Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vendavo Launch

Well today was the day.  For the past 14 months I have been totally focused on a large initiative at work.  I work in corporate pricing and our group develops processes and systems to ensure that all pricing for our products are processed, approved and executed correctly. So anytime a customer wants to buy one of our parts and needs a price, that falls into our domain.  We don't respond to the price requests (that's done by a group of 100 various users throughout sales and marketing) but my group does ensure that the price requests go through the correct approval process and are loaded into our order management system so we can ensure pricing integrity.

Okay, so now you know what my group is all about, so let me tell you about this project.  We want to take our pricing to the next level - best in class. We engaged with a top software vendor - Vendavo and spent some big bucks to buy the software and engaged a consulting team to help us customize the software for our processes.  Our configuration was quite intense, even by Vendavo standards.  I work in high tech and high tech solutions always require a lot of customization because of the complexity of the business selling environment.  If you see me sometime and want to be bored out of your mind, ask me about ship and debit, registrations or EMS.

So in September of 2013 we began the project and today November 9, 2014 we launched the system. We have a total of 230 users. For about 1/2 the users they access the system a few times a week and it will be a minor impact to their workday.  But for 101 users, this system means that everything they have done for the last 10 years, has been completely replaced by a new system.  They spend most of their day in this quoting system and today, the old is gone and the new is here.  We really needed to ensure they were very familiar with the new system and business process.  We don't want a customer to ask for a quote and want to buy product and the person helping them is unable to do that.  So it was a very high visibility project from our senior mgmt team.

Of course they put the best people on the project!  Below is a photo of the team.  This includes 4 IT people & 4 business people from our company, 3 full-time consultants from Vendavo and 12 subject matter experts from various areas of the business.  My how thin and well rested we looked before the project started.  That's me smiling in the front with the pretty teal green top and black pencil skirt (both are in the back of the closet today, hoping that sometime soon I can fit into them again!) Oh and that kid I was telling you about yesterday - the one who is leaving our group - that's him on the edge in the white button down shirt. My boss is the tall guy in the center back. You can barely see his head!  And the girl who went on the road with me training is standing next to me in the blue dress.

I was the business analyst and training lead.  As the business analyst I worked with many different subject matter experts (and others on the core team) to define all the requirements for what we needed the new system to do. As the training lead I developed all the documentation, lead the development of the on-line training courses, developed the content and conducted most of the hands-on regional training sessions, coordinated the local workshops and monitored the certification testing for the 101 all day, every day users.  For the training, we produced the following:

One 303 page user guide
One 46 page handbook
Six 7 page Quick Look Guides
Six e-Learning Courses

Below is a photo of our 303 page guide.

I lead most of the training thus all my travel this summer.   I visited 4 international cities - Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai and Munich.  Typically we held 2 or 3 sessions in each city with between 8-15 users at each session. I hosted countless web-ex's and sent endless e-mails communicating with the users and the subject matter experts about training content and requirements.

Below are a few photos from our regional training classes.
Above: Training in Taiwan just a few hours before the Typhoon arrived.
Training in Tokyo.  Notice the skyline of Tokyo Bay in the background!

The theme at all our trainings
After training in Munich!  That was the SMALLEST size you could get!
 Workshop in Norwood Ma
Training in Norwood

And now, we are LIVE with our new system.   It's a huge milestone for our team.  Below is a photo of our launch.  Most of the team came into the office at 4:30pm to do final verification and send the e-mail with the new link to access the new system.  Keep in mind that for Asia and Japan, Monday morning starts for them as Sunday evening begins for us.  We wanted the new system available for all regions at the start of work Monday morning, thus the Sunday evening 'official launch.'
Vendavo corporate color is Green, thus the decorations
Mayur set up the food
Praveen came in from Chicago, Peter came in from Czech Republic
Chris dialing into the webex
The e-mail to the users saying 'we are live.'
Rich getting the mail ready to send
Jen and I.

Will, Anthony and Vinay on the webex video
Getting ready to hit send on the email

All hands in when we hit SEND 3.2.1.go
As we hit send on the e-mail to all users, we popped a few corks and celebrated.  We still have a TON of work to do to support the users and fix unexpected bugs, but today was a HUGE milestone for our project.

1 comment:

wrapknot said...

Hooray! Linda you rock!
keeping all those balls in the air... let's not forget you moved, brought your child (and her fiance) into your home, planned and hosted and amazing wedding, took care of husband, son and dogs ( the dogs are the most needy :) and did it all with a smile. sip and extra glass of bubbly.. you deserve it!!