A successful project launch requires planning and attention to detail. Particularly in the IT industry, where software and infrastructure deployment have a lot of activities going on simultaneously, being able to sift through the noise and formulate a plan is vital to a successful launch. Here are a few recommendations for the boxes to check, before picking a launch date.
1. Get Everyone On Board
Ensure that all major stakeholders involved in the project are supplied with the proper documentation clearly showing the status of the project, and resources employed during the life cycle of the project. The most concise way of documenting or communicating this, is with a project report. This is typically a summary of the whole project, detailing the deliverables and resources used to complete the project. This is often supported by other forms of documentation like user manuals, "how to" videos etc, to help users and stakeholders understand the system as built.
2. Create Your Own Go-Live Checklist
It is best practice to prepare a unique go live checklist for each project or product you launch. Granted, you will notice similarities across projects, however it is best to repeat this process for all projects to avoid oversight in key areas. I will touch on a few key members of the Go-Live Checklist as we progress.
3. User Testing
Test, test and test again. The importance of testing cannot be over-emphasized, having worked in the QA department at EPL, multiple tests must be conducted before a launch date is approved. These tests range from functional/Non-functional testing to user acceptance testing. Some projects have a phase called “pre-live”, this allows for user acceptance testing within a controlled group rather than going live and discovering major flaws in the system. This is usually done with very sensitive projects, especially in the fintech space where bugs in production can be very costly.
5. Check All Dependencies
Are you sure you’re ready? Got the niggling thought at the back of your mind? Listen to it, and check! Diligence is the key ward. Inform all stakeholders of your Go-Live plans, go through your checklist repeatedly, test as much as possible before launch. There is always the possibility of encountering issues during production, however the chances of that happening can be greatly reduced with how thorough you are.
6. Do Not Go Live On A Friday
One of the commandments of the software development ethos which is “Do not push to production on a Friday”, can be applied to your GO-LIVE activities. Many things could go wrong if a product is launched on a Friday, going live on a Friday is ill-advised primarily because limited support is available during the weekend to handle whatever issues you may face post-launch. Experts advise the optimal time to set a launch date is, between Monday and Wednesday. This way you have a fully functional technical team on standby to assist with whatever challenges may come up at launch.
Excite Panacea Limited boasts of a wealth of experience when it comes to building and launching projects ranging from ERPs to SaaS projects, and IT infrastructure management. All projects delivered have an initial "hand holding" period of at least 90 days, to ensure all the users and stakeholders of the system are adequately immersed in the processes before hand over or initiation of a support contract.