This is Part II of a blog on the steps to establish processes at a client’s site during the beginning of an implementation: Step 1 – A Complete Analysis of Each Process is detailed in Part I of the blog.
Step 2 – Create a Plan to Implement Standard Processes
Now that we understand the process being used at the client, we can compare it to our Best Practice standard processes. TGG has most standard practices documented in flow chart form and has a standard template for the project plan. After modifying for anything that is unusual to the client, these templates and flow charts are a tool we can use to establish standard processes. It serves as a vehicle to explain how these processes work to the client and achieve their buy in (more in Step 3).
Standard practices also allow us to create checklists to monitor that tasks are complete and accurate leading up to the monthly close. It aids in planning which resources we need since we now can determine what tasks are required and how much time each task generally takes. This includes the client’s staff time as well. In addition, it can help determine the order that things need to be completed and what the gating items are to each task completion.
Step 3 – Communicate Changes Necessary to the Client
In order to have a successful implementation, it is important that we communicate the changes necessary and get the client’s buy in. To do this effectively, it is important to include all the decision makers in the company. This could include some combination of the CEO, COO, CFO and other members of the Management Team. The plan developed in Step 2 should be presented and explained, highlighting the benefits of implementing and encouraging questions. At the end of the meeting a roll out process should be agreed to and a process of communicating any changes to the rest of the company by management. Frequently this is done at weekly management meetings.
Step 4 – Document the process
Once Step 3 is complete, an effective tool to create value for the client is to create training manuals that include flow charts of each of the processes, following up with detailed instructions which can include screen shots of the computer screens used. When training any of the client’s staff that will be involved in the process the manuals should be referenced often and have blank pages included for any additional notes. If the client isn’t involved in the process, the manual will serve as a vehicle for other TGG staff members to step in to help when necessary.
When these processes are followed while implementing or transitioning into any change, the success rate is far higher. This documented process can lead to smooth transitions and effective change in your organization.Written by: Nancy Brzezniak TGG Accounting