Jul 20, 2023

Production Scheduling Implementation Phase  4: Testing & Go Live


Key Highlights

  • The Testing & Go Live phase, or the gold phase in Optessa project implementation, involves user acceptance testing (UAT), remediation, the Go Live phase, and post-implementation support, all designed to ensure the software system meets business objectives and is ready for practical use.
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a critical component where users simulate everyday tasks with the software over 5-10 days, aiming to identify and rectify potential issues that could arise when the software goes live.
  • Following a successful UAT process, the project transitions to the Go Live phase, marking the time when the software becomes fully operational in the real-world environment and any arising issues are swiftly addressed.
  • Post-implementation support is provided for three months after the Go Live phase, with Optessa offering user support for any issues or queries, ensuring a smooth transition to the live environment.
  • The primary objectives of the Testing and Go Live phase include ensuring the client's comfort and confidence in using the software and aiming for operational efficiency by streamlining the client's operation.

(Not ready for testing and going live just yet? Check out our articles on Phases One, Two, and Three before you dive deeper here!)

An Overview of the Testing & Go Live Phase

The Testing & Go Live phase, referred to as the gold phase in Optesa project implementation, is a significant and interactive phase that ensures the software application or system meets the business objectives and is ready for practical use. This phase consists of user acceptance testing (UAT), remediation, the Go Live phase, and post-implementation support. 

The primary purpose of the Testing & Go Live Phase is to ensure that the end-users of the software can successfully use it in their day-to-day operations, and any issues that arise are promptly addressed and resolved. This phase allows users to run the software, assess its functionality in real-world scenarios, and provide feedback for necessary changes or improvements.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

The first major component of the Testing & Go Live phase is User Acceptance Testing. This is a critical aspect of the project, where the users interact with the software over a period, typically five to ten days, simulating their everyday tasks. During this period, users load the data, run the software, and analyze the results. The idea is to mimic the conditions of live operation to verify whether the software meets the intended functionality and produces the desired results.

Production scheduling phase

It's crucial to have multiple datasets prepared for the UAT as it allows the users to consider all the business use cases they may encounter during regular production. The goal is to identify and rectify potential issues that could arise once the software goes live. While unexpected occurrences are unavoidable, the UAT aims to ensure maximum preparedness for a smooth and successful transition to the live environment.

The users, usually with the help of the IT department, load the datasets and begin to run the software. Feedback, both positive and negative, is expected during the first few days, which informs any necessary adjustments or fixes. The aim is to achieve a smooth UAT process, having worked through most issues during training. The testing is typically carried out in the production environment to mimic the actual operational conditions, even though training might have been done in the development environment.

The Go Live Phase

After the UAT process, provided both sides are satisfied with the software's performance, the project transitions to the Go Live phase. This period is when the system or application becomes fully operational in the real-world environment. It's an exciting time as users start to actively use the software, applying it to their daily production tasks. The results generated by the software are then implemented in the actual work environment.

During the Go Live phase, any surprises or issues that surface are swiftly addressed, ensuring a smooth transition and successful implementation. The system is closely monitored for any hiccups that could impact the users or production.

Post-Implementation Support

Following the Go Live phase, a three-month post-implementation support period is initiated. During this time, Optesa provides user support for any issues or questions that arise, further enhancing the smooth transition to the live environment.

In summary, the Testing & Go Live phase serves a critical purpose in any project implementation, providing a robust and practical way to confirm that the new system or application is ready for deployment and effectively supports the users' needs in their daily operations.

The Key Objectives of the Testing & Go Live Phase

Primary Goals and Objectives of the Testing and Go Live Phase

The primary objectives of the Testing and Go Live phase encompass both client comfort and operational efficiency. Firstly, Optessa aims for the client to be comfortable and confident in using the software and its outputs. Understanding the software and being able to correctly interpret its results is crucial to this phase.

Moreover, the aim is to streamline the client's operation, making it more efficient and less time-consuming. The system is designed to offer the flexibility to adapt to changes in the client's business rules. Furthermore, a significant objective is the reduction of costs and increasing returns on investment over the long term.

Collaboration and Communication for Long-Term Success

Collaboration and communication with clients during the testing and go-live phase is paramount for ensuring long-term success. It involves Optessa actively maintaining contact, providing support, and aligning with the client's business goals.

Production scheduling phase goals

This partnership is expressed in the understanding that Optessa will continue to be there for them, even after the project ends. Regular monthly touchpoints allow Optessa to check on the software's performance and stay updated on the client's business status. Changes in business rules, additional functionality needs, and potential reconfigurations are all addressed during these touchpoints.

