“Plan your work and work your plan.”
– Napoleon Hill
Whether you’re starting a new project, or well into development, you could be forgiven for thinking that the go-live date is far away. You might even think that nothing can be done about it at this point in time, and put off any launch planning closer to the launch date. After all, you’ve likely got your hands full with development, so why worry about something you probably can’t do anything about anyway?
Suddenly, the launch date nears and it’s time to begin the go-live procedure. If you don’t have a clear plan of action, you’re staring disaster in the face. You’ll bounce up and down trying to resolve unexpected issues as they snowball out of control. In the heat of the moment, you’ll fail to see the forest for the trees and miss a critical step. Worst case scenario, you’ll fall flat on your face and be forced to reschedule your launch date.
That’s probably not what you want.
Let’s take a step back and see how we can avoid getting into this situation in the first place.
As a very first step, we want to establish a realistic and achievable go-live date. Plan ahead, avoid holidays and periods you might be busy.
While some swear by Friday Deploy, the reality is, every team works with different timelines and QA processes. As a general rule of thumb however, a Friday release can be stressful for developers. Besides, if problems arise later in the day – or worse yet – over the weekend when everyone’s at home relaxing, there won’t be anyone around to fix them.
If you want something to go well, get into the habit of preparing a checklist. It keeps everyone on the same page, helps reduce ambiguity, and streamlines the work that must get done.
The sooner you prepare a go-live checklist, the better. Ideally, you should have one ready when starting development, as it will help you account for additional work and relay it into your development plan. You will be able to recognize the critical “icebergs” and give yourself plenty of time to resolve them.
Lastly, a checklist can help you restructure and streamline development tasks to save time, now and in the future.
Split up your checklist into three categories: what should be done before, during, and right after the launch.
If you’re strapped for time, write out your action items in point form. Ideally, you should aim for a comprehensive plan that defines the deadlines, roles, and responsibilities of each team member.
At Oro Inc., we have years of experience developing, supporting, and hosting many different eCommerce applications. We have successfully launched countless projects and learned a lot along the way, so we know what to expect during the go-live process. We’re here to ensure a smooth launch of your own Oro project. That’s why we’re giving you a list of recommendations and an example of a go-live checklist.
Did we miss anything? Have anything worth adding to our recommendations or checklist? Do you have any interesting go-live stories? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Good luck with your launch!
About the Author
Ivan Klymenko serves as the Delivery Project Manager at Oro, Inc. As an experienced project manager, he has successfully launched numerous projects for Oro Inc. Previously he served as a Development Manager with eBay, where he led development teams to establish the right process for building Magento applications.