SSP Innovations typically partners with the client to perform a standard implementation of the SSP WFM product. SSP uses a three phased waterfall approach for software project implementations including Design, Development, and Deployment.
One of the keys to the successful implementation of WFM is a well-configured software solution that can be applied seamlessly to the existing workflows at the utility. The initial step in achieving this goal is conducting an exhaustive review and documentation of the existing workflow with which a work-order or service-request moves from phase to phase and department to department within the utility.
To begin, SSP will travel onsite to the client site to meet with the client project team. The client project team should include a designated project manager and subject matter experts from each department that will interact with the SSP WFM software. This will likely include representatives from customer service, engineering/design, warehousing, work management, GIS/mapping, asset management, and accounting. All representatives should be available for the first day of the kickoff week and then at various intervals during the week to discuss their respective workflows. The first day of the workshop will include a project kickoff meeting and a demonstration of SSP-WFM to set the stage for the various upcoming workshops.
SSP will then lead a workflow workshop to review and document the client's work design and management workflow into the SSP Visio format. This is an important first step because it will be used to configure the core system and will be used by the client to fully test the workflows within the delivered system at the end of the development phase. SSP will interview members of each department that touches the work management system and consult with project leadership to determine the best routing options at every decision point along the workflow.
Next, the SSP PM will travel onsite to conduct data modeling workshops. These workshops will review the key data fields that are collected by the client for service requests / work orders, materials, labor, equipment, compatible units (CU's), and any GIS compatible unit defining attributes (CUDA's).
This information will be mapped into a conversion matrix spreadsheet that will be used to drive the migration of the existing data into the new SSP-WFM data structures. If the client manages fields not already extant within SSP WFM, extension tables can be designed to add the client fields to the core model. As custom fields are identified they will also be related to the WFM screens. Existing WFM fields can be hidden and the client custom fields can be added via a configurable plug-in architecture available within WFM. Additional workshops may be scheduled to cover all of the required data modeling.
SSP will use the documented conversion matrix and data model design to script out any custom data structures that will be used in addition to the SSP WFM base data model. This custom script will be applied on top of the out-of-the-box scripts within an SSP test environment to create the initial WFM SQL Server database. SSP will then work to create conversion and load scripts to move any legacy job data along with all compatible units, materials, labor, equipment and any Telvent CUDA's into the SSP and custom client structures within the database. An organized set of scripts will be created which will allow this to be a repeatable process.
SSP will work to configure the WFM workflow per the workflow modeling documentation. All custom client fields will be coded into custom controls and configured into the WFM application.
All custom field work will be completed in coordination with the data modeling effort. All required workflow wizards will be created and configured and then the documented workflow will be tested within the WFM application.
Upon completion of the above development activities, SSP will work with the client to install the WFM solution into a test environment at the client site.
SSP will travel onsite and lead a review of the WFM implementation including the workflow, data conversion, custom fields, configured wizards, any customizations and the custom interfaces. This will be a hands-on review with the client project staff to ensure they understand and can use the application. The workflow modeling diagram and data modeling/conversion documentation will be used to guide the review session.
Upon completion of the team review of the software, the client will be required to thoroughly test the software independently to validate the data conversion and workflow configuration. At this point in the project, the test installation at the client site should accurately represent the workflow, data conversion and all customizations including the interfaces. Over the course of the next several weeks, the client will again thoroughly test the system from end to end. Any final issues should be documented, submitted to SSP and resolved during this time period.
To begin the deployment phase, SSP will work with the client to schedule the rollout of SSP WFM into production. The client will be required to freeze its data editing related to open jobs and/or compatible units and designs. The client shall then provide fresh copies of its source data to SSP to use for the production conversion.
Next, SSP will convert the data using the procedures created during the development phase and will prepare the data within SQL Server. SSP will then travel onsite to load the data into the production environment and will install all server and client software as needed. Software components will need to be installed on all GIS Designer™ desktops. SSP will then typically conduct the SSP WFM user training which will teach the trainees how to use WFM, in conjunction with Telvent Designer™ if applicable.
Upon completion of the training, the users may immediately begin using the production environment. SSP will remain onsite to ensure the system is up and running smoothly and will then be available to provide remote rollout support. After the close of the project, the client will begin using the standard maintenance channels for requesting support, entering bugs, receiving patches, and annual application releases.