After working for several months on a client’s NetSuite implementation, the time had come for go live. As a “rookie” – reflecting back on all of the meetings, data formatting, migration and new business processes, I didn’t know what to expect. On TV, when a new software application goes live, you see people sitting in a giant conference room surrounded by pizza boxes, entirely stressed out. Did we forget to do anything? Did we test enough? Did they test enough? Does the client like what we have built together?
We had our go live kickoff meeting with the managers of each branch and the company executives. This was a large, NetSuite One World implementation involving many subsidiaries across multiple office throughout the US. Final issues were aired and adjustments were made. The answers to all of the questions above would be determined shortly.
The day of go live, I walked into a very calm client office. A pleasant surprise, or was it? Employees had questions and additional reporting requirements were requested but no real issues. Looking back, these 3 things are what made it so successful:
Organization and Communication
Our team completed a thorough diagnostic process and created a very detailed project plan. We held meetings on everything from accounting and inventory to reporting and 3rd party shipping integrations. At each meeting, everyone’s notes were pooled and put in a shared resource program. This information was then broken into assigned tasks. It was also shared with the client, who could add additional comments. The whole team had base knowledge of each area of the project, even if it wasn’t their specialty. Communication was key and we worked together to solve problems.
Extensive testing was done to find errors and improvements in processes. User acceptance testing with dummy data familiarized the client with how the new application was going to work. Often, we would get a question along the lines of “It didn’t work this way in the old system, why are we changing it?” I’m glad to answer these question. The more the client understands how and why our system works, the better.
Client Side Leadership
The CEO and lead executives of this company were very hands on throughout the project. They wanted software that could grow their business. We may have been completing the configuration and development, but they were pushing for employees to familiarize themselves with the application during testing. Having a strong team working together on both sides is what made this implementation successful.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about my first go-live experience and learned a thing or two! If you’re looking to supercharge your NetSuite implementation, please get in touch.
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