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6 Types of Implementation

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Implementation is the process of launching a change to systems, processes, policies, data, equipment, infrastructure, facilities and information. The following are common types of implementation.

Direct Cutover

Replacing an old system with a new one at a point in time.

Big Bang

A large scale direct cutover that impacts multiple systems and processes. Generally speaking, big launches tend to have big risks. As such, the term big bang implementation has negative connotations. Nevertheless, this type of implementation is common because business units common claim they need all or nothing.

Emergent Change

Launching changes on an extremely frequent basis such that major change can occur with small incremental risks. Allows for business experiments and constant refinement of requirements.


Breaking projects into releases of manageable complexity. Change is preplanned from a set of requirements and is less fluid and responsive than an emergent implementation.


Implementing a change on a limited basis in order to reduce risk or experiment. Can apply to implementations large and small. For example, a small change to a logon screen might be launched for 10% of customers.

Parallel Run

Operating both the old and new versions of systems and processes until there is confidence that the new version is ready to support business objectives.
Overview: Implementation
The process of launching change.
Related Concepts

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Acceptance Criteria
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