Phase Zero - The Vested Group - Joel Patterson

Phase Zero: How to Create a Solid Plan for Business Success

Every sizable endeavor requires some sort of plan to ensure its overall success. Here at The Vested Group, we take the planning phase of our projects very seriously. We work with each of our clients to create a thorough, structured plan to ensure a successful implementation.

We call this unique part of our planning kickoff Phase Zero. Phase Zero allows us to work directly with the client to plan and create the software solution for their business needs.  This integral first step in planning allows The Vested Group to identify your signature business processes and address foreseeable gaps. During this phase, your needs are not only heard but are an irreplaceable part of the overall planning process. I believe this phase is the defining factor of a project’s success.

What does Phase Zero entail?

Phase Zero takes an average of one to two weeks to complete but can also take over a month, depending on the situation.  Each Phase Zero is conducted according to the client’s specific needs, and no two Phase Zeros are exactly the same. During this time, our consultants work with clients, giving them their undivided attention and brainpower. We begin with a project kickoff, which includes introductions, establishing general goals, and determining the “why” of your project.  We identify your signature processes, and these become the main focus where we define, prioritize, create, and review solutions custom-tailored to your business needs. 

The first few days of Phase Zero are dedicated to understanding your company’s current processes. We look at what works, what could be improved, and the tools needed to help your business’s software systems work for you, not against you.

We then move on to ideation and future state. This brainstorming phase is one of my favorite parts of Phase Zero because this is when we get to hear what your pie-in-the-sky goals are for your new system. Think big! No idea is too outrageous, and every idea could spark innovation that takes an implementation from good to great.  This rapid-fire approach is an Organizational Behavior term called ‘bursting’ and frequently leads to results no one could have predicted on their own.

During Phase Zero, we also review company data—both past and present. We’ll analyze what you have and what we’ll need to do to ensure your legacy data is transferred to the new system without issue.  

After we have documented our findings from the on-site visit, we compile specific recommendations that fit your business needs. We will deliver a formal presentation for your team, including a detailed plan for your implementation that lays out the work to be done and the timeline for your project. We will also discuss our process for conserving and transferring your legacy data and our risk management plan.

Of course, before we wrap up, we’ll have time for any remaining questions or concerns. The purpose of Phase Zero is to work together to ensure that we are on the same page to reach your goals. Phase Zero may seem like a hefty start to a project, but we believe the more comprehensive the planning stage is, the greater the success of the project.

Ready to start your Phase Zero? Reach out! We’d love to work with you.