Operational readiness and system go live

31. 01. 19 John Chapman

Launch - Operational readiness and system go live

The topic of a recent Major Projects Association meeting was Project Closure and Operational Readiness. The event set out to explore the critical factors for achieving smooth transition between the building phase and the start of operations.

In the synopsis of the session it noted ‘Yet a project’s success is measured by the client, operator and public in how well it performs on the day it opens. However brilliantly construction may have gone, if a scheme falls flat on its face on opening day or is delayed at the last moment it will be remembered as a failure’.

Readiness to go live

At Touchstone, prior to go live of the system, we recommend a gateway review to confirm the readiness for the system to go into production use. This is a structured session which considers at least six distinct areas. Each one consists of a series of questions to be answered. How many questions and the content is dependent on the solution being implemented. For example a financial consolidations implementation is likely to have a much smaller set of end users than spend control.

Nevertheless, the process is important. Examples of the areas to be covered and the types of questions to be asked are:

  • System readiness: is the configuration is fully tested and signed off by the users, has the test data been cleared down, have all users confirmed they can access the system …?
  • Implementation planning: who will be there for go live floor walking, is there provision for month end or critical process support, has a post go live review been scheduled, is there a go / no go session on the go live day to get authority to proceed …?
  • Help Desk Support: are both the internal Help Desk at the client site, and also Touchstone Help Desk aware that go live is imminent, has there been a handover with the Help Desk to agree go live procedures for raising and resolve tickets, do the users know who to call for assistance …?
  • Business readiness: is the business aware that go live is taking place, are all stakeholders informed, is there a communication plan in place, are escalation procedures in place, have all the users been trained …?
  • Infrastructure / Environment Configuration: has the infrastructure been signed off for production running, are backup and recovery procedures tested …?
  • Contingency Planning: is there a detailed resource back-out plan in place, what are the considerations that would invoke contingency …?

Conclusion

Go live is when the full user community can start to benefit from the investment. The importance of preparing the business for this cannot be left to chance or to one or two people. It requires planning, preparation, communication, education and resourcing. This is so the full benefits which are defined in the business case can start to be realised on live running and, as importantly, it is seen as a successful project.

If you would like to find out more about successful software implementations, Touchstone are hosting a free masterclass: “Selecting & implementing a new FMS & BI solution” click the link to find out more and register to join.


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John Chapman

Written by:

John Chapman

Programme Director

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