The right implementation strategy is an essential component to being able to claim project success. Your project team could have spent months, even years, building what’s perceived to be the perfect product, service or process, but if it’s not implemented correctly, you could just be looking at wasted effort at the end of the day.
It is important to remember that even though technical readiness is a great achievement for any project, the true value only comes with seeing your creation in action and being able to finally realise the benefits you set out to achieve at the outset of your project.
When defining your project’s implementation strategy, you have to consider the following:
- What level of change are we introducing?
Key factors here would be the number of people impacted by the change as well as how different the post-implementation world will be from the world they know today. A large-scale change affecting most of your customer or employee base will require a lot more thought and planning than a smaller change that’s easily contained. Be sure to include representation from all impacted parties in your implementation planning process from beginning to end. In this way you will have a clear view of all potential impacts in order to also draw up the necessary implementation communication and training plans.
- What will the deployment approach be?
There are many ways in which you can deploy change, but the most common approaches are as follows: A “big bang” deployment where an entire system or process is rolled out or replaced in one go, a phased deployment where a change is deployed to a subset of users at a time, and parallel deployment where a new system or process runs alongside the old one for a set period of time. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches and it’s therefore up to the project team to weigh these up alongside the feasibility and associated risk of each approach before settling on the one that makes most sense.
- What (and who) will we need?
Now that you understand the impact of the change and what deployment approach will be followed you need to start breaking your implementation down into its detailed steps while also defining the implementation roles & responsibilities, required resources, implementation duration and any associated downtime, as well as the rollback plan in the event of any issues encountered. The end result should be an implementation checklist that clearly defines the what, the who, the when and the how.
- How will we measure success?
You have to be clear about the tests or confirmations needed to validate that your implementation was successful. Over and above immediate checks to be performed, we always recommend a high care period during which additional checks and measures are performed by the project team to monitor performance and identify any unexpected issues that need to be addressed.
Currently weighing up implementation options of your own? Need someone to guide you through this process or provide a neutral, outsider’s perspective? Give us a call on 021 447 5696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can partner with Analyze to best leverage our project implementation experience.