Congratulations on getting this far on your install, you’ve completed build and are starting to get into testing. You have plenty of time until go-live, right? Actually, not as much time as you may think. Go-lives have a way of being this distant goal that is out there for “some day”, but as you get busier and busier throughout an install, you need to make sure planning for go-live isn’t pushed to the last minute.
In my experience planning dozens of go-lives, there are a few things that a team can do operationally to make it much more of a success.
Scheduling. Knowing who is where – it seems like a simple concept, however it’s often not given enough attention. About 3 months before go-live is a good time to start taking a hard look at the staff in the locations that will be going live. Knowing your clinic’s hours is just the starting point. In order to plan for go-live support staff, you also need to know how many providers and users are in the clinic during those hours. Do they have special appointments on certain days that are extra difficult? What does the clinic manager know about the providers, are they tech savvy or in need of extra help? It’s very important to truly understand what is going on in the clinics leading up to go-live so that you can appropriately staff each location.
Hire a Go-Live Project Manager. Have a devoted go-live manager own the planning of the go-live and go-live staffing, without managing others. They will be responsible for the command center logistics, coordinating all of the go-live related check-ins throughout the day, and developing the go-live staffing plan. At the time of activation, this person will be responsible for making sure support is moved to the areas with the most need. Your analysts and application managers will be free to focus on the important things, like fixing errors timely.
Start planning early. Taking small steps to plan your go-live a few months in advance will have significant pay-offs in the crunch time leading up to it. As mentioned above, 3 months prior to the activation is a good time to start your support planning. I also recommend starting to work with IT on getting the command center needs addressed early can lead to fewer headaches at the last minute. Determine how you’re going to route calls and distribute tickets. Consider having your trainers address workflow questions that are called in and where they should be in the command center.
By having an experienced go-live project manager on your team, you will have users who feel supported and a build team that is able to focus on tickets. Overall, your go-live will be more successful when you put the appropriate time and effort into planning