This post is about Configuration, which I describe as the time spent to install the software and configure all the “out of the box” capabilities. The outcome is software that is technically operational but is not yet configured to your specific requirements as determined during the Process and Solution Design steps.
Configuration involves installing the software and configuring its capabilities to prepare to meet your business requirements. Some of your requirements will be fulfilled immediately upon installation, while others will require the software to be set up or “configured” first. For example, if you are implementing a Customer Management system you may want your customers to be assigned to certain target markets. The software may have a place for target markets but not necessarily the target markets your business uses. If you are implementing a Financial System, you may want taxes charged on invoices to some customers and not others. The software may have a place for customer tax differentiation, but you will need to modify it to suit your specific business needs.
Using the Solution Design document or Roadmap from the previous implementation step, you will need to work your way through the software and set up all of the configuration elements that are specific to your business. This step is a cross-over between software and data that will allow you to get these two things working together.
What you will find when you are finished with configuring the software is that it now “works” but parts of your requirements are still not meet. These requirements will be met by customizations of the software as explained in the Solution Design or Roadmap. Customization is the subject of my next blog post.
For more insight, download our solution guide, Barriers to Implementing New Technology.