I’m working with a client, and we are ready to Go-Live with a systems implementation for inventory optimization and replenishment planning. We’ve already successfully implemented demand planning, and at this moment, everything is pointing toward another successful launch.
However, spending a few minutes to brainstorm the factors that could go wrong in the post Go-live phase is beneficial. Here are my Top 5 mistakes.
1. Too little communication.
· There is nothing worse than a team that is unaware of what is happening and is therefore unprepared for the next steps of action.
· Set-up an internal e-mail address for users to ask questions and to give feedback. Be certain to address any questions or concerns in a timely manner.
· Be prepared to hear the negative out of the gate and don’t overreact. Listen; there will be nuggets of information for the team to address. Often any negativity or pushback is associated with training/learning the new processes and change management.
· Send frequent newsletters on tips, tricks and answers to any questions.
2. Underestimating Data Integrity.
· Past process tolerances usually don’t support the new normal. The level of effort necessary to sustain data that was cleansed prior to Go-live can be daunting.
· Implement visual daily management – VDM, for managing data errors.
· Make sure there is a clear understanding of the new linkages and critical points for the new solution.
3. Taking your foot off the gas and going back to business as usual.
· Avoid the temptation for team members to return to their past roles.
· Team members are the next generation of leaders and the new subject matter experts of the enterprise. Be certain the changing of the guard isn’t underestimated and/or missed.
· The Go-live date isn’t the project end. Think of it as the starting and/or mid-point.
· Most projects have cross-functional teams. As the team goes through the process of storming, norming and performing, departmental silos will disappear. With this process of change comes team work, creativity, excellent critical thinking and problem resolution skills. Additionally, the team builds an excellent in-depth knowledge of the business. Don’t miss the opportunity to leverage this into the future!
· When necessary, interject new blood into the team. It keeps the team fresh and avoids burnout.
· Keep the problem resolution culture going and get ahead of the curve on issues; build user acceptance and let the team know legacy problems can be solved.
· Celebrate success of the gains made up to this point, and keep forward momentum going. Encourage the organization to feel great about their hard work and success.
4. Document how everything fits together and works - Data mapping.
5. Pick-up the loose ends; the tasks you were unable to accomplish due to budgets, timelines and scope. Taking action will make the solution more robust, increase user acceptance and create a culture of team empowerment.
Exceed the ROI expected!!!