Budget Software Implementation and Vendor Coordination for a Non-Profit Organization

Client Description

The client is a non-profit, public health agency in the Northeast. They provide access to quality health care and health related services to a wide range of city residents focusing particularly on those who are the most vulnerable.  

Challenge

The agency determined that their budget systems were outdated and integration between systems was nonexistent.  While there was some level of automation, many budget and reporting processes were completed manually, creating a significant risk for errors.  Compliance between the agency’s and city’s budget model was required with risk management being an important factor. 

In addition, there were challenges from a Finance department staffing perspective.  Many of the staff assigned to the project hadn’t previously participated in a software implementation.  The staff had also been using the legacy solution for years and would require a lot of training to facilitate the change to the new system.

After the decision to upgrade the system was made, it was identified that the existing systems’ versions were not compatible with planned integrated solutions, requiring additional work to implement upgrades to ensure the goals were met.

Initially, the project was managed internally but once the additional challenges were identified, the decision was made to assign a Ninestone Project Manager to ensure that the implementation process ran smoothly, the staff were trained appropriately, and the project was completed successfully.  

Technology

The Finance department decided to implement a cloud-based Oracle solution.  The solution required several stages, the first of which was implementation of the budget solution with connectivity to the existing HR and planning systems.  Implementation of this cloud-based solution served as the start of migration to the cloud for the Finance department.

Ninestone’s Approach

Shortly after the project started, the Agency determined that internal management was not sufficient and Ninestone was engaged to provide project management expertise based on previous experience working with us.  We provided project management for the entire scope of the project, including coordination between the internal finance team and an outside vendor for implementation, managing staff communications, testing, setting up various training sessions for staff, and Go-Live deployment meetings including defining and monitoring deployment readiness criteria. 

The Ninestone Project Manager was the liaison to the third-party software vendor, communicating issues as well as managing deliverables and tasks.  The Project Manager coordinated training of staff and facilitated communication with IT and the sponsoring director. 

In addition to management of the implementation tasks, the Ninestone Project Manager ensured  that staff were fully engaged throughout the implementation. 

Results

The Finance team was able to start to use the budget software for fiscal year 2019 as planned.  In spite of several delays due to incompatibility issues, the implementation was completed successfully in a timely manner and on budget.