Product or project launches are always a tenuous time. All the hard work that has gone into the planning and execution of your project comes to a public culmination and your team’s work is laid bare for all to see. Pretty stressful, no? It can be but luckily there are ways to reduce the shared stress of a “go-live” and here are three tips that I like to follow.
I know this is a repeating pattern with a lot of my posts but I am truly passionate about communications in my projects. Ensuring that both you and your client team are in lockstep is no more crucial than at the time of launch. More often than not you are reliant on the client in some technical capacity (yes, even for cloud solutions) to ensure that the technical aspect of the launch is successful. From the business side of things it’s ensuring that your client is ready for the change that your new and wonderful product is going to introduce for them. At the very least, your launch should be in the planning stages weeks before it actually takes place. I like to rely on checklists of tasks that should be reviewed, actioned then reviewed again for completeness and accuracy, for both your team and the client team. Staying in close communications leading up to launch is critical so that no stone is left unturned and that all necessary preparation has been executed.
Deal with Issues Immediately
Issues will come up. This is something that every team (and client) need to embrace. Hopefully the depth and breadth of issues is not significant, and if the project was executed and managed successfully then the issues should be manageable at the very least. As issues come up, and they will, it’s critical that they are dealt with immediately. An issue, technical or business, that is left unaddressed will fester and grow to the point where it will not only distract from your great product launch but also potentially do damage to your customer relationship, taking away from what should be a celebration of achievement between your two teams.
Remember You Are In it Together
Often times when stress levels are heightened it narrows our vision and we can only see what’s directly in front of us. When issues come up, fingers may get pointed and blame becomes visible. It’s important to step back and remember that both your team and the customer are in this together. You share an equal stake in the success of the project and should treat each other as partners, not adversaries. Work collectively together to solve the problem rather than insulate yourselves from the blame. Embrace the problem and strive to find the solution together.
Going live can be one of the scariest times in a project, but it is also one of the most exciting and exhilarating. Keeping your stress levels down and your minds focused on what’s in front of you is key to the success and ensuring all the months of hard work are put on display for all to see in a positive light. Follow these tips to ensure that your go-live is a success!