February 14, 2017
This blog, part two of a three-part series on Post Implementation Support, will focus on the Hypercare period of Post Implementation Support and how to manage certain risks – namely, expecting the unexpected.
To provide a common definition, Hypercare is the period of time immediately following a system Go Live where an elevated level of support is available to ensure the seamless adoption of a new system.
What is a common characteristic of a successful Go Live and Hypercare?
A successful Go Live can lead to a silent Hypercare. It is one in which the users are trained and well versed in the new system processes so that they need minimal, if any, support or guidance. However, for those familiar with Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” a successful Hypercare requires more than a good Change Management strategy; it requires managing the risks around the unexpected.
There are three key steps that contribute to a successful silent Hypercare:
1. Set up a War Room – a centralized support base of operations
Unexpected issues require immediate resolutions to be contained and removed; this avoids a major roadblock to a successful implementation rollout. The support organization needs to be aware of where to channel their escalations in order to receive immediate resolutions. Setting up a centralized War Room fulfills this need. The War Room should be set up for the duration of a Hypercare period and have dedicated open lines of communication where they can be reached. The War Room should be staffed with trained experts on the new business and technical processes; each should have the authority to quickly identify the issue, resolve the problem in the system and leverage training and communication channels to update the user base. The War Room should be staffed adequately to put out the fires and not just to log issues and/or advise, “we will get back to you.”
2. Identify and place Project Change Champions in key areas that are most impacted by change
HyperCare is a crucial time when users are navigating the new system for the first time and understanding how they will be conducting their day to day activities. A lot of “noise” comes to the support organization through users not agreeing with the new processes or not being fully on board with the benefits. Many Hypercare periods have been upended by a vocal minority who may have been resistant to the change in the first place. It is important to identify these vocal groups and enlist Project Change Champions who will placate any unfounded fears within these groups. The Project Champions need to be trained not only on the process, but the key benefits/philosophy behind the change. When confronted by noise from these vocal minorities, the support organization can refer the users to the Project Champions.
3. Readily accessible training content
One consistent area where there is noise from the user is a lack of training. This may have arisen due to the user ignoring emails about upcoming training or simply not attending the training sessions. The support organizations then bear the brunt of this misstep during Hypercare by having to assist with training users rather than resolving issues. The availability of online, on-demand training content allows the support organization to refer the users to these sites. This fulfills two tasks: it routes the users to the correct location where they can receive the training and it allows the support organization to focus on resolving issues and not allocating resources to managing non-compliant users. On demand, online training is also useful to support onboarding new employees to the system after Go Live.
The above steps ensure the correct resources are identified and are primed to act when the unexpected happens. When a new issue occurs and the silence is broken, the appropriate steps are ready to be taken immediately to address and extinguish the noise and return to the bliss of a silent Hypercare.
The next phase of Post Implementation Support, which covers long term support, will be addressed in next month’s blog, “Handling the Known Unknowns.”
The Shelby Group