Implementation method. Direct Changeover
The Direct Changeover, also known as the Big Bang approach or Direct Cutover, is one of the simplest system implementation methods. In this method, the organization switches off the old system and starts using the new system at a certain point in time, with no overlap between the two systems. Here are some key aspects of the Direct Changeover method:
- Immediate switch. The transition from the old to the new system happens at a specific, predetermined time.
- No parallel operation. There is no period during which the old and new systems operate in parallel.
- Full commitment. Once the switch is made, the organization fully commits to the new system.
- Cost-effective. Since there is no parallel operation, it is less costly in terms of operating two systems at once.
- Time-saving. The switch is instant, meaning there is no prolonged period of changeover.
- Simplicity. The method is straightforward and does not require complex planning for running two systems concurrently.
- High risk. If the new system fails, there is no immediate fallback to the old system, which can lead to operational disruption.
- Stressful. The immediate nature of the change can be stressful for employees and lead to errors and oversights.
- Potential for issues. Any issues with the new system (such as data conversion errors, software bugs, or user errors due to unfamiliarity) become immediately critical.
- Small Systems. More suitable for small organizations or systems where the scale of potential problems is manageable.
- Low Complexity. Ideal for less complex systems where the risk of catastrophic failure is lower.
- Tight Deadlines. When an immediate transition is required due to time constraints.
To minimize risks, organizations often take several steps before a Direct changeover:
- Thorough testing. The new system is rigorously tested to minimize the chance of failure.
- Training. Users are trained in advance to ensure they are prepared for the switch.
- Data preparation. Data is prepared and validated to ensure it will work correctly in the new system.
- Support systems. Temporary support measures are set up to deal with any immediate problems.
Despite the risks, the Direct changeover approach can be effective if the system has been well tested, if the transition has been thoroughly planned, and if the organization is prepared to handle any immediate issues that arise.