Checklist for Planning and Integrating IT Systems

Planning your IT systems can improve communications and allow people to work together more efficiently. However, you should plan carefully before you start to make sure that your new system will fit your needs.

Make sure you:

  • identify your key processes
  • identify any bottlenecks in your current system
  • find out your customers' and suppliers' requirements
  • understand the different technical options, taking independent expert advice if necessary
  • assess costs and benefits of each option, including those that are long-term or may be hidden
  • take into account limitations such as your employees' IT skills and your budget
  • prepare a thorough brief for your potential suppliers
  • put a contingency plan in place, especially if you are tied to one particular supplier, in case there are any problems
  • formulate a clear agreement with suppliers on what the solution will achieve
  • check whether the deal includes ongoing support from the suppliers
  • decide whether you prefer gradual implementation or a 'big bang'
  • create a realistic budget, including resources for training
  • set a realistic timetable, including time for testing
  • allow for unexpected costs and delays
  • plan how you will involve employees and overcome resistance to change
  • acquire the expertise to manage the project - eg through project management training or by hiring a consultant

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