It's been a bit of a week.
I'm at the UAT stage of my first big project, to deliver a data platform for internal customers, and am slowly letting users in to give it a test drive.
There are around 50 users in total. Some are technical, some are not. Some are heavy users who demand a lot of the current platform, some log on once a month. They are based in four different countries, and therefore timezones, report to different parts of the company, have different priorities and quite often don't talk to each other.
So far it's been ok.
I've been keeping all the disparate groups updated, holding workshops and communicating with them via Slack.
But now we're getting to the tough part of the project, where we need to keep the old and new platforms running, the data flowing to both in parallel and assist users moving anything they need to. All while they do their day jobs and moving at lightning speed because the longer it takes the more it costs.
The heavy users have started the 'it would be really nice to have' conversations and I'm beginning to get nervous that the not so heavy users are going to wait till the last minute to get on board.
How do I keep everyone happy-ish while this goes on? How do I keep scope creep to a minimum? How do I encourage everyone to get in there and test things while doing their day jobs? How do I make all this happen as quickly as possible so I'm not running two platforms at once? How do I make sure the non-technical users feel supported and not just those who shout the loudest?
I can set all the deadlines I like and offer as much support as I can but it's up to the users to make this work too.
Do you have any stories from big projects that have gone well, or not?
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