1. Specify your requirements. Either brainstorm and work out what you need, or save yourself time by using Axia’s Accounting, CRM, HR, Payroll or HR+Payroll Checklists.
2. Identify systems / software vendors. Check out the market, visit exhibitions, research the internet, talk to other users, create and issue an outline RFI/RFP.
3. Review software details, vendor responses. Compare against outline requirements. Identify a short list of 3 or 4 potential vendors that meet your requirements.
4. Attend system demonstrations with vendors. Confirm that the systems can meet your requirements. Reduce the list down to 2 or 3 preferred vendors with which to proceed further.
5. Refine your new system design thoughts - from what you have seen and heard, and from your original ideas / requirements.
6. Prepare and issue an extended RFI or RFP containing your detailed requirements to the preferred vendors. Carefully review and evaluate the responses.
7. Undertake further investigations - of all areas / relevant aspects of the software. Test and prototype system software - especially for complex requirements. Examine other areas eg hardware, network, database, system performance.
8. Attend detailed system demonstrations and meetings. Cover and resolve all points, issues and queries from the above with the preferred vendors.
9. Reference site visits. Visit at least 3 reference sites (and phone 3 more) of the preferred vendors. Listen and learn from their experiences.
10. Decision. From reviewing all the above information, it should be clear as to which system to purchase. Commence final negotiation, contractual and service level negotiations.
For more system selection information visit: Stakeholder analysis form / Stakeholder management tips / Sample project plan / RACI Matrix / Project initiation checklist / How not to select software / Critical success factors / Software selection time saving tips / Project issue log / Requirements gathering techniques / Reasons to write a good requirements specification / System design review / Simple risk assessment form / Risk assessment worksheet / Software prototyping / Project reporting form / Project Status Report Template / Software selection warning signs