Step 8 - Hand-off to Support
My blog series has now led us to this point: our project has gone live and is performing as expected. At this point, someone usually raises the question of transitioning the project to support.
Find all 9 steps of UCaaS project HERE
There are several very important considerations to keep in mind, as all parties have made a significant time and resource investment to get things to this point. It would be almost tragic to “drop the ball” now, which can result in a lack of clarity on how to proceed, discontent among parties involved, or other unintended consequences. Let’s look at each consideration and review the best practice for addressing it.
The customer best defines project completion.
I haven’t been involved in a project at any level where the customer did not have an idea about what constituted project completion. In the best-case scenario, that definition aligns with the scope and deliverables of the project and is what the PM has been working toward.
If the project has been managed with this in mind the entire time and communicated effectively, then getting the customer to agree that the project is completed and ready to transition shouldn’t be an issue.
If not, then there is most likely some “clean-up” to do, and how this is handled can make or break the relationship. It gets simple at this point - is the missing piece in-scope or a defined deliverable? If so, then it’s time to effectively engage resources and resolve items/issues. If not, then the project change management process needs to be revisited. All parties need to reach an agreement on how to ensure the customer remains whole and the provider is adequately resourced to address this change in scope or deliverables. Either way, there should be honest respectful communication and engagement in finding a solution. Other approaches produce YMMV (your mileage may vary) results at best.
You should agree on contact points and conduct a formal hand-off to the support team.
The best practice here is to call a meeting with the appropriate parties from both sides for an introduction and a warm hand-off from one team to another. This should include process and contact documentation so that at the end of the meeting, the customer has confidence that they know the process and who to contact in each situation. This practice has always served us well and is effective in letting the customer know that you are still engaged and looking out for their well-being as they move forward with their new system. In many instances, it helps them answer questions that they get from their customers, which makes them look better and reduces everyone’s ticket count.
The above items are common sense and just good customer service, which is relatively easy to provide if coming from a customer experience mindset. Make the effort; it’s so worth it!