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Author's profile photo Kevin Wilson

What are the 5 key points leading to a good / bad go-live experience?

The go-live experience is an exciting moment in any consultants life… It’s what we do and often it’s why we do it… For our clients it’s often even more thrilling because it’s often their only go live and they enjoy the comradery formed during the often all night(s) affair.

Anyway, these are the areas that I feel contribute towards a smooth go-live experience and by go-live I mean the weekend (usually a weekend) where you execute your plan to move from the old way to the new way of doing things…

1) The plan – Every aspect of the go-live plan needs to be addressed to the smallest detail. This plan should be scaled down to the minute so that the team can be properly scheduled. There should be no surprises.

2) Dry runs – Practice, practice, practice makes perfect. Move the transports, do the communication, do the validation, do the backups (testing the restore), do it all…

3) Communication – Regular, pertinent, to the point communication is key to get the steps to flow seamlessly together

4) Experienced integration partner – Ultimately this is the reason why a client brings on an integration partner. They don’t do this for a living and they need help. Make sure that you get people with good solid experience to put it in otherwise you will have no idea what you are getting.

5) Well organized transport strategy from the get go – QA is used to validate your transport sequence. Follow the same sequence to production and you’ll experience less issues. Too many times I see people fiddling the transport sequence between the different environment and it always leads to issues

I could mention many more but I’d rather open it up to the floor to hear what the other experienced consultants have to say on this matter. What are your thoughts for the top 5 aspects to a good go-live experience?

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      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      You hit them all, Kevin. I might add "test test test and re-test....then test more!".....that one always helps....having detailed test scripts (testing positive AND negative outcomes) never hurts. Your point on "Dry Runs" is huge. I saw this in action on a grand scale recently at a "very large" client. They ran multiple dry runs, recording every aspect throughout. When time came for cut-over and go-live, due to the dry runs, they had the time table/schedule down to almost the minute on each part!!! This was great in gettng teams in and out and not having the usual "well, everyone show up at 8pm on friday and we will all leave some time Saturday morning when it's done" kind of "fun" situation. haha
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I agree - it's all about testing, dress rehearsing. My mantra on previous go-lives was assume nothing, question everything. After all the unit, conversion, end-end, integration tests were complete we followed that up with something called "day in the life" testing. Everything was staged to run a typical business day - all the data in place, IT types ran a typical day; business types entered trxns, ran reports, ran a typical day; executed job schedules, performed backups, etc. - exactly like a day would run post conversion. Difficult to stage, difficult to execute but incredibly revealing in terms of people, process and technology issues. We performed this multiple times. By the time of go-live, we had few surprises.