Put together the core team. Their job is to select your new software. Make sure to include someone from each stakeholder group. Don't forget to include one or two users, the people who currently do the job that the software will be used to do.
2--Define the goals for the new software system
There are three things that you need to know before you can finalize your goals. First, you have to understand the existing business process. (How is the work done now? Are their changes that we would like to make to the current processes?) Second, you need to document critical success factors (CSF) for the project. (CFSs are those things that you MUST do well in order to be successful. CSFs define critical functionality that must be part of the new system.) Third, you need to define your measurements of success. (Are you doing this project to save money? To do more with the same number of staff members? Whatever you are trying to do, you need to write it down so that it becomes part of the project documentation.)
Define the functionality that you want the new system to have.
Rank the importance of each requirement identified in step 3 using a number system such as "5" for critical down to "1" for NA. Redo this step if most of your requirements are ranked critical. Then, divide the list of requirements into two groups--"Must Have" and "Nice to Have". When you have completed this exercise, you will have a pretty good idea of what functionality you need in your new system.
5--Determine Project Parameters
Since the project team now understands the problem they are trying to solve, team members need to agree on the scope of the project, the project budget and the project timeline. Create a Scope Statement, tentative budget and project timeline.
6--Select a Project Champion
The project champion may or may not already be a member of the core project team. This person believes in the need for the new software and is well respected throughout your organization. This person needs to be on board before the software is selected to ensure that they are committed and in agreement with the software selected.
7--Define and Manage Risks
Spend time as a team identifying potential risks of the project and how likely they are to occur. Talk to people in the organization who are likely to oppose your project. Get their input early. Create strategies to mitigate the identified risks and roadblocks. Stay on the lookout for unanticipated obsticles throughout the project, and act quickly to mitigate them.
8--Get Management Buyin
Take your completed analysis to Management and get sign off. Identify other critical places in the project timeline where further management review will be conducted.