In addition to the implementation stages, I will describe what specific tasks should be included to make it run smoothly!

What will you find in this article?

Magento implementation stages
Stage one: the discovery phase
Stage two: coding (implementation)
Stage three: launching the preproduction environment and final testing of the store (also called UATs)
Stage four: production launch
Summary: What stages does Magento implementation consist of?

Magento implementation stages

Let’s simplify the topic of Magento implementation as much as possible. Magento implementation consists of 4 main stages.

These are:

  1. discovery phase – also called pre-implementation analysis
  2. coding (implementation) – here I mean coding of front-end, back-end, and integrations
  3. launch of the pre-production environment and final testing of the store (also called UATs, or User Acceptance Testing)
  4. production launch

If you want to know in more detail what work and tasks are carried out at each stage of Magento implementation, I encourage you to read on.

Stage one: the discovery phase

I would like you to understand better the tasks carried out during the discovery phase, or in other words, the pre-implementation analysis.

At this stage, there are usually several workshops. These are workshops attended by the e-commerce agency team and your team involved in the project. They are conducted to:

  • get to know your business situation better
  • get a better understanding of the strategy
  • describe your internal e-commerce processes

During the discovery phase, 4-6 workshops are usually conducted.

Business requirements for the new e-commerce or B2B platform are then written down. These business requirements are written down in the form of stories (user stories), for which acceptance criteria are created. This way, everyone who works on the project knows exactly how the functionality is supposed to work (for example, a search engine) and what conditions all parties consider the task of implementing the search engine to be completed.

Another thing that must be created at this stage is the system’s architecture. It will lay out all the technologies and tools that are part of the entire e-commerce system, how they will be integrated, and what the data flow between all the devices will look like.

For example, in addition to Magento, PIM, and Baselinker are to be implemented. All of these tools will be described as part of the architecture. It must be specified exactly what the integration between these tools looks like

The next task is graphic design. I think it is better if graphic design creation is part of the discovery phase. This makes creating user stories and acceptance criteria much easier. This way, you get a coherent vision of the online store. It is easy to imagine thanks to the fact that you immediately have graphic designs. Without graphic designs, the user stories are sometimes very hard to understand and imagine how a particular element should work.

Another thing that needs to be done during the discovery phase is to write out all the project risks. If the agency you’re working with knows your business better, they can more accurately assess all the risks.

The last thing that should be done at this stage is to check the original estimation of the implementation budget. As always at the business analysis stage, the scope of the project may differ from the original scope (during offering). It is good to know how your various changes to the project concept during the discovery phase affected the final budget. This is why you need to perform a re-estimation of the implementation budget.

One important piece of information at this stage. It would be good for the entire discovery phase to be carried out, not by the Project Coordinator. At the business analysis stage, you need a team that understands your business and can describe the processes. You need a business team; a coordinator who can grasp the software development process is not the key to success.

In my opinion, a far better team for the discovery phase is:

  • e-commerce consultant – a person who knows and understands the e-commerce business
  • business analyst – a person who understands business processes, knows how to describe them, and can easily simplify them
  • UX designer
  • graphic designer
  • tester

Such a lineup of people should perform business analysis. This will provide a business analysis aligned with your business needs and goals. In addition, a good pre-implementation analysis (with all the products of this analysis I described above) increases the security of meeting the deadline and budget.

Stage two: coding (implementation)

Most often, ecommerc projects, especially Magento implementation projects, are implemented in two-week sprints. That is, every two weeks, there should be new ready-to-use functionality, which should be given to you for testing.

And this is very, very important. If you’re working with such a software house that hasn’t given you access to a clickable version of your online store for three months, know that something is wrong here.

The point is not to get into a situation where you get the results of six months of software housework at once to check. It will be so much that you will not process it efficiently. You must have at least 1-2 people for at least a month to test the store. You should systematically receive new parts of the service to test every 2 weeks.

With this approach, the person from your company responsible for testing the work of the e-commerce agency will be able to plan his or her time normally (here I throw in a link to an article where I described exactly how much time of your work will take the Magento implementation).

That’s why it’s also important that you have regular check-ups with the project team on the Software House side. Ideally, this would take place weekly. And here is another thing – an important thing during status meetings is how project risks are reported. If the project coordinator on the agency side doesn’t see any project risks during the Magento project implementation, it means he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Risks are always there, and it is worth addressing them.

At this stage, you also need to keep in mind that in addition to the implementation work of coding the back-end and front-end and doing the integration (which is done by the software house) there is also work that some additional company is responsible for.

For example, if you work with a company that supports your ERP, then at the stage of integrating Magento with that ERP, the cooperation of all three parties will certainly be required.

Stage three: launching the preproduction environment and final testing of the store (also called UATs, or User Acceptance Testing)

At this stage, the so-called preproduction environment is created. This environment will later turn into the service available to your final customers.

For this to happen, you need to check whether the store (or B2B platform) on the preproduction environment works properly, everything in it is in order, and whether all processes function without errors.

There will be much work waiting on your side-about 2-3 weeks of testing. This would be 2-3 weeks only if the Software House did a great job systematically handing you new service parts every 2 weeks. On top of that, you were checking and testing the service on an ongoing basis, and the Software House on its side had great quality assuarnce processes. If you work with a software house with one tester in the whole team, or better – there is no tester at all, and the project coordinator checks the work of the developers, there will be a lot of work on your side (more than 2-3 weeks).

I know of a project where such UATs could take several months precisely for two reasons:

  • there was no tester in the project team on the agency’s side
  • the first version of the service was made available for tests after 5 first months of coding (that is too late)

It is also important to prepare a so-called launch checklist at this stage. It will help you to check the implementation of all the necessary tasks before the launch. It can be compared to such a checklist before an airplane takes off. The checklist can include such things as:

  • implementation of redirection
  • knocking out the “no index” from the new site
  • logging into the payment system with production data

This cannot be done without the checklist. Here, one small mistake can cost a lot.

This checklist must be there. If you want to be sure, ask the software house you work with to show you what a surge list looks like in your project.

Stage four: production launch

At this stage, you set a specific date for the launch of the new store (that is when exactly the new store will become available to your customers).

Optimally, you should choose Tuesday or Wednesday for this. It can’t be Friday because if it turns out that some bugs come out after the production launch, they can’t wait the whole weekend for a solution.

Another thing is to choose a time when you have relatively few orders, which should be at least 2 months before the sales peak. The reason is that periodically, organic results will rather drop just after the launch. You will have less organic traffic for about 3 to 8 weeks.

As for the production launch, it should be done first thing in the morning. This stage absolutely must be passed with the launch checklist I mentioned earlier.

Summary: What stages does Magento implementation consist of?

Simplifying – Magento implementation consists of 4 stages.

The first stage is the discovery phase, also known as pre-implementation analysis. Most often during this analysis, graphic is designed.

The second stage is implementation (coding). We are simply talking about the programming work involved in coding the frontend and backend and the integration. This is the most labor-intensive and longest stage.

Later, once the service is fully coded, a so-called preproduction environment is created, and the service is handed over to you for testing. These are often called UATs (User Acceptance Testing).

Finally, there is the production launch. Here, I will only point out 2 things. A launch checklist is necessary, and it is a good idea to choose the middle of the week, optimally Tuesday or Wednesday, for the production launch. Never do a production launch during your sales peak.

Growcode Ecommerce Blog / Magento / What stages do a Magento implementation consist of?