Another part of the NISC team arrived last week. Channon Lowman, Business Analyst, and Ryan Wolfrum, Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) Project Manager, came onsite for the CC&B analysis trip. Tracy Liley, CC&B conversion programmer, participated in the three day meeting via WebEx. As I mentioned in my last blog, our team has been learning the importance of training, testing and data validation.

Channon started the first day with a PowerPoint presentation which included lessons learned for a successful implementation. We learned that while executive sponsorship is required and solid project planning and project management are important, however, the key components to a successful implementation are communication, training, testing and listening to the people who use the software. The CC&B analysis was similar to the ABS analysis trip, with NISC gaining an understanding of our business procedures, rates, and policies and mapping our legacy data to the iVUE® data fields. The room was filled with personnel from a majority of our departments, we wanted them understanding the system capabilities and making the decisions on how iVUE will operate.

We provided NISC a copy of our data early in the project. It was beneficial to Channon, Tracy and Ryan as they went through the analysis. Reviewing the data helped us determine which fields we did not need to convert to iVUE. For example, you may consider the criteria of an inactive account and which ones will / will not convert. It is beneficial to review your current data before NISC comes onsite otherwise the amount of information being discussed and the decisions that have to be made can be overwhelming.

We finished up with the analysis and started on the fun stuff, at least according to Channon, and drilled into the tables and fields. We discussed the legacy tables and fields, determined which fields we would convert and Channon mapped the respective iVUE table/fields. One thing that helps the process is to identify the screen and field in the legacy system as it correlates to the legacy table/field. Sometimes screen names and the associated field name isn’t so apparent. Also just because data is in the field, doesn’t indicate the data is used. We found data was populated in the system but not used. Somebody years ago used the field and it wasn’t maintained as the system moved forward. By NISC doing these analysis trips, we were able to eliminate what would have been extra work for Peace River and begin streamlining our processes before we’ve even installed one piece of NISC’s software.

We didn’t keep a score sheet as we did in the ABS analysis trip but by the smiles and verbal affirmations, NISC scores again.