It’s Time To ‘Go Live’ – Are we ready?

This is the day you’ve been waiting for – and the day you may also have been dreading – all rolled into one. Though flicking the ‘on’ switch is undoubtedly daunting, provided you have detailed plans in place with a reliable implementation team in place, the risk of failure is minimal.

Celebrate your efficiency! After all, you’ve picked the perfect support partner. You’ve built a water-tight business case. You’ve even dedicated time to create a comprehensive plan.

And all this effort is on the cusp of paying off.

Take a Fine Toothcomb to the Plan

This is your final chance to recognise any flaws, so make the most of it: Is all data mapped correctly? Are users set up in the system? What about a back-up, should something not quite go according to plan?

According to Geneca, 80% of teams spend at least half their time reworking completed tasks as part of a project. So, be sure to factor in time to review and refine all the way through the project to ensure this doesn’t cause any major hiccups. Then get ready to move off.

A final review of your plan is a belt-and-braces approach to make sure all tasks were adequately defined, everyone understands ensuing responsibilities, and risks were flagged for close observation. It’s best to be prepared before the off than to start without a final glance at the map only to get lost along the way.

Don’t Fear Failure, Identify & Correct

The worst action you can follow is to hide from a failing system. Remember, only 18% of all projects fail, which is tiny in the grand scheme of things, so there’s still hope yet! Set up a fail-safe that guarantees any issue is immediately flagged and cascaded to the top, avoiding spiralling impacts that could derail the entire project. Establishing a concrete disaster-recovery plan is not preparing to fail, it is mitigating risk to guarantee overall success. Just be sure those on call are ready for action and understand the process.

Now is a Time for Meetings

The time has come to embrace the team meeting, embrace collective gatherings and prepare for a series of reviews. Communication is key to the success of any project. Having a knowledge transfer process in place that clearly defines the tasks, objectives, and benefits to employees will increase the success of your project by 20%, according to the Project Management Institute.
Scheduling an update pre-Go-Live, with a structured feedback process at staged intervals once the system is operational is your only way of understanding if teams are ready, and if they are struggling once up and running.

Invite criticism, act on advice and be pragmatic about success. No-one is expecting a flawless rollout, but people are assuming leadership from the outset, so use time efficiently, set expectations early and progress decisively at every stage.

Document Progress

Documentation is critical. So, ask yourself, do you have a system in place to record issues and prioritise items for management consideration? No – you need one. This inspires confidence within the business, allows transparency in the resolution process, and ensures accountability so that someone gets on and fixes the problem. There is no point in flagging an issue if there is nowhere to note it and no-one who cares.

Use Training as a Signal

Training is a dual process: it gets users up to speed on expectations, and it demonstrates to key stakeholders whether it’s time to progress into the real world.
Work closely with trainers to establish how well employees are picking up new workflows, how frequently errors occur and whether there are any red flags. Providing a discrete set of tasks to sign off on core processes also ensures basic capabilities are functioning as expected and that everyone has taken accountability for their specific role.

Set a Date and Stick to It

OK – this is not always achievable. However, as the day draws nearer, and capacity becomes clearer, you must communicate a date for Go Live, then do your best to stick to it. Creating a sense of urgency will focus people’s minds, so they know they have a certain number of days to get acquainted with the new system.

Be reasonable with expectations, but clear that this date is inflexible. Otherwise, employees will realise the date can change, becoming overly relaxed in picking up the required skillsets.

Ready to Celebrate?

Trust us – no matter how well you prepare, there will be moments where your palms begin to sweat. But, remember you are not alone and have a team of employees ready to support you achieve your project goals – foster the community spirit and make sure everyone is aware that their opinions are vital to the success of the project. Then show gratitude for their support by celebrating their success.

Our final advice: if you are ready to celebrate, you are ready to go live.

Are you Ready?

If you can answer these five key questions, you’re ready to go live:

  • Have you carried out a final, detailed review of your plan with management: were there any flaws? No? OK – next step
  • Is your support system set up? – Do you have a ticketing system in place? Do employees know how to report a bug?
  • Have you asked for feedback from the entire team? Be sure to bring the business together for one final review of concerns. This is your last chance to hear everyone’s voice before stepping into the breach.
  • Do you have all the right documentation prepared, along with a disaster plan?
  • Has training been provided?

If you answered “yes” to every one of the above questions, you’re ready to take the plunge. No more waiting. It’s now or never. Get in contact with us today!