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Project Management

Does your Project Plan include “Post-implementation Adjustments”?

If the plan includes them, you will appear brilliant. If not, you WILL look sloppy or incompetent. Warranty starts after the adjustment period.

Synopsis

  • Nothing goes perfectly. A recent upgrade of Medium.com demonstrated that. You must be ready when things don’t go as expected. Even more important, you must prepare your customers for such events. This article shows how to prepare customers and your management. You want to appear proactive, not reactive.

Are you ready for mayhem?

All programs have bugs. You will write them; they will have bugs. You will inherit them; they will have bugs.

Hopefully, the beta testers will catch the worst ones, but they won’t get all of them. Knowing that, you and the people using the programs (app in today’s user terms) need to be ready.

No matter how many beta tests you run, how many parallels, when the app goes to the real users, they will do things that you never imagined. The industry has already solved all of the normal situations, but you need to be ready to handle new ones.

My Management
When I joined EDS, I added “Post-implementation Adjustments” to my first project plan. I usually used 5% of the coding time estimate, or one week, whichever was less. Or if the job ran weekly or monthly, the first cycle.

I explained that it was to cover any problems, from coding to user instructions, which came up immediately upon implementation.

Management said that the warranty covered fixes. I pointed out that the warranty was long term and the adjustments were short term. Also, nobody was allowed to go on vacation during the adjustment period. All team members who originally developed the app were to be present and ready to fix problems.

They let it stay in the plan as an experiment (for them). I had been doing it for years.

Customer Management and Users
Many had bad experiences with IT. They felt ignored, belittled, and generally left to flounder.

The idea of “Post-implementation Adjustments” was a completely new concept for them. They weren’t skeptical but had a wait-and-see attitude.

They were thrilled just with the attention when the first project went into production. The problems were trivial for us, but they appreciated that we fixed them immediately.

On a much later project, we had a significant design flaw that took over a day to build a workaround. I don’t know how it ever got past the beta testers.

The customer department head asked, “Was that one of those Post-implementation Adjustments?” My answer, “Well…., yes.” He was not upset and was not surprised by the incident.

Conclusion
Six months after I joined EDS, GM handed down an edict to lay off people. Two department heads managing over 200 engineers told my management, “You can lay off anybody you want as long as it is not Bill.” The adjustment idea, among other things, made an impression.

I hope that Post-implementation Adjustments, or some variation, are a part of every project plan in today’s development world.

If they aren’t part of yours, they should be.

Added March 31, 2020

Doctors without income to cover their practice and their employees due to the coronavirus demonstrates that no plan, like the CORE stimulus package, can cover everything. The bill should have included a method to handle unexpected areas, such as doctors, but didn’t.

The October, 2020 Medium.com upgrade. How I adapted.

The October, 2020 Medium.com upgrade. My problems were just cosmetic, he had functionality stop working.

William “Bill” Myers, Analyzes all, Programmer, retired. If you learn anything new, find enjoyment, have a new thought, then I’m successful. Photo: 1st article

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