What is Project Implementation? Types

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Project implementation is all about putting the project into practice. In other words, installing or delivering the information system that was developed or purchased. The first step in project implementation is to test the information system against its functions. It is done to ensure that the information system is working as per the client’s expectations.

For this, an organization requires a systematic approach to the implementation of an information system. Any mistakes at the project implementation level can lead to project failure and incur heavy costs for an organization. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for an organization to select an appropriate approach for implementing a project.

Types of Project Implementation

The selection of an approach for the implementation of an information system requires thoughtful consideration and careful supervision. An approach is selected based on system requirements. There are three main tactical approaches used in project implementation at the client’s end. They are:

Let’s discuss each in detail.

Direct Cutover

In the direct cutover approach, the old system is replaced with a new one. The developer and the client get agreed on a particular date for replacing the old system. Figure 9.4 shows the working of the direct cutover approach.

The direct cutover approach is generally adopted in emergencies when a client organization cannot operate with the old system and the replacement has to be done as early as possible. In other words, this approach is appropriate in case of failure of the old system or if the old system is not critical for a mission. Irrespective of the aim, it is crucial to thoroughly test the new system and ensure its proper functioning.

Besides some advantages of using the direct cutover approach, there are some disadvantages it which make it the least favored approach in some situations. One must keep in mind that there is no rollback in this approach which means if the old system is replaced then it cannot be implemented again.

In addition, sometimes a new system does not work effectively which leads to client dissatisfaction and the loss of revenue. Therefore, there is great pressure on the team implementing the new system as they have to make sure that everything is functioning properly.


In the parallel approach, the old system and the new system run concurrently for a particular period. After some time, the new system replaces the old system. Figure 9.5 shows how the parallel approach works.

The parallel approach is useful when the sudden replacement of the old system may prove fatal for an organization. For example, an organization wants to implement some new features in its existing payroll software. The organization implements the new system but will run both systems concurrently to view and compare the output of both so that the organization can ensure that the new system with some additional features is working efficiently before completely relying on it.

As compared to the direct cutover approach, the parallel approach is easier to adopt for the implementation team but a bit difficult for the user. This is because the user of the new system has to enter the data for both the old and the new system and compare the output provided by both systems.

If the new system is working as expected, the extra workload comes on the newly developed system. Such workload is generally put till its scheduled date when the system is expected to work independently. If the new system encounters some unexpected problem due to the workload, its date of working alone can be pushed further. After resolving the encountered problem, the new system replaces the old system and works independently.


In the phased approach, a project is implemented in phases or incrementally. This implies that some modules of the project are implemented before the other modules at the client’s end. The working of the phased approach of project implementation.

The phased approach is advantageous when a software project needs to be implemented in different areas of an organization. For example, an organization wants to update operating systems used by employees.

Then, the organization can do so in phases by fixing an appropriate date for each department to upgrade the operating system. The advantage of the phased approach is that the team can learn from its experience of deploying a module and can use that experience in implementing other modules of the project smoothly.

Although the phased approach takes a long time to implement in comparison to the direct cutover approach, the risk involved in the phased approach is less manageable. Moreover, in the phased approach, if problems occur in the early implementation phase of a module, the dates of implementation of other modules need to be rescheduled.

Delays in project implementation may lead to extra costs and time that are unpaid by the client. Moreover, the client always remains concerned about whether the time and money spent on project implementation will give the required benefits.

Article Source
  • Kerzner, H. (2001). Project management. New York: John Wiley. Field, M., & Keller, L. (1998). Project management. London: International Thomson Business Press.

  • Heerkens, Gary. (2002) Project management. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • www2.cdc.gov PMG | Implementation Phase. Retrieved 22 March 2024, from http://www2.cdc.gov/cdcup/library/pmg/implementation

Best Project Management Courses

Project management skills are in demand. If you are ready to get started, consider enrolling in the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate Learn the job-ready essentials of project management in six months or less, such as initiating projects, risk management and change management. Also we have made list of best project management courses as there are a plethora of options available, and it can be challenging to identify the best one.

Google Project Management
Google Project Management
Project Management for Professionals
Project Management for Professionals

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Best for:

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The ideal project management tool selection will eventually rely on the particular requirements of your team. We suggest experimenting with the free versions of various tools to gauge your team’s comfort level and then proceeding accordingly.

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