Hawaii Civil Defense
Hawaii gets a nice Saturday morning wake up alert on their phone.
Words cannot describe the initial reaction you get when you receive an alert that you need to seek immediate shelter because a ballistic missile is on it's way. You only have about 20 minutes to find your hiding place.
Project Management failed on setting up the new civil defense preparedness for a ballistic missile attack on Hawaii. The failure caused panic and pain. Your life could be ending in 20 minutes. You keep waiting for the all clear and nothing happens. It took over 38 minutes for the Hawaii Civil Defense to send out an alert that there is no threat.
Some lessons learned:
My final thoughts on the incident is that Project Management and Leadership play such an import part no matter what type of project it is. In this case the residents and visitors in Hawaii will never forget this date 01-13-2018 because a Project Manager and lack of Leadership really really messed up bad.
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: