When I was a teenager I was often asked to organize student parties. Somehow I always seemed to be picked out for the one that got things done. In the beginning there was always something that either I, or one of my friends, forgot (apart from the alcohol which always came first). In fact we used to enjoy partying so much that we used to arrange ‘dress rehearsals’ the day before, just to make sure the bottle openers worked, the beer was cool, and the music was loud enough etc.. The problem was, it was often the dress rehearsals that caused many of the issues (beer shortages and neighbors getting upset on the second night etc.).

Looking back, the interesting thing about watching amateurs organize events or projects is that they don’t care too much about forgetting something. My theory for this is that people get a buzz from ‘fixing’ things. Bad planning nearly always results in people having an adrenaline rush of creative thinking in order to solve challenges such as: “where can we find flowers and 50 balloons at this time of night?”

Today, with project methodologies such as PMI, Prince 2 and any other approach that works, good planning and a mitigation strategy take out all the fun of the chaos that is normally associated with Go-Live day. It has been a very long time since I had to play Pizza man at three in the morning!

Why am I writing this blog? 1. Because it is Go-Live day on the first leg of a massive project I am working on and 2. Because it is a testament that having vision, staying focused, setting up objective criteria from which to measure readiness for go-live and surrounding yourself with just the right number and caliber of people, us humans can do just about anything!

Perhaps more interesting than a blog on successful project go-live days, would be a blog on project disasters? So if you some disaster stories, I would be very happy to share them, after all, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes and also it would at least pass the time… until I hear, “Harley, we have a problem…”

Have a good week,