Best Practices

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Central Point of Contact

We have found it is always best to route communications through a central point of contact whenever it is feasible to do so. This allows one person in your organization to understand fully what is going on within the business relationship between you and Payments Gateway, and to keep Payments Gateway updated on important issues.

Please note that it is critical that someone from your organization keep Payments Gateway informed about any changes to messages, schedules or issues that relate to the PG system.

Documentation is the Key to Easier Maintenance

Even if you have the perfect, trouble free integration and go-live, it is critical that you document what you did carefully. Why? So that those having to maintain the system after you will understand what you did and why you did it. You may plan to do the maintenance yourself, but if you are unavailable, say, out with the flu, when a key change must be made immediately, good documentation will allow the needed changes to be made correctly.

Generally, you should document the following:

Delivery Method: Document why the delivery method is selected, the thought process that leads you to select that method, who approves it and the date of the approval.

Messages: Document the business purpose of each message, any alternate drafts considered, who approves the message and the date approved.

Testing: Document the test methods you use (including any test scripts), who participates in the tests, who approves the test results, and dates.

Certification: If any changes are made to messages as a result of certification testing, be sure to adjust the documentation. If staff training is delivered during this phase, archive copies of the training materials. Also, you may wish to document who is trained and on what dates.

Go-live: Document all problems encountered during go-live (if any). Document individuals having problems with particular parts of the system (even if they were trained on how to use it, because there are occasional misunderstandings during training classes).

The reason for all this documentation? In a few months when a problem occurs, you‟ll know if it was ever encountered when the system was integrated, tested or during go-live, and whether users were ever trained on that topic. You will then know how to go about researching the problem and contacting the users who need to understand about the correction, or who may need additional information.

Documentation seems to some an unnecessary chore, but the resulting tools can make finding problems in the future faster and easier (and therefore much cheaper).

Ask Questions

During the integration process or after you are running on a “live” system, be sure to ask questions when you don't understand something or need a clarification. Please contact Payments Gateway; don't guess or assume. We‟re here to help you!