Support: The Lost Deliverable

Belgium Chapter

Have you ever been awoken at night by the control room telling you your application is down and they don’t know what to do? Or did you ever have to call a project team back because the project was delivered and support was not set up? If so, you know what this article is about. If not, read this article to avoid it.

Support, often called “run,” should be a deliverable in every project. Even if you think no support is needed, the following basic questions have to be answered:

  • What can go wrong after project delivery?
  • How can it be fixed?
  • Who can fix it?

Not setting up support can give a good project a bad name. Being well prepared avoids having to play firefighter afterward.

Throughout the phases of a project, support should be defined, planned, and set up. You, as project manager, should monitor and control everything that is needed to deliver results. The next paragraphs give you a fairly good view as to what is needed.

Initiating
Ask yourself and the other stakeholders of the project whether support should be part of the business case. Should it be considered within the total cost of ownership (TCO)? If so, include support in your scope in the project charter.

Pay attention to the following points and any others you might think of, and you can get a pretty good idea of the resources and their costs needed for the support …

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