Whether it’s an on-premises Hyperion Planning application or Oracle PBCS cloud application, implementing a sophisticated planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution can be exciting and sometimes daunting. How do you start preparing?
Know Your Process
No one likes surprises or derailments in a project — it causes headaches and extra cost. One key way to hit the ground running is to know your process before an implementation begins. This will help you and your team clearly identify pain points and articulate mechanisms that dictate future driver-based modeling with your new technology.
Pro tip: Use the EPM Strategy Checklist to get a full picture of your people, processes, and systems.
Not only is it important to articulate, but it is essential to have your process well-documented. Write documentation on the systems you build and detail what they calculate, in which way, and why. A process document describing these flows and formulas, along with a high-level view, will keep information flowing freely.
In this context, we often walk into an implementation and encounter massive Excel files with multiple tabs, lack of standardized naming conventions, a hodgepodge of accounts without unique identifiers, and so on. It takes a lot of time and consulting dollars to sort through. As tedious as it sounds, getting organized with color coding, table structures, and naming conventions will serve your organization in the long run.
For instance, color coding your spreadsheets makes it easy to identify at a glance what is a formula versus a constant versus a link. If you look at the first example below, there is no differentiation between an input and a formula. However, on the second sheet, you can quickly see that there are lots of formulas and much fewer inputs — this allows a developer to know what is happening on a sheet easily, saving time and money.
Spreadsheet without documentation:
This helpful color-coding strategy can also be applied to the following:
- Tabs that are pulling from another sheet
- Links from one workbook to another workbook or to another tab
- Conditional formatting based on number value, text, dates
Anticipate Tasks & Timeline
One of the best ways to prepare for a PBCS implementation is to see how others have successfully done it.
- Learn the basics every finance and IT team should know in The Complete Guide to PBCS.
- Download the PBCS Project Plan Template to view a sample project plan, customize your own plan, and estimate your project timeline.
- Glean good advice from organizations with PBCS success stories.