I’ve put together a few tips to help go live run smoothly. It can be a daunting time, but if you start planning early you’ll keep everyone in the loop and manage any weird and wonderful things that happen on the big day.
- When will you go live? Be realistic, you don’t want to be testing the product the day before you hit the button. If there’s time constraints then manage how you roll out CRM. Going live with 1000 users across 20 departments may be a bit ambitious.
- Who will go live? Establish this early and put an appointment in their calendar.
- What will they go live with? How will they use CRM, what functionality will they use and how will they interact with teams who don’t have access? They’ll need to know if they should use other systems for part of their process or will legacy systems disappear from day one?
- How will they get help? On the day, the first week/month etc. Think long term. Having a variety of ways to get support will help users. You could use YouTube videos, Word quick guides or super users. This variety will also help people with different learning styles
- How will you manage problems? I’d suggest adding these to an issues log and review it at the end of each day. Things that seem big problems in the moment often aren’t that bad. On the flip side if something serious does happen people need to know what action to take there and then.
- Put together a go live team. The team should be made up of project team members, the team going live and others who are impacted. IT and (depending on cost) your supplier will provide technical cover. This team will have a good understanding of CRM from the start and be able to manage any issues the users experience. These often range from knowing where to click to dealing with error messages.
- Develop a go live support plan. Work with the team to agree on the best way to manage user issues. Grade them from low (we’ll deal with that when the dust settles) to medium to high (pull the plug it’s all gone Pete tong). Doing this will give the team clarity on what’s expected. Put the plan place for the first week of go live
- Get the message out there. Tell users CRM is on the way and how they’ll get extra help (this makes the assumption users have been trained).
The big day – avoid Monday
- On the day. The project lead should be visible but not dealing with all the little issues. You’ll need to look at the bigger picture to make sure everything is running smoothly
- Set up conference calls between the go live team. One in the morning, after lunch and at the end of the day to keep on top of issues and to let them know about any ongoing issues.
- Set up a Skype or Whatsapp group. This helps the lead manage issues and gives the team the opportunity to help each other, especially if they’re on different sites.
- Let people know how it’s gone. This goes for the team on the day, new users and senior managers.
- Have a drink and repeat 9 to 12 for the rest of the week.
- Finally give yourself a pat on the back. Getting CRM off the ground is hard work.
Now you’re live the fun really starts. Enjoy!!