Implementation method. Pilot conversion
Pilot conversion, or pilot study, is a method of system implementation where the new system is initially introduced in a limited part of the organization. Here's how it generally works and what to consider:
- Controlled introduction. The new system is implemented in a single department or location before a full rollout.
- Feedback oriented. The purpose of a pilot implementation is often to gather feedback and to catch any issues early on.
- Reduced risk. Since the new system is contained in a small area, the risk of widespread operational disruption is minimized.
- Manageable scale. Problems are easier to manage and contain because the new system affects a smaller area.
- Real-world testing. The organization gets to see how the system performs in a live environment but with less at stake.
- Training and adaptation. It serves as a training ground for users and IT staff to adapt to the new system.
- Iterative improvement. The organization can make adjustments and improvements to the system before a larger-scale rollout.
- Slower rollout. Full implementation across the organization takes longer compared to the direct changeover approach.
- Resource intensive. May require additional resources since the old system continues to run in other parts of the organization.
- Potential for confusion. Different parts of the organization are using different systems simultaneously, which can lead to confusion.
- Complex systems. Useful for complex systems where the organization wants to minimize risk by testing in a controlled environment.
- Large organizations. Particularly advantageous for large organizations where a direct changeover would be too risky.
- High-risk environments. In industries where system failures can lead to significant problems, pilot conversion can ensure safety and compliance.
- Selecting pilot site. The organization must choose an appropriate part of the business that is representative of the larger system but contained enough to control.
- Training pilot users. Users in the pilot site need comprehensive training to operate the new system effectively.
- Support structures. Adequate support must be in place to quickly address any problems that arise during the pilot phase.
Pilot conversion is a strategic choice for organizations looking to minimize disruption while ensuring that the system will meet the organization's needs before committing to a full-scale implementation.