Mitigate Risk for Your Software Go-Live

Ageing systems will eventually require significant upgrades or total replacement. Whether you’re migrating to a new solution or managing a complex upgrade, there will always be risks involved. Your teams should understand what’s at stake from both a business and technical perspective and know the strategies for mitigating risk before changes are made. Here are some helpful ways to mitigate risk for your software go-live.  

Consider the Impact & Likelihood of Your Risks

A chaotic software go-live can be catastrophic to your business, leading to several days or weeks of downtime that your teams weren’t anticipating. Understanding the impact and likelihood of potential issues helps IT anticipate what could go wrong and formulate an action plan.

If the related assets become inaccessible or corrupted, how will that impact the business in the short and long-term? Who will be accountable for that? How likely is it that the risks will manifest? What mitigation strategies will IT use to avoid or minimize the perceived risks?

The team can only plan for mitigating risks once they have identified and fully understood them. Once that's done, they should divide the go-live tasks into smaller, manageable pieces, define their individual responsibilities and roles in the project, and establish a realistic timeline for completing the project.

Don’t Skimp on the Prep Work

Has your data been cleaned and verified? Has IT ensured all necessary hardware and software are running the most current versions of their firmware/operating system? What’s the protocol for monitoring this project? Effective risk mitigation requires prep work. Here are some key mitigation strategies to prepare:

  1. Clean it up: If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a million times – always clean and verify your data before you do any software project! It is pointless to migrate to a new system, integrate apps, or deploy new analytics functions if your data is feeding back false information. A new go-live is the perfect excuse to audit your data and get participation from all stakeholders.
  2. Manual and automated monitoring: Combine automated and manual monitoring processes to address issues quickly. Use automated processes to trigger alerts and provide crucial performance metrics. Schedule regular check-ins with project managers and end users to assess project progress and analyze the data for any troubling patterns or trends. If you’re using an iPaaS like StarfishETL, you can easily schedule these monitoring activities inside the platform.
  3. Establish a rollback plan: Your rollback plan should be executed if a major issue or failure occurs. The rollback plan should define the specific conditions that trigger a rollback, the scope of what will be undone, the procedures for backing up and restoring data, how stakeholders will be notified of the rollback, and who is responsible for executing the rollback.
  4. Test before deploying: Before deploying the software, ensure that it has been thoroughly tested in various environments, including staging and production environments. This should include functional testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing.
  5. Document it: Documentation should be ready before the new software goes live so users can reference any additional information they may need.

Before you roll out the updated or new system to all users, you may consider launching it to a small group of users first. This pilot launch is an opportunity to preemptively identify and address any issues before the software is rolled out to a larger audience.

After Go-Live, There’s Still Work to Do

Following the launch of the updated or new system, users likely need training. Make sure you factor this into the project timeline! Monitoring and review should continue after go-live to identify any areas of improvement and ensure no new issues crop up.

Keep the lines of communication open so all stakeholders understand the progress of the go-live, how issues were addressed, and the lessons learned for next time. An iPaaS like StarfishETL can be used to effectively monitor software projects, automate tasks, trigger alerts, and reduce the risks associated with a software go-live.

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