It’s time to replace your CIS, and as we discussed in previous articles, there are lots of different things to consider to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. You might be thinking about budgets, requirements, and proposals, but one thing that often gets neglected is documentation – specifically business documentation. We already discussed how important documentation is for go-live, but the documentation is beneficial even during the implementation process. If you want a smooth transition, it’s important to make sure your business documentation is up to date.

What’s this business?

Right now your organization has a specific way of handling processes and procedures, but are all those things written down in a detailed manner? They may not be. For instance, how are features and fixes implemented? What roles do the different business units have in the organization? How are decisions made? There’s lots of questions to be asked and a business process documentation can help provide a roadmap for these answers. LucidChart offers a great introduction on what exactly process documentation is and what is involved in creating it. Additionally, there is the concept of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) which seeks to take these processes and figure out how to make things run more efficiently. Kissflow explains how BPR can be used and implemented effectively.

Conversion trouble

When moving to a new utility billing system, it’s very common for the vendor to ask the client (aka the utility company) for this business process library to understand how to best go about things within the business. Ideally, the client would have a library well maintained and up-to-date. If that is the case the project can start with ease, using the existing business processes as a roadmap. The new vendor can modify the current utility billing system the client purchased much more easily. However, many clients don’t have these documents updated – if at all – which creates a lot more additional work to do prior to the implementation even starting.  Additionally, this can also delay the implementation start date and timeline. It can also increase project costs if a vendor needs to be hired to perform additional work for an old system.

Don’t Delay, Start Today

If this sounds like a potential headache – it most certainly can be. That’s why business process documentation is so important. Take the time and effort to document how things are done. Also, consider BPR to help examine the areas of your organization that can be refined or run more efficiently.  If that idea seems daunting, there are plenty of tools to help make the process easier. It may seem like a lot of work now, but when it comes to a smooth conversion, you’ll be glad you have it in place.