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Topics: Agile, Communications Management, Stakeholder Management
What happens if customer failed to complete acceptance testing on time?



The project team worked really hard and met all the deadlines and objectives. However, customer failed to complete the acceptance tests on time. This made the team members upset, since the project launch will be delayed until the acceptance test is completed.

How do you handle this situation or What will you do first before communicating the after effect of this delay to your sponsor and customer?
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No problem with that. A change request must be created and new time must be published. The change request must follow the project change request process. Thats all.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 11:09 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Sergio, for letting me know.



Anish -

I wouldn't wait till the acceptance testing has completed late to take preventive or corrective actions. These would include checking on the customer's resource availability and readiness when we are within a few days or weeks of completing our work. Also, if the project schedule and contract clearly calls out the dependency on the customer's work, then so long as they've been proactively notified, there's not much more that can be done.

As far as the team goes, I would tie a portion of the celebration and formal recognition to the completion of their milestones to diminish the impact of customer-created delays.

As PMs, we need to embrace the Serenity Prayer and help our team members do the same...

Kiron
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 11:21 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks for your insight on this Kiron.

Some of the team members suggested to launch the project, even without completing the customer acceptance testing. I think it's too risky, also we may face critical issues on live environment and this can cause dissatisfaction and lose of reputation.



Happens all the time in internal projects. Simply just ensure communications and processes are handled appropriately.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 12:34 PM
Anish Abraham
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Andrew, I agree communication is the key on issues like this. The sponsor was out of country but agreed to speak about the risk with the customer.



The damage has already been done, so there's nothing to do at this point but report the impact of the delays.
Do you know why the customer failed to finish the acceptance tests on time? Taking steps to rectify the source of the problem might make your team confident it won't happen in the future. I keep in close contact with users to make sure their testing is progressing as expected, for I've learned the hard way what happens when I don't do that.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 12:52 PM
Anish Abraham
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Eric, you are right. There's nothing much to do, other than bringing the necessary resources together to analyze the issue and make appropriate decisions.
Well, it looks like the customer did a reorg recently and couple of key resources responsible for this project left the job or moved to another position. This was something unexpected, since I was assured that everything was on track.



Anish,

Customer acceptance test is surely a critical activity under the CPM path. Customer's delay in completing the acceptance test is recoverable delay due in Contract provision. CR on time and loss & expenses impact analysis & approval process should follow aftermath.

Handle with care on stakeholder engagement relationship in achieving the project's goal. Update & share lesson learnt with Customer for progressive process improvement in future project. Do consider as update to risk registry for future project documentation reference.

Agreed with Kiron in handling the team depression by tie portion of reward.

PUI
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 1:00 PM
Anish Abraham
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PUI, I agree with you on this.

This is a good lessons learned for the future projects and I, also liked Kiron's idea about team celebration to diminish the impact of the delay.



I think it is not a big problem if customer accepting that UAT is pending due to him.

My personal experience in few domain had been that sometime customer execute all UAT cases however formally do not like to close UAT immediately. Some time principally they agrees that all functionality are working fine however for their confidence on system they want to keep system in soft launch state or trial for a while to see outcome before signing a formal UAT, also avoid to acknowledge formally. If your organization/PMO/lead-Function is aware of situation and ready to factor in customer view point in project monitoring than fine otherwise it is an external risk (stakeholder).

Also agree with KHIAN - capture all such leanings in project documentation.

Thanks
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 30, 2017 10:15 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thank you for your response.



Yes, it is an issue. To mitigate the risk, try to do acceptance testing in regular increments. Avoid the one big elephant in the room. A jointly agreed definition of done is also heplful.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 1:00 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Peter for your feedback on this.



Yes it is an issue. Clear understanding of acceptance test and constant communication may not raise the issue but if it still, then change request
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 1:01 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Mansoor, I agree with you on this.



Anish,

It can be a problem, you need to document, why the client fail. Document that sufficient time was available for the client to perform those test.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 29, 2017 1:01 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Vincent, for your feedback.



Dec 28, 2017 5:33 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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No problem with that. A change request must be created and new time must be published. The change request must follow the project change request process. Thats all.
Thanks Sergio, for letting me know.
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