Launch week

Last week was all go, so I was glad to have last weekend in Villefranche-sur-Mer, looking at the houses set into the cliffs, making the most of a little bit of free time before the project kicked off.
Launch week for any project is always busy, but it’s my favourite time. It’s the moment when it all comes together and you see what it is you’ve been working towards for the last however many months.

It’s also a particularly stressful time. There’s the frisson of nerves when you send out a communication to, in my case, 450 database administrators, informing them the launch is go. Then there’s stakeholder communication to manage, overtime for people putting in the system changes when everyone else has gone home. In short, it’s nerve-wracking, but in a good way.

However, project launches ruin your social life. All week I was doing long hours. I didn’t make it to the gym once. I fell off the bandwagon with regards to healthy eating, and managed to kid myself that a big bowl of ice cream counted as a portion of fruit and veg because I’d broken a passion fruit over it. And, having recently fired my cleaning lady, housework went out the window.

So this week I have a whole lot of cleaning to look forward to. As well as trying to break the coffee habit (again). And planning all the close-down activity that comes after a project launch. The implementation date is not the end of the project. There is still a lot to do, for example:

  • making sure all relevant documentation is up-to-date now system changes are implemented
  • producing close-down documentation
  • planning for Phase 2
  • summary reporting on implementation issues for stakeholders
  • doing a final budget statement
  • planning for a post-project review.

As we move into October I was hoping life would become a little less hectic, but it appears that is not going to be the case. I spent much of the weekend proof-reading my book before the final version goes to press, and this week’s work schedule looks just as busy as last week, even if there is no launch.

But the ups and downs of project management means some moments are busier than others. The busy times are normally full of great moments like launches and fire-fighting and solving problems. And that’s why we do this job, isn’t it?

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