As a rule of thumb, software selection projects (excluding the implementation phase) should not take longer than six months. Requirements can change in a short timeframe so the choice of product should be made within six months of beginning the requirements analysis.

The general goal for completing the subsequent implementation project should be anything between three and twelve months, depending on company size, geographical distribution and the scope of the project.

The following chart shows that 80 percent of companies take between one and twelve months to implement the planning aspect of a product from purchase to initial rollout.

Implementation time for planning and budgeting tools

How long did it take to implement the planning aspect of your application from software purchase to initial rollout? (n=531)

Best-in-class* companies beat laggards when it comes to project term.

96 percent of best-in-class companies implement the planning aspect of their product from software purchase to initial rollout in under a year. In contrast, only 63 percent of laggards complete their implementation project in twelve months, meaning that 37 percent need more than a year.

For further insights see The Planning Survey 16.

* To examine correlations between what the most successful companies do differently to less successful ones, we use the classification of best-in-class companies and laggards in the Planning Survey. Best-in-class companies comprise the top 10 percent of companies (approx.), based on their achievement of business benefits, while laggards are defined as the lowest 10 percent (approx.) of companies in terms of their achievement of business benefits.