Up to this point, we’ve been describing the temporary activities of ownership and the measures that go alongside that. But we can’t keep this project going forever, and that’s why you agreed upfront how long to do this for.
In this warranty period of intensive care, you need to deliver post-live support. You’re trying to work towards a nice, steady, comfortable state. You’ve got one eye on handover but you’re not quite there yet. You’re still very much in project land and it’s still under project ownership.
In Comms we talked about getting the product ready for the people and vice versa. Now we are at the stage where we know that the product worked and delivered for the customer. The people are getting used to it. Training is progressing. Colleagues are getting quicker at doing stuff. Incidents are reducing and getting sorted and resolved.
The baby analogy is a good comparison.
You’re in this period of intensive care and then weaning before you can hand it over to the business. But the baby’s not ready for nursery yet. He needs your help to walk and talk and get potty trained! Before you cut the apron strings, you’ve got to get your project in a fit state so you can hand it over to the business in a responsible way.
This is the temporary period of time during which the product remains under project ownership. During this warranty period and this period of extra support, you are responsible for that support. You’ve got to keep the lines of communication open and stay very close to any open issues. You need to really drive the resolution of those issues, own them for an agreed period of time, which might be a few weeks. But it could be much less for a much shorter, sharper piece of work. It could be longer for a more complex piece of work. It depends on size, scale, risk, criticality and your Sponsor’s risk appetite.
So you’re working through issues and keeping your Sponsor informed. There might be some customer and employee comms to do. There might be a bit of rah-rah if things are going well or comms to share with the wider group of employees and stakeholders, or maybe even your customers.
Your issues might be generating Change Requests. Maybe the issue is a defect because something in the design was wrong.
This period of post-live support is just about that extra level of help and staying very close to those issues.
There is an approval step for every stage of ABCDE. This one is critical.
This is where you ask your sponsor to agree that you’ve looked after that baby well and is now good enough to handover to his parents, or in this case, hand the project over to the business.
In Approve, you’ll look at what you measured in the Deploy phase. Where did you end up? Did you meet all the exit criteria? You’re going to put all of this in front of the Sponsor and tell them that this is fully ready to get rolled out into the business.
You’re getting closer to shutting the project down.
Approve is about governance and getting decisions made. To get that decision made, you’ll need to use one of your governance meetings. You’ll use your RACI and you’ll get all the facts and perhaps even some evidence to prove it. Then it can be laid out for your sponsor and for full transparency on where you are with progress.
Looks like you did a great job of bringing up baby.
He’s weaned and potty trained. You got him walking and talking and ready for nursery.
Your project is starting to think about handing over and standing down. And that leads us on to a very important part of this process, which is getting ready to party….
We talked about event management earlier in the Implement section of Deploy.
But we didn’t forget the most important event, which is the celebration party, a post-implementation party. Like all good events, it won’t organise itself. We recommend you apply a little bit of event management to your party too, to make sure a good time is had by all. ????