Of course, quite often the teams have underestimated and start to panic as our facilitators announce the minutes that are passing. With their eye on the clock, choices are made. Finally, they believe the rocket is done with minutes to spare. "DONE!" they shout at the facilitator.
OOPS! The most critical part of the project has been forgotten. The BUILD phase is done but the TRANSITION of the project to the client (which is the point, after all), has been forgotten. As the facilitators say 'The Rocket isn't done until I say it's done.".
User Acceptance testing is just a small part of the Transition Plan. I recently found a good article by Don Kelly summarizing things to consider when creating this plan http://www.trustencore.com/tag/transition-plan-checklist/ . He makes some excellent early points about backups for key personnel, and I also liked his Eight Basic Areas of Transition Plans:
- Systems to Update (what are the software and hardware tasks between now and LIVE)
- Routine Meetings (what internal and external meetings are needed to end the project)
- Personnel Management (how and when will key resources be freed up, feedback given, celebration, paid, etc.
- Project Related (testing, backup/recovery strategy, training, audits (legal, auditing), documented processes, safety, conversions)
- Open Issues (what to do with issues not yet resolved).
Because the Transition Plan may introduce new tasks, stakeholders, and hand-offs, have the discipline to discuss how it will be done when you are building your Project Charter (INITIATE / DEFINE). Waiting until the end will be like our students who mix up screaming DONE with finishing the project.
To learn more about Project Charters, check out my new books. If you'd like help creating a Transition Plan template, please contact Brittney at firstname.lastname@example.org.