What is software implementation?

Software implementation in business

Software implementation is the process of adopting and integrating a software application into a business workflow as a part of a digital transformation strategy.

Implementing new tools and software into an enterprise can be complex, depending on the size of your organization and the software.

Prior to implementation, you should select your software by assessing your business needs, budget, potential benefits, obstacles, and so forth. 

Once you’ve chosen a software solution, you can begin the software implementation.

What is software implementation

Software implementation in 4 steps

For your software implementation initiatives to succeed, you need to follow 4 key steps:

Step 1: Pilot program

Prior to full-scale installation, pre-test the software with a test group within your company.

Step 2: Installation

Your IT department should work with the vendor to install the application across all target machines.

Step 3: Onboarding and training

Once installed, develop an onboarding program and a software training program to ensure employees can use the new software comfortably and effectively.

Step 4: Monitoring, maintenance, and follow-up

Throughout the implementation process, monitor user feedback, usage data, and value generated. Measure these against your KPIs to determine whether your project was a success.

Software implementation in 4 steps

8 popular software implementation methods

Software implementation methods refer to the systematic approaches, processes, and steps you take to deploy and integrate a software application into an existing system or environment. 

When choosing an implementation method, you must consider factors like project requirements, scope, complexity, risks, timeframes, and available resources. Properly selected and applied methods can greatly influence the success of a software project.

Several software implementation methods are recognized in the industry. Here are 8 of the most popular:

1. Waterfall model

This is a traditional method where each phase of the software development process is completed before the next one begins. 

In this model, implementation comes after the design and testing phases. 

The rigid sequence of the Waterfall Model ensures thoroughness but can be inflexible.

2. Agile methodology

Contrary to the Waterfall Model, Agile promotes iterative development

Implementation (often called development in Agile) occurs in short bursts called sprints or iterations. 

After each sprint, a potentially shippable product increment is delivered.

3. Spiral model

This is a risk-driven process model generator. 

Implementation in the Spiral Model is done iteratively, like in Agile. 

However, each iteration in the Spiral Model focuses on risk assessment and mitigation.

4. Rapid application development (RAD)

RAD emphasizes rapid prototyping over detailed planning to provide quicker software solutions. 

Implementation is often done using tools and techniques that promote swift development.

5. Incremental model

In this method, the software is implemented in increments or parts. 

Each increment adds functionality to the existing system until the complete system is implemented.

6. Big bang model

It’s a less formal method where developers start with a vague idea and begin coding. 

Implementation continues with no specific end in mind until the developers decide the software is ready.

7. V-model (validation and verification)

Implementation in the V-Model coincides with the development phase, but this model emphasizes the parallel relationship between each development phase and its respective testing phase.

8. Scrum

While it’s a subset of Agile, Scrum deserves a mention. 

Implementation occurs during what’s called a “Sprint,” and at the end of each sprint, there’s a potentially releasable increment of the product.

8 popular software implementation methods

Easier software implementation with DAPs

Software implementation can be costly and time-consuming.

For this reason, many businesses use digital adoption platforms (DAPs) to provide in-app training and guidance, significantly reducing human labor time, training time, and employee frustration.

Enter WalkMe Discovery, a game-changing tool that promises to revolutionize the software implementation process. This digital adoption platform offers users a seamless and intuitive experience through its interactive walkthroughs, tooltips, and contextual guidance. 

Easier software implementation with DAPs

With WalkMe’s assistance, users can effortlessly navigate complex functionalities, eliminating confusion and maximizing engagement. By streamlining the implementation phase, WalkMe Discovery ensures a smoother transition for organizations, empowering them to unlock the full potential of their new software systems. 

Embracing this innovative solution heralds a new era where the once-daunting prospect of software implementation becomes a breeze. Stay ahead of the curve with WalkMe Discovery and witness the transformation firsthand.

Regardless of the software being implemented, you must invest time and energy into effective training programs. 

Doing so will increase the chances of a successful implementation, boost productivity, and increase employee satisfaction.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are software implementation methods?
    Software implementation methods are strategies to seamlessly integrate a service or component based on software into their operations. This approach allows for the efficient use of the system and its services.
  • What are the 4 types of software implementation?
    There are several types of software implementation, but the four most popular are direct cutover, pilot implementation, parallel operation, and phased implementation. Statista research shows that spending on enterprise software was 755 billion USD from 2009 to 2023.

Updated: September 27, 2023

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