How can you ensure a successful transition from project phase to operations?
When implementing a new system, or upgrading an existing one, there is always a risk of issues arising after go-live. For business-critical systems such as those supporting production, or other up-time sensitive processes, the cost of problems after go-live can be astronomical, both in terms of lost revenue and the amount of person hours needed to resolve them.
When one of PlantVision’s customers decided to perform a major upgrade to a critical production information system, they worried about whether their support team would be able to successfully assume management of the newly upgraded system. Their primary concern was the availability of resources should problems occur after go-live. Heightening tensions even before the project started was the fact that it was a complex, critical system that needed maintaining on a tight budget whilst constantly undergoing integrations.
As with any major upgrade to infrastructure, there was a risk of unforeseen issues emerging after the upgrade. In this instance the probability was especially high due to the complexity of the system and the requirement that production should start shortly after commissioning of the newly upgraded system.
The plan was for the upgrade project to end after commissioning, which would have resulted in all recourses and competency within the project being allocated elsewhere. This approach would have left all issues relating to the system in the hands of the customer’s internal support team.
To resolve the situation, PlantVision, which was a main supplier in the upgrade, offered the customer a prolonged presence in the form of a ‘hypercare’ period. This ensured a smooth transition of knowledge from the project to the support team, as well as providing prolonged resource availability.
During the hypercare period, PlantVision allocated dedicated project members to the customer with technical expertise of the upgraded system and a guaranteed response time.
The hypercare solution ensured the customer had access to fast, reliable and timely support. In every instance of a problem being identified, PlantVision was able to deliver a solution within a few days. All issues were resolved without resources from the customer and with minimal effect on the customer’s support teams.
Additional benefits included:
- Effective resolution of many additional issues unrelated to the actual upgrade but which would have otherwise affected ongoing production.
- Improved knowledge transfer from the project to the customer’s organization.
- Support team able to focus on and carry out timely maintenance activities without interruption.
- A calmness throughout the entire organization – in what would have otherwise been an extremely stressful period for the customer, and most likely would have incurred greater costs in terms of human capital and an overstretched organization.