Is Your Project Done Yet?

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3. Schedule and conduct lessons learned.
I'm a fan of conducting one or more lessons learned sessions before the actual point of deployment, because it’s hard to pull everyone together after the solution has been turned over to the customer support staff. But if you've not held a session yet, make sure that you actually have one scheduled and participants committed to meeting on both sides. It’s a very important activity and one that many project managers skip. Even if it just ends up being a one-hour conference call, the things that both sides learn can turn out to be of tremendous value later on.

4. Make sure user acceptance test is signed off.
Was user acceptance testing (UAT) successful? Were there outstanding issues that needed to be resolved and if so, were they actually resolved? Make sure that you have a formal UAT signoff in hand; a project that does not have a formal testing acceptance from the project client should not be headed for deployment.

5. Ensure that the right people are trained and ready.
On most technical implementations, there is at least some level of customer training that needs to happen. Whether that’s formal training or informal, adhoc training depends on the project and the solution, of course. Either way, it should be part of the project schedule with appropriate training tasks built into the schedule and tracked. Review the schedule to ensure that all training tasks are complete. A lack of proper customer training in which a customer hasn’t been properly trained on the solution can lead to a customer who is dissatisfied with the end solution that they don’t know how to use.

6. Get formal project signoff.
Finally, don’t skip the process of getting a formal, final signoff from the project sponsor as well as acceptance of the overall project. That signoff should be a ceremonial type signoff at the time of deployment; don’t complete this final phase without it.

Summary
The project manager and team can easily lose focus as the project is coming to a close. The same can be true for the project sponsor and team. What should be the most exciting phase can become someone anticlimactic on a long-term project. By running through this six-item “checklist,” the project manager and team can ensure that the project is truly done and ready for rollout, and not worry that a key element remains outstanding.

About the author

Brad  Egeland's picture Brad Egeland

Brad Egeland is a business solution designer and an information technology / project management consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management and project management experience. He has successfully led project initiatives in manufacturing, government contracting, creative design, gaming and hospitality, retail operations, aviation and airline, pharmaceutical, start-ups, healthcare, higher education, nonprofit, high-tech, engineering and general IT.

In addition to his accomplishments in IT development, resource and project management, he also has authored more than 3,500 expert advice and strategy articles and 12 eBooks on project management, small
business and information technology for his own website as well as sites and printed material for software and service clients all over the world. Brad is highly regarded as one of the most prolific go-to authors on project management general topics, advice and strategy in the world. He often bases his articles on his own personal experiences, successes and frustrations, providing insights on how to combat issues and deficiencies encountered along the way to the average project manager, business owner or strategist looking for help in a given situation. Brad is married, a father of 11 and lives in sunny Las Vegas, NV.

You can learn more about Brad or contact him through the following:

Website: http://www.bradegeland.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bradegelandconsulting
Twitter: http://twitter.com/begeland
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bradegeland

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