The new system can fall into three categories, replacement of a manual process, replacement of a legacy system, or upgrade to an existing system. Regardless of the type of system, all aspects of the implementation phase should be followed. This will ensure the smoothest possible transition to the organization’s desired goal.
- Notification of implementation
The implementation notice should be sent to all users and organizations affected by the implementation. Additionally, it is good policy to make internal organizations not directly affected by the implementation aware of the schedule so that allowances can be made for a disruption in the normal activities of that section. Some notification methods are email, internal memo to heads of departments, and voice tree messages. The notice should include:
- the schedule of the implementation;
- a brief synopsis of the benefits of the new system;
- the difference between the old and new system;
- responsibilities of end user affected by the implementation during this phase; and
- the process to obtain system support, including contact names and phone numbers.
Execution of Training Plan
It is always a good business practice to provide training before the end user uses the new system. Because there has been a previously designed training plan established, complete with the system user manual, the execution of the plan should be relatively simple. Typically, what prevents a plan from being implemented is lack of funding. Good budgeting should prevent this from happening.
- Data Entry or Conversion
With the implementation of any system, typically, there is old data, which is to be included in the new system. This data can be in a manual or an automated form. Regardless of the format of the data, the tasks in this section are two fold, data input and data verification. When replacing a manual system, hard copy data will need to be entered into the automated system. Some sort of verification that the data is being entered correctly should be conducted throughout this process. This is also the case in data transfer, where data fields in the old system may have been entered inconsistently and therefore affect the integrity of the new database. Verification of the old data becomes imperative to a useful computer system.
One of the ways verification of both system operation and data integrity can be accomplished is through parallel operations. Parallel operations consist of running the old process or system and the new system simultaneously until the new system is certified. In this way if the new system fails in any way, the operation can proceed on the old system while the bugs are worked out.
- Install System
To ensure that the system is fully operational, install the system in a production environment. After the system has been fielded, a post-implementation evaluation is conducted to determine the success of the project through it’s implementation phase. The purpose of this evaluation is to document implementation experience to recommend system enhancements and provide guidance for future projects.
In addition, change implementation notices will be utilized to document user requests for fixes to problems that may have been recognized during this phase. It is important to document any user request for a change to a system to limit misunderstandings between the end user and the system programmers.
Once the system has been developed, it must be installed and the necessary conversions and trainings undertaken. To the systems analyst, this will mean a virtual life -long relationship with the system environment because he will be almost always on the call to ensure the sustainability of the system