It’s 8PM on a Monday night, and you’re working with a customer on their go-live. Every item on the checklist was performed, all tests checked out OK. All that is required is to shut down the old system and move over the data connections to the new package.

And something unexpected fails.

No big deal, right? You go digging through the logs to identify the issue. You propose a solution to the customer and they agree that it is a valid approach. But it is now 9:30 at night, and as you look down that road, you find that it won’t be a quick fix. Do you go through with it, or pull the plug on the evening’s cutover?

There are opinions on both sides, and in some cases, your hands may be tied due to strict Change Management policies. Barring those external restrictions, I propose that you look behind you in order to make the decision. Compare the non-recoverable hours spent to get to this point, such as copying over data (which will have to be repeated) as well as all of the energy to fall back to what remains ahead. Consider the confusion on the following morning, when employees were told the new system would be in place, and now won’t be. This may even be compounded if there was a mandatory client-side software upgrade to use the new system that has to be rolled back. And then there is the unavoidable meetings afterwards to discuss not just this failure to launch, but now the tens of hours needed for remediation and additional testing before you can schedule a second run at the goal.

If the customer is willing, my opinion is to go for it and reach the finish line. There is no doubt that your evening/night/early morning is now trashed. And the client is probably just as unhappy with the turn of events this late at night. But by showing the determination to go that extra mile, to make the project reach a successful conclusion, you will cement a relationship that will last longer than this extended evening. Showing unwavering dedication to the customer and their well being may be the difference between you and some other consulting firm. In today’s business environment, when somebody is always looking to take your advantage, you can’t afford not to play the long game.

-Jeffrey Bromberger, Consultant – CISA, CRISC

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