Post Production Support Tips for the New Project
Some project managers believe that the support team should be responsible for the software’s uptime and that there should be no phase after the project is over. They strongly believe that post production support should not be provided by the project team. In reality, knowledge transfer is often more important than what was done during the handshake period. This is why there is often a overlap, sometimes called a warranty or post-implementation operational assistance period.
The Post-Implementation phase aims to maintain and improve the system in order to meet the needs of the user community. Once the system has been in operation for a certain period of time, the warranty period is over, and the production review has been completed, the Post-Implementation support phase begins. The regular warranty support may be provided after implementation. This support includes the maintenance, modification, and improvement of the software that is deployed to meet user needs. It is important to shift the focus from “have I installed the right product” towards “have I met the user’s expectations”. The final stage of an application development project is post implementation.
The post-implementation phase is described in a process document. This document generally includes the warranty period specified in the contract. It also covers helpdesk support, fixing bugs, planning for the release of the reworked app, and all other activities that are related to the overall support of system in action. There is a distinction between “cutover” and “handover”. Handovers are as time-consuming as the project. Cutovers take as long as the project requires. The cutover occurs immediately after the project team has been removed. The new operations team takes 20% and controls 80%.
Projects that are well-staffed do not have dedicated resources. Instead, they are made up of outsourced consultants, project team members and resources from operations. Operations resources were assigned to the project to test, build and validate the solution. You have built-in resources that can be 100% dedicated to the operation of the solution or “hand over” when it is live. This would be supported by both internal and external expertise at project level.
The implementation stage consists of planning and defining the process to rollout the new application, training users on the new system, and communicating the details to the relevant people.
List of challenges that project Go-Live will face:
The executive sponsor and business community are pressing for a Go-Live date. The project manager must deliver a successful go-live.
Experience in post-implementation is often less than necessary. Often, the project manager focuses more heavily on delivering the project through a successful Go-Live and spends less time transitioning the product to the business.
You need to know more about the business: Not all project managers can see how the product will work in a departmental/steady environment. It’s easy to create a product or project for business users, but it is difficult to run a business. Project managers may not be able to work with the system they have implemented. Sometimes, the executive sponsor puts more pressure on the project manager by setting a go-live date. This can lead to a reverse engineering approach. He/she is forced to plan backwards and work from that date in order to meet the go live date. Sponsors should be taught that the project management triangle (triple constraint), which includes all three of the constraints on Scope, Time and Budget, is equally important. If the business requirements are not met, then on-time delivery is useless.
These are the challenges you need to overcome
Right team resources: Business users should be represented on the project team. This can be beneficial in two ways: it will reduce the number of functionality-related surprises and it will also help to reduce the time required for transition.
You need to think beyond “go-live”: Verify that the project aligns with company objectives
Prior approval of budget and time for implementation
Acquire the entire team, including cross-functional members, and calculate the period for which these resources are needed.
Deferred functionality: What are the real consequences?
The development of a transition plan
Learn more about the business. To convince stakeholders about their business, it’s essential that the team has a solid business knowledge. Participate in internal trainings