Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Decision Process D900

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

D900 – Decision to go Live

SIIPS Delivery Processes (D).png


SIIPS D900 - Decision to go live.pngFinal review of the readiness of the system and formal decision to commence live running.


The ultimate governing body or manager for the project should take the definitive decision to go live.  It must be certain that all vital pre-conditions have been satisfied to at least a minimum acceptable level, eg testing, data validation, training, organisation.  It does not require that all aspects of the project are completed – only those essential for live running.
Responsibilities for accepting the start up of the system should  have been agreed in advance as part of the System Handover Plan IP.  It may also be useful to agree in advance the precise acceptance criteria.




Prerequisites (Finish-Start):
  • System Handover Plan IP
Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • Data conversion and data load
  • System Testing
  • set up of acceptable environment, eg facilities, support, trained staff
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
  • live running


  • System Handover Plan IP


  • Decision to go live


  • Examples: System Readiness Questionnaire
  • Examples: System Readiness Questionnaire
  • Examples: Package System Implementation signoff letter


A final review and check should be performed to ensure that minimum acceptable standards have been achieved (or surpassed) in those elements of the project essential for live running.  These might include minimum standards for:
  • functional testing and signoff
  • technical testing (including volume testing) and signoff
  • technical environment including schedules, backup/recovery provisions and operating supplies eg special stationery
  • staff availability, training and skill levels
  • definition of responsibilities and procedures
  • reference documentation
  • supplies of forms
  • data load or conversion and acceptance signoff
  • functional and technical support provisions and procedures
  • system management, administration and control
  • approvals from any other relevant bodies, eg auditors, parent company, government control authorities etc
  • awareness of other bodies, eg customers, vendors, employees, other departments, senior management, associated organisations, control authorities, data protection registrations etc
The criteria for acceptance may be discussed and agreed in advance.  It should be possible to make a detailed checklist for the project to indicate the precise checks to be made.
Most of the essential needs will have been met before the cutover, (eg system testing signoff).  It should be possible to note and agree that these requirements have been met in advance of the actual decision to go live.  By the time the start-up data is loaded and accepted, it should only be the acceptance of starting data that is required to complete this process and to agree formally that the system should commence live running.


A computer system is never perfect.  The business costs or risks of imperfections should be balanced against the costs of obtaining a perfect system.  It is important that the start up of the new system is not unreasonably delayed by errors that can be resolved after it is live.  Note should be taken of any non-critical errors that are detected so that they can be addressed as soon as possible after live start up of the system.  The responsible users should indicate their acceptance that the system can commence live operations, and, if appropriate, that the old system should cease to operate.  This acceptance should normally be noted in writing.

Signoff should not require a large number of reviewers or a highly formalised process as this might unreasonably delay the cutover process.  It should, however, carry executive authority.

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