“Someone needs to be the designated deployment manager from the start of the rescue initiative. Here are some of the questions that the rescue manager should ask to support the solution deployment. The questions should be directed to the deployment team, which may be a subset of the development team and some of the key stakeholders.
- What deployment approach are you going to use? Pilot approach? Big Bang approach? Running parallel with the existing system? While this question supposes that a decision has been made, this may not be the case. This question should be asked of several different groups within the organization.
- What training is needed prior to deployment? Right after deployment? Training information needs to be captured in a detailed plan that includes specific dates, specific names, and training requirements. This plan also needs to include any training equipment requirements.
- Where is the detailed deployment plan? This question should be directed to the deployment lead, who needs to gather all the details from the groups that will be involved in this activity.
- Is the production architecture deployed? How did we test it? There is usually a lot of last minute scrambling to get the production architecture online and properly configured. These questions should be asked no later than the final testing phase, to ensure there is enough time to order any last minute equipment or software that is needed, have it delivered, and implement it.
- What is the contingency plan if the product fails during deployment? This question should be asked of the stakeholders and the technical architects to capture what the business needs and what the technology is capable of doing. The rescue manager needs to collaborate with the different groups to ensure that the answers converge.
- What happens if there is a problem after launch? This is an open-ended question that is designed to capture the requirements for post-launch support, which could extend anywhere from a few days after the project ends to many years of warranty support. This can include a combination of help desk, call center, e-mail, and beeper support. Planning for this contingency is often left to the end of most projects when there is no longer enough time to do this well. It takes at least a few weeks to plan and execute the right solution.”