If I could leave you with one final thought on the implementation, is that it is a work in progress. Days, months & years after you implement the module, you will make changes. Knowing this should not make you cringe, in fact it should be refreshing to know that you will have the ability to change/improve your workflow.
For example, before we started using Viewpoint, we worked with two main separate softwares; one for our accounting and another for our project management. When we started using Viewpoint we imagined a workflow where our Project Managers would set-up their own projects including the PM Contract Items & Phases. We envisioned the Project Managers managing every aspect of the Project Management module. Over time, we realized a better workflow is for our Project Accountants & Project Managers to have a shared role in setting up the Project. Our Accountants now are the ones that set-up the PM Contract Items & Phases, as well as the Add-Ons. The Project Managers & their staff set-up the Architect & other Project information including many custom fields that we added (such as Project Description, LEED data, etc.) Having this shared role alleviated the work load & ensured that the data would have an increased accuracy. For your company, the best practices may differ. In fact even your best practices, like ours, will mostly likely change & advance.
There are also the Viewpoint upgrades to contend with. Before, we initiate an upgrade, we review the extensive release notes. We look for potential changes to our processes & any impact to our custom Crystal Reports. If there is a webinar for the upgrade, I make it a point to attend. I find that it is easier to immediately set-up a upgrade date & send it to all employees like a calendar appointment. I usually set a date for two to four weeks ahead & we usually schedule them during lunch hours to have minimal impact. Having an upgrade date, forces us to be prepared for the upgrade by that date (no excuses). Normally the preparation involved is only preparing employees for the interruption in the schedule, getting IT ready to do the upgrade & setting up time in my day to test/fix any issues once the upgrade is complete. If the upgrade causes a change to our process, then we send an email to all users with detailed instructions on the new process.
Up until 2013, we provided training to new employees & periodic training to employees on an as-needed basis. The hectic world of construction leaves little time for training especially when you have to reach out to your off-site staff. However, this year our management has made a commitment to provide monthly skills review or helpful tips to make sure our staff is using Viewpoint efficiently & effectively. I think this was an important decision for us, and I would advise every construction company out there to stay on top of their training. After all, when we train our staff, we give them the tools to do their job better & many times faster, leaving more time to focus on the quality of our construction.
As I finish up this blog series, I wanted to point out that we have been pleasantly surprised by the enormous feedback. It has been great for our company to hear from our colleagues from all over the US & Canada; and to hear that they also learned the similar lessons during their implementation. For newcomers to Viewpoint, the blogs seem to have provided them with a bit of perspective on the process. My blogs are centered around operations & technology in the construction industry, however I will continue to periodically focus on Viewpoint. If anyone has topic ideas feel free to email me at DAlvarez@anfgroup.com or message me on LinkedIn.