It’s been way too long since I’ve written anything. I recently finished up a couple of big projects – one professional and one personal.
On the professional side, I helped a company migrate from LDRPS version 9 to CMS 10. It was a great project and I think both the client and I learned a great deal. They had a well-established Business Continuity Program so they knew what they wanted from the software. We also knew it was imperative that the user community have a positive response to the new version. My experience implementing and using version 10 told me that while the software has a lot of great capabilities, we needed to simplify its use as much as possible. There are a lot of places in the software where you can add help text (navigators, instruction panes, and field help) but adding verbiage does not simplify.
Here are the key elements to simplification in this project:
- We identified fields that would not be used and set them to not visible, then optimized the data entry screens accordingly.
- The client didn’t need a couple of dictionaries so we took them out of the mix.
- We avoided introducing all of the new features available in CMS 10.
- Where appropriate we embedded reports in the navigator to provide planners with an easy way to see what was assigned to what (i.e. teams, team positions, and employees).
- To simplify administration, we used the navigators as a layer of security so that we were able to limit the number of security roles needed. For example, we created a security role for updating dictionaries and then limited individual users by assigning navigators that would take them to the dictionary they were responsible for and no other.
We did not skimp on training. We developed a curriculum, classroom schedule and training materials giving users a solid introduction to CMS 10. Note I said “solid” not in-depth. Typically the people attending training have other business to attend to and aren’t interested in mastering all of the intricacies of LDRPS. They want to know how to get in the software to maintain their plans and where to go for help.
My personal project was a lesson in risk mitigation at home and might be the subject of another blog. That’s it for now. Happy New Year.