The Importance of Shared Goals and Alignment of Expectations

Shared goals and aligned expectations are vital in this phase as it fosters a sense of partnership and trust between Optessa and its clients. The Testing and Go Live phase is not a singular event but part of an ongoing relationship. It's crucial that the client understands that Optessa's commitment doesn't end once the system goes live but continues to ensure their operation's ongoing success.

Optessa also uses these opportunities to inform clients about software updates and advancements, ensuring they're making the most of their investment. This fosters a long-term relationship where Optessa continues to assist the client in being efficient and maximizing their return on investment, aligning with the shared goal of long-term profitability and success.

How Optessa Works With Clients to Ensure A Successful Testing & Go Live Phase

Common Challenges and Solutions During this Phase

During the Testing and Go Live phase, various challenges may arise. These could include scenarios that don't work out as expected, unexpected results that differ from the training phase, or even technical issues. These are common challenges because real-life operations can be complex and variable, and it's not always possible to predict every single outcome during training.

Common challenges

These issues can be overcome by reaching out to the Optessa team. An email distribution list set up during the implementation phase allows clients to send their questions and concerns directly to the entire team. This guarantees that issues are identified promptly, routed to the correct team member, and resolved efficiently.

Client Milestones or Objectives for this Phase

The client's objectives for this phase are centered around achieving confidence in using the software, trusting the outputs, and ensuring that the software meets their operational needs. A key milestone is the successful completion of user acceptance testing, where the client is able to confidently use the software independently and obtain the desired results. The ultimate objective is a smooth transition to the Go Live phase, where the software is used in day-to-day operations.

Optessa Team Members' Roles in Support During this Phase

Optessa's project manager plays a pivotal role during this phase, ensuring efficient communication and prompt issue resolution. They continually monitor the email distribution list, making sure questions and concerns from clients are routed to the appropriate team members for timely follow-up.

In addition to the project manager, application specialists and developers are involved in this phase. While they may be occupied with specific tasks, they provide essential support in their areas of expertise, ensuring the software's robust performance. Thus, clients can reach out to these team members through the distribution list if they encounter any challenges. The collective aim is to provide timely and effective support, enabling a successful transition to the Go Live phase.

How Optessa Ensures That Clients are Prepared to Move from the UAT Phase to the Go Live Stage

Optessa ensures that clients are fully prepared to move from the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase to the exciting Go Live phase by employing a methodical, checklist-based approach. This checklist is individually tailored for each client and serves as a comprehensive guide during the UAT phase. It outlines items that need to be confirmed and checked off to ensure the results seen during UAT correlate with the functional requirements previously confirmed in the discovery phase.

move to go live

The checklist, therefore, ensures the client is organized, has covered all different business use cases, and that the results align with their expectations. Unique business use cases, such as disruptions in production around holidays, are also included in the checklist to ensure that all possible scenarios are considered and tested.

By systematically going through the checklist and confirming each item, the client gains confidence in the use of the software, ensuring they are fully prepared to proceed to the Go Live phase. Any uncertainties or questions can be resolved in this phase before transitioning into the operational stage.

The Importance of a Checklist during UAT

The checklist serves a crucial role during UAT. Not only does it provide a clear roadmap to guide users through the testing process, but it also ensures no aspect of the software's functionality is overlooked. This systematic approach ensures the software is fully vetted against all relevant business use cases, which can vary significantly from one organization to another.

Each item on the checklist corresponds to a specific functionality or operational requirement of the software. By ticking off each item as they successfully test it, clients can confirm that the software meets all their needs and functions as expected. Furthermore, the checklist can help identify any potential issues that need to be addressed before moving into the Go Live phase, reducing the risk of disruptions during live operations.

In essence, the checklist acts as a safety net, providing clients with confidence in the robustness and reliability of the software, thus ensuring a smooth and successful transition to the Go Live phase.

What Sets Optessa Apart from Others?

When it comes to production planning software, Optessa stands out as a specialized platform that is dedicated to its purpose. Unlike other software that promises to do it all, Optessa focuses solely on advanced planning and scheduling. This is what makes us unique. Optessa works collaboratively with any provider in the space to ensure that the data flows in and out of the system seamlessly.

With over 20 years of experience, Optessa has over 20 years of experience and is committed to being open, transparent, and collaborative with our clients. The company's promise is to work together to figure out how to meet your unique needs. 

At Optessa, we see our clients as partners and approach every implementation as part of a total digital transformation journey.  If you're looking for assistance or have questions about production planning software, please feel free to  reach out at 1-800-918-3597. You can also email marketing@optessa.com or visit us at https://www.optessa.com/ 

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