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This is the fourth and final post in our multi-post series on holistic deployment readiness and Healthcare.gov. To read the previous entry, please click this link.
The final piece of the deployment puzzle comes after you have reached your go-live point. We haven’t gotten to see the finish line for the Healthcare.gov rollout, so I will use a different example. So often, a successful deployment is followed by a large organizational sigh of relief. People move onto new projects, consultants roll off to new engagements, and leadership stops checking in on progress every day. Then for some mysterious reason, the hard won gains from the project start to drop off! What could cause such a mysterious fall in productivity?
Transition phases are difficult, but often are made more difficult then they need to be. All too often, deployment managers have extremely detailed project plans up to the date of their go-live, followed by blissful white space. While this Zen approach may feel good, it does not support sustainable change! To have lasting impact, transitions and sustainability need to be planned and managed with the same rigor as the project deployment. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:
As we spoke about it earlier (link back to overview), you need to set definitions for success before the project goes live. What should your adoption figures look like? How much volume should your new process be handling? What cost metrics will be measured? Theses should be defined in advance, tracked, and reported on it. Thresholds of acceptable performance should be defined with responses for falling below the threshold set.
A project will create a wealth of knowledge and collateral in your organization. What are you going to do with it? Many projects create a great deal of process documentation in preparation for deployment, then never update them again as the process rapidly evolves in the field. These documents can be a springboard for innovation and provide a platform to measure improvements, but only if they are kept up-to-date. Long-term process owners need to be identified and empowered to make changes as needed.
Finally, make sure you are managing the knowledge of project resources appropriately. For people who will be rolling off the project, create a knowledge transition checklist detailing all their areas of expertise and ensure someone else has captured their knowledge. In fact, it’s a good idea to do this for all project resources; you never know when a career change may occur! Develop a resource plan for long-term operations, mapping responsibilities existing on the project team to those that will be needed for the long haul. This will make it easier to ensure that knowledge is transferred to the appropriate people.
At this point, we have reached the end of our long deployment journey. As you can see, there is a lot more to getting a successful result then making sure your deliverables are done on time and on budget. We have learned from the missteps of the Healthcare.gov roll out and identified tactics to avoid those missteps. If we track readiness holistically including project, process, people and sustainability, we can deliver sustainable solutions that drive long term value.
Mike Lien, PMP, is a Consulting Manager who is an expert in managing large scale process improvement projects at MSS. To find out more about how MSS can help your organization manage major deployments and changes, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cite this blog post:
MLA: Lien, Mike. “Part 4 – Holistic Deployment Readiness & Healthcare.gov: What not to do.” MSS. MSS. Blog. 08 April 2015.
APA: M Lien. (2014, Feb 24). Part 4 – Holistic Deployment Readiness & Healthcare.gov: What not to do.