In June 2019, the Department of Health & Social Care asked Hitachi Solutions to run the entirety of its Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation project, both as a supplier and managing the project team on the behalf of the client.
In March 2020, after a highly successful nine-month Discovery Go-Live understanding the user needs and prototyping automation for long term savings, the Hitachi Solutions’ managed Department of Health and Social Care team was preparing to transform its corporate services by replacing a time-expired legacy system that had been rejected by users. Implementation of a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution would deliver Finance, Purchase-to-Pay, and HR systems.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold it became clear this Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation was at risk, with the UK moving into lockdown a week before the scheduled go-live. The decision was taken to delay go-live, due to a belief that an ERP solution could not be deployed by remote working, especially given the Department’s lead role in the pandemic response. Put simply, the risk was deemed to be too great.
The decision was therefore made to roll back the cutover process, which was already in flight. The programme leadership then took stock and decided to exploit the strong team ethic and partner relationship with Hitachi Solutions that had been built during the Pre-Discovery, Discovery, Alpha and Beta phases. A joint reappraisal of the mission, vision and method were made with an eye to implementing under the new circumstances. Responsibilities were clarified and a shared understanding of the path to success was made clear, and new ways of working developed to enable a remote implementation by users working from home.
The result was an exceptionally smooth go-live, with no major issues resulting from data migration, change management and user adoption of the solution itself, which operated without problems from day one. With all team members, both the Department of Health and Social Care and Hitachi Solutions, working remotely this was a testament to both the project team’s collective strength and commitment, and to the project management skills that had been built under Hitachi Solutions’ guidance and hands-on management.