im·ple·men·ta·tion—the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution.

Planning for a Successful Implementation

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To implement a system successfully, a large number of inter-related tasks need to be carried out in an appropriate sequence. Utilizing a well-proven implementation methodology and enlisting professional advice can help but often it is the number of tasks, poor planning and inadequate resourcing that causes problems with an implementation project, rather than any of the tasks being particularly difficult. If it is not done correctly, you can create costly disruptions to your business, as well as have major budget over-runs and longer than planned implementations. It can take six to twelve months after implementation for companies to start feeling comfortable with the new system.

Companies should maintain joint responsibility with the vendor in the project-planning process, maintenance of the project-plan status, as well as some degree of control over the implementation. Plan for contingencies, and try to keep disruptions to the business to a minimum. Along the same lines, you should schedule the go-live for the slowest period of the year.

All key user departments should have representation on the project team, including call center, website, fulfillment, management, merchandising, inventory control, marketing and finance. Team members should share responsibilities for conversion, training and successful completion of the project tasks.

Training is the single most important thing you can do to shorten the learning curve. We offer not only the initial training, but also more advanced instruction for super users. We recommend budget for the additional training; it's the smallest part of the total expense.

Learn how Digitally Inclined Solutions can help you navigate through the implementation phase.