Since one of my clients is going live tomorrow on a new ERP system, I've been thinking about go-live. Every software supplier has their "go-live" process and typically touts it as "best"; however, what really matters is the fundamentals.
In the last few years, I've been supporting many clients select the "right" ERP system to best support their business needs, and I've been sticking with them to ensure success with the design and to support the process from an expertise standpoint. A few of the keys include:
Checklists: Remember the blocking and tackling steps. Having a checklist of items that have to be complete is cornerstone to success. It is easy to get side-tracked without a checklist.
Cut-over: The cut-over process has to be planned well. Are you stopping all movement during the process? Certainly this is the easy way to success; however, it is not possible during most go-lives as customers will not wait. Make sure to have clean cut-off points. Reconcile. Balance. An accounting mindset can be a definite advantage.
Support: Whether you think you'll need it or not, make sure you have plenty of support on hand. Ask employees to be flexible during go-live. Have extra experts available to run ideas by and to answer questions. Worst case — you'll have paid for insurance. As someone who had her house burn down, I highly recommend it!
Training: Make sure to accompany go-live with plenty of training. No matter how much you think you know the process steps, you'll realize you don't know how to back out of mistakes or you'll forget a critical step. Training at go-live can accelerate your progress.
Communication: This almost goes without saying but it is ridiculous how often communication can be forgotten as you get into the nitty gritty of go-live tasks. Assign someone to keep the communication flowing.