Implementation method. Phased changeover
Phased conversion, also known as phased implementation, is a method of system implementation where the new system is rolled out in stages or modules over a period. Instead of replacing the entire system at once, it is broken down into manageable parts that are implemented sequentially. This method reduces the risk associated with a direct cutover and can be less disruptive than running parallel systems.
- Incremental replacement. The old system is gradually replaced by the new system, one piece at a time.
- Modular. The system is divided into components or modules, each of which can be implemented separately.
- Controlled impact. Each phase can be controlled and monitored individually, reducing the impact of errors or issues on the entire organization.
- Reduced risk. By implementing in phases, the organization can contain the risks to specific areas at a time.
- Continuous improvement. Feedback from each phase can be used to make adjustments in subsequent ones.
- Learning curve. Users have time to adapt to the new system gradually, which can help with the overall transition.
- Prolonged process. The full implementation of the new system can take a significant amount of time since it's done in stages.
- Resource intensive. May require sustained resources over a longer period compared to the Big Bang approach.
- Complex management. Managing the transition and ensuring system integrity across different phases can be complex.
- Large and complex systems. Especially useful for large-scale systems where a direct changeover would be too risky or complex.
- Organizations with multiple locations. Can be applied to different locations or departments within an organization one at a time.
- Organizations undergoing continuous improvement. Ideal for organizations that prefer continuous improvement over radical change.
- Strategic planning. The organization must have a clear plan for the order in which the phases will be implemented and how they will be managed.
- Training programs. As new phases are rolled out, relevant staff must be trained on the new system.
- Support structure. Each phase may require its own support and maintenance structure until the entire system is live.
Phased conversion is particularly appropriate for complex systems where the organization needs to minimize operational risk, manage change more effectively, and spread the cost and effort over time. This approach is about balancing the benefits of a new system against the potential disruption its introduction might cause.