address:
• What are the expected benefit to stakeholders?
• What are the risks?
• What scale of technological solution do you need?
• What cooperative services are covered?
• Which personnel will be involved in the process?
• How can we ensure good performance?
Designing the project implementation plan is very important step that requires a lot of thought. Changes made once systems are implemented are much more expensive.
Defining project objectives and the business goal
• Deciding on project size and time frame
The amount of surplus funds the cooperative has available, the experience of its employees and the influence of local computer hardware suppliers have impact on the project size and time frame.
• Identify feasible and measureable objectives and goals
Separate them into project objectives (computerized accounting records, increasing speed, industrialization ofproduct) and business goals (increase profit, reduce financial cost).
• Obtain agreement from all stakeholders
Stakeholders must be involved into project. Agreement should be made on the objective and benefit of the project.
• Develop a method for monitoring project implementation progress
Define measureable success indicator to monitor progress. Contents of implementation plan
• Establish a project team: whose main responsibility will be to assist you in preparing the plan and overseeing project implementation, interacting with external developers (consultants), managers and members.
• Identify all tasks required to attain each objective: key human resources, capital requirement and budget, formal risk analysis, software test plans, training plans, pilot and implementation plans. Define time and resources for each. Define and estimate costs. Assign tasks toindividuals or groups of individuals.
• Identify all risk areas:consider measures taken to minimize risk.
• Define references to other key documents that are needed: e.g. risk assessment document, training plan, software testing plan.
• Establish a backup system: keep the manual system running in-parallel during the development and testing phases. If something goes wrong with the new system during these phases, no data will be lost and cooperative businessoperations will continue to operate smoothly.
Developing a training plan for staff and members
• Ensure a formal Project Manager is assigned to project. Obtain commitment on use of human resources where appropriate.
• Identify what the manager and employee skills are that will be required to operate and maintain the new system, what their existing skill capacities are, and what additional skill training needs to be done.
• Develop a training plan. Define employees re-training and adaptation process in order to overcome the fear of losing jobs and encourage their participation and support.
• Assign staff to continue running the manual system during the project as a back-up. This is essential to ensure that the day-today operations of the cooperative and member services are not negatively affected by any problems that might occur as a result of project implementation.
• Anticipate the eventual need for procedural changes and analyze their implications on organization, structureand incentives: Computerization does not just involve installing computers and software: the whole "way of doing things" is altered; this means that special emphasis must be put on the staff, with training and support to ensure that they can adapt as required.
Preparing the Project Work Plan
• An easy way to prepare a work plan is by organizing the information you havecollected on what you want to do in a hierarchical sequenced fashion: starting with the objective, then moving on to the outputs that contribute to that objective, then to tasks that contribute to achieving the output. A partial workplanfor one of probably many objectives is shown below:
• The next step is to look at the timing and sequencing of all of these outputs, tasks and activities to see how everything fits together. This is often best done using a Gantt or bar chart.
• The final step is to assign costs to all of these sequenced actions to determine when funds will be needed to cover the expenses. This information is then arranged in the form of a monthly or quarterly expenditure plan or budget.