Part of the Project management glossary:

Phased rollout is a hardware or software migration method that involves incremental implementation of a new system.

A phased migration might be conducted either by implementing the entire new system in some locations or business units or by implementing separate modules of the system independently until the implementation is complete.

Because everything isn’t rolled out at once, the organization doesn’t have to deal with all the potential implementation issues at the same time. Furthermore, information learned from early implementation stages can be applied to guide the rest of the process, so that there are fewer issues as the implementation continues. A phased rollout also allows users to adjust to the new system gradually.

On the other hand, it can be confusing to have groups of users working with different systems or to have employees working with elements of different systems. That confusion can also lead to data quality issues.

Alternatives to phased rollouts include:

  • Big bang adoption, which involves complete and simultaneous implementation of the new system across an organization.
  • Parallel adoption, which involves running both systems until implementation of the new system is considered to be complete and successful.
  • Pilot conversion, which involves rollout to a small group of users for evaluation and testing before implementation across the organization.

 

This was last updated in February 2014
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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