Nothing is more important than the human experience—HX—of a project. When problems occur, end users don’t care about downtime, the reasons for failure or the loopholes every service contract inherently carries. If you focus on the experience of failure, you’ll find that uptime is the least important aspect. It’s all about recovery. Creative methods that help a client regain control of their business mean so much more.
Quick cutover is paramount. Loose ends and resistance to change foster festering issues and a lack of completion. When a cutover or deployment is quick and swift, users are forced to make changes, and it allows tracking to a “done” state, which then allows for day-2 support. IT projects are too often treated as “special.” The reality is that they should be treated like any other project with a deadline.
When planning, there’s near-term, long-term and bleeding-edge goals. I’ve always applied the 80% rule to near-term goals. If there’s a conflict on which features or products should get the lion’s share of capital and time, it should be useful and/or asked for by 80% of users. Many really great things are developed and never see success because too few users know how to use them.