or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
Well in this blog we have previously compared phased approaches & big bangs, also the benefits of critical friends. Now providing you have done all that lot, prepared well, worked hard, done that final push, what does ‘smooth’ look like?
Well it could be in a perfect world, where marriages last for life and Tripadvisor reviews are always accurate, no problems at all and all your users telling you, how well its gone and how much they love their new systems. As anyone who has been previously involved in a systems project, been in (one or more) failed relationships, or eaten a rubbish meal in a three star bistro will testify, that’s fantasy.
All projects, however much effort goes in, or critical friend help accessed, will have some fallout. That could be a number of functional areas not delivered, de-scoped, or still outstanding at go-live. These could be agreed in advance, which is cool, or discovered afterwards, which is clearly less good and something you would not want in your project.
Another great indicator of how your project went, is the number of calls logged on your new system suppliers help desk. Now, having been a supplier and implementer, back in the day, I know suppliers are never keen to have calls logged on help desks, when you are just implementing. There is a certain logic in that, however it means that issues can be lost/mis-laid when implementers take them away, or are passed & lost in a development team. For avoidance of doubt, by go-live, I like all outstanding issues to have already landed on a helpdesk.
So where on the scale is reasonable? How many support calls is a reasonable number?
In my chat with a recently live site in Northern England, of over 23,000 homes, we were looking at around 30 issues logged on a helpdesk, covering around 19 module areas. While that sounds a lot, I am fully aware of a slightly smaller London socialhousing site, which went live with only a sub-set of those modules, which soon after go-live were juggling over 400 helpdesk calls. Quite a difference, I am sure you will agree.
So, what can be done to arrive at about 1.5 calls per module, rather than more like 35 per implemented module?
Well the secret my friends, is all in the preparation. ‘Fail to prepare & prepare to fail’, as those know all’s always tell us.
- Take good advice, from people who have been there and done it already many time
- Act on that good advice, however difficult it may seem
- Test properly and take it seriously. The organisation with 30 calls had completed 3 cycles of intensive testing, involving over 40 staff, moving from a 38% to over a 94% acceptance rate of the new system
- Don’t compromise on the criticals. If something is missing, not delivered etc, be prepared to extend your project and put back your go-live date to obtain it.
- Have a critical friend mop up the missing areas of functional delivery soon after go-live and keep your suppliers on track to complete the job ASAP, before signing off the project.
It will be hard work, but it will be far harder if you wait to put the effort in, after go-live, I promise you.
Related Post: Don't be fooled (again) during your procurements..
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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