Keys to Ensure a Smooth and Successful Go-Live:

The day is finally here.  The months of planning, build, testing and training have culminated in go-live day.  Will this be a successful and relatively smooth day?  If you have followed the best-practice tips below, then the day will go without any major issues.

Early End-User Involvement

Often the biggest complaint from end-users at go-live is the feeling that the new system was forced on them without being able to provide input.  One way to help alleviate this is to engage the users early with information and question and answer sessions, where the users are able to ask questions and express concerns.  These sessions along with usability labs and training provide continued involvement throughout the process and allow the end-users to take some ownership of the success of the project and go-live.

Document Decisions

Throughout the implementation process, many decisions will be made.  One thing that can slow the process and cause a rush close to go live is poor documentation of decisions and revisiting decisions.  Documenting what decisions have been made and why can help alleviate back-tracking.  Yes, sometimes a decision will need to be revisited based on new information, but keeping to a minimum is important to keep the project on track, and allow go-live day to be a success.

Testing, Testing, Testing

This may be the most obvious point, but robust testing is extremely important to a smooth go-live.  Identifying and correcting problems before go live will make the day better for everyone.

Be Nice

Go-live is a big day and it will be stressful.  The project team and support staff will need to keep a calm demeanor throughout the day.  Listening to the users and providing answers with a smile will help the end-users stay calm as well.

Issue tracking and resolution

Problems will arise at go-live and having a maintained issues log allows for the identification of trends in issues.  Discussing the issues during pre-shift meetings with all project team members allows for everyone to be on the same page and helps prevent duplicate issues from being tracked.  Along with tracking the issues, having a ‘fast-track’ process for fixing any issues in the system allows the end-users to see progress and move forward.

Go-live day will come with some stress and challenges, but if you follow the steps listed, it will be a smooth process and a positive experience for everyone.