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Solution Implementation Approach

There are five steps to implementing an IT solution as shown in the diagram below:

Step 1 - Planning

There are many different ways to implement an IT solution depending on its complexity and the priorities of the business. This step defines the implementation approach, activities, timeframes and required resources including the following:
  • Rollout approach, e.g. staged rollout to one business area at a time.
  • Staff training for the new IT solution.
  • Infrastructure changes required for implementation of the new IT solution.
  • Data load of base data and data migration from other/redundant systems.
  • Changes to business processes.
  • Back out strategy should something go wrong.
  • Support processes and procedures for the new IT solution.

Step 2 - Preparation

In this step, all activities required to prepare the business for the implementation of the new IT solution are performed including the following:
  • Setting up of testing environment for the new IT solution, e.g. installing and configuring hardware and software.
  • Developing staff training materials.
  • Developing and setting up data migration scripts and tools.
  • Communicating the roll-out timeframes and impacts of the new IT solution to staff.
  • Developing support processes and procedures.
  • Developing back out processes and procedures.

Step 3 - Testing

All components of the new IT solution are tested to ensure it meets the requirements of the business and any issues found are addressed. Testing typically includes the following:
  • Functional testing of the IT solution to ensure it meets the IT requirements.
  • Performance testing of the IT solution to ensure it can meet the demands of the business.
  • Running end-to-end business scenarios to ensure the IT solution will meet the business requirements and support the business processes.
  • Testing the training approach and materials to ensure staff will be adequately and effectively trained.
  • Testing the data loading and data migration.
  • Testing the back-out procedures.
  • Recording, reporting and resolving any issues identified during the above testing.

Step 4 - Rollout

The new solution is rolled-out into production following the approach defined in Step 1 and normally includes the following:
  • Communications to staff containing details of the roll-out.
  • Training of staff affected by the roll-out.
  • Setting up of the production environment for the new IT solution, e.g. installing and configuring hardware and software.
  • Data load of base data and data migration from other/redundant systems into production system.
  • Implementation of new/changed business processes.
  • Opening support channels in case staff require help with new IT solution.
  • Testing to ensure roll-out was successful.

Step 5 - Review

Performance measurements for the new, improved processes are collected and compared to the performance measurements of the old processes to confirm the expected benefits have been achieved. In addition, the new processes are monitored and any new issues/improvement opportunities are identified and are included in a post implementation review (PIR) which recommends the next steps in order to improve the business processes further (i.e. feeds into the continuous improvement cycle).