I was witness the other day to one of the most flawed project implementations that I have ever seen.
This application is used by 90% or so of that organisation to do their daily business.
It’s month end and the application is key to the successful closure of the months work within that company.
The company decided to go ahead with the migration anyway. Project timelines dictated that this was the case.
Migration occurred and the project team went home for a good nights sleep.
Early the next day, the operational support teams get a call to say that people cannot log into the application itself.
Visibility of the changes that had occurred were in an email notification sent to a group mail box with instructions. This mail box receives hundreds of emails. Not surprisingly, it went missing.
Long story short, disaster ensued and the entire day was essentially lost from a productivity perspective.
Simple things could have avoided this.
- Meeting between the operational support and project team prior to handover to explain in detail what was going on and any instructions with regards to roll-back.
- Increase in the testing carried out after migration to ensure that there were going to be no end-user difficulties.
- A documented and practiced roll-back procedure in the event of any problems along with a decision point as to when roll-back would be initiated.
- Project management was being conducted by the engineers involved rather than a separate project manager. The two roles should be totally isolated in terms of responsibilities.
- Communication, communication and communication.
The project team blamed the operational team for mistakes during the roll-back.
This simply should not be allowed to happen.
A project team is responsible for the implementation of that project with the project manager having ultimate responsibility.
If operational support teams are going to be called upon to resolve potential problems, then they need to be part of the project team and not an afterthought.
Who’s responsible? The project manager!