Once the detailed design is complete, the development phase begins. Depending on the nature of the process, it might be useful to develop a prototype and test that design with a small group before full-scale implementation. This will allow the design team to learn from the limited deployment and refine the design before it is fully implemented. This is a common practice for systems and processes that have a major technology component (e.g., ERP systems). Once the new design has been fully developed and refined to meet the feasibility criteria, it is ready for full-scale implementation. To fully develop the new system, the design team must work with all the “owners” of the integration points throughout the organization. While easier said than done, involving them in the process helps smooth the inevitable rough patches of deployment.
Deploying a system or process throughout the appropriate parts of the organization is an exercise in leading change. Successful full-scale implementation of a new design requires a plan, trained employees, resources, and a process to review progress. The first step is to plan the implementation of the new design. This plan should include key activities, a timeline, and the resources required. In addition, the workforce cannot execute the new or redesigned process unless they understand how it works. Of course, the easier it is to execute, the less training is required. Most new processes, however, require some level of training. Once deployed, continue to fully develop the system and processes as more groups in the organization use the process and identify areas for improvement.
A periodic review process is needed to record progress and keep the implementation on track. High-performing systems and processes have learning loops built into them to ensure continuous innovation and improvement of the new system and to keep it current with changing stakeholder needs. These loops include systematic assessment and reflection on the system performance, leading to the development of improvement plans. As changes are made to the design, each implemented change should be monitored and adjustments made if the anticipated results are not achieved. This is a never-ending process of continuous learning and improvement.
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