The Eight Questions – Solution Testing & Acceptance

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This issue of The Eight Questions addresses key elements of a testing plan for new processes or technology systems.  Just because the supplier says they did a good job and should be compensated, is that good enough for your organization?  Understanding and applying proven project management principles along with business acumen will serve you well.  These questions get you started on a pathway to operational success!

We are often asked by senior business leaders: “What questions should I be asking project deployment leaders?”

Although that can be a loaded question, here are eight questions we believe have merit and can be the starting point for an intelligent and valuable conversation.

  1. What are the primary indicators of project success, and how are they to be demonstrated?
  2. How and when are system success criteria developed, documented, and confirmed?  How does this fit with your commissioning and operation effectiveness test plan?
  3. What is done to ensure that all stakeholders, implementers, and suppliers know what is required to achieve success within our budget and schedule?
  4. How does commissioning and test plan VERIFY that the solution meets specified requirements as a stand-alone solution, and when integrated with existing systems? 
  5. Once a solution is VERIFIED to meet specifications, what is performed to VALIDATE that the solution meets operational needs and those of other identified stakeholders?
  6. At what point in the project is a new system or process determined to be accepted as complete?  How is this measured?  How does this impact Warranty & Support?
  7. What criteria is utilized to decide which resources (personnel, simulators, independent third-parties) evaluate new technology and process solutions for acceptance and commissioning?
  8. How are ongoing Operations Evaluations incorporated into your process?  How does this tie into enhancement planning, maintenance, training, budgeting, and compliance processes?

Butchko, Inc. can be an invaluable resource to proactively assess programs and assist leaders in answering these critical questions. We do this using the disciplined and success-driven Butchko Solutions Process.