The Statement of Work also known as the SOW that a vendor provides needs to be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all expected deliverables are there. The information in the SOW will also help to plan out the preparation work prior to the vendor performing their work. It also helps to plan out post SOW follow up work.
Read The Vendor Statement of Work for more SOW information.
Implementations in a 24 x 7 x 365 organization needs to be planned out carefully to ensure minimal down-time to the organization.
1. Test Test Test in an environment that resembles your production environment to ensure a successful implementation in your production environment. Get your sign-offs to document that the objectives have been met.
2. Change Management approves the project to go live, but there are some risks that need to be addressed in a Risk Assessment meeting. This meeting requires an audience that represents key players from all departments that will be or could be impacted by the implementation to give their feedback on the implementation. Present a timeline of the implementation tasks. Set a point of no return that means no looking back. You are committed to finalizing the implementation. Set a backout point to return the original system back to users if the implementation is encountering issues. You will need to know how long it takes to restore your system. Provide an estimated time when users can expect the system back. Pad your timeline to not take all day, but allow for the things that go bump in the night.
3. Have your standby spreadsheet of contacts that do not need to be onsite, but could be consulted during the implementation.
4. Send out periodic status updates on the progress of the implementation.
I wrote about the risk assessment and going-live on my blog Just Drake's View:
I have a personal blog called Just Drake's View where I write about Project Management and my adventures in life.
My blog post called Project Management in Real Life on my personal blog drakesettsu.blogspot.com/2017/05/project-management-in-real-life.html inspired me to name my blog on projectmanagement.com with the same name.
Project Managers in real life need to be creative by reaching in their tool box to do whatever it takes to lead a team to a successful project delivery. It's all about good judgment to tailor a way to get the results from the team you are handed. I like to think of it like corralling baby chicks around the yard to get them in a nice formation to follow you.
I believe that Project Management is about delivering the objectives of the Project Charter. The Project Manager will be the point person for all the project activities being accountable for ensuring that the project team operates efficiently to stay on track and keeps communication flowing.
Run your Projects with transparency to promote open communication to flush out potential problems and misunderstandings. Publish frequent project status reports for all to see the progress being made. You need to be a creative leader to find ways to lead your team.