Dreaded Excellent Go Live!
We’ve all heard the horror stories of failed software implementations, so let’s discuss successful deployments and how to avoid problems.
We’ll start with the basics. First, a Go Live Date is the actual date you’re going to use the technology in your existing Live or Production Environment. This means employees will now be using newer technology to perform their daily jobs. Next, our company has a very structured approach to implementations that we’ve perfected over the years. Initial sales, implementation, training, testing, and planning are all components which precede a successful Go Live when performed correctly. You can actually read about this in our blog, 6 Vital Keys to ERP & WMS Implementation Success.
Here are some other tips to ensure you have a successful Go Live:
In your test environment (a mirrored image of your production environment), you want to run through all of your normal daily transactions and reporting to ensure the results are satisfactory. Each new client implementation goes through this as part of our Conference Room Piloting Process. Testing ensures that any modifications, set ups, data or integrations are working properly, allowing us to fix all issues before the Go Live to avoid any headaches.
Training Your Personnel
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to train your production, warehouse, traffic, operations, and customer service team members. The more hands on training everyone receives, the better. Period. I know it sounds rudimentary but if employees feel more comfortable with the technology, not only will they be able to produce on day one of a Go Live, but you will not get the backlash of a naysayer trying to sabotage the project. There are many ways to train your employees: some companies have internal leads handle the training, some companies rely on vendors like us to handle it and some may do a combination of both. Find a way that works with your company!
Go Through A pre-Go Live Check List
A pre-Go Live check list details all of the tasks that must be double checked and completed before you Go Live. This can include anything from registering your shipping carriers, setting up your printers, testing your wireless devices, checking your customer set ups, and so on. When you have a list that forces you to check everything, you can be pro-active vs. reactive. Part of our implementation process is to work with our customers as a team and decide together whether we should move forward with a Go Live Date or Delay. The Check List is an important tool to help determine this.
Have An Expert On Site
So, when you do Go Live and you follow a careful process, it’s almost like a Non-Event. However, it’s best to have an expert on site to work with your personnel, provide an extra layer of comfort, and handle any last little minute issues. Typically we have a consultant at our client’s Go Live for, at minimum, two to three days.
If you have not read our How to Get ‘Er Done Blog please do. As a partier that goes way back, I had to learn a certain amount of discipline in order to move forward in life. For many successful people, they understand delayed gratification as well as good old hard work and sacrifice. However, celebrating a successful implementation is important! Your goal should always be rewarding progress and the people who made it possible. Even if it’s a simple BBQ or Happy Hour for your team members they deserve it and will remember it. (Plus, now they will look forward to the next project, the upgrade. Just kidding!)