Getting ready to turn over a project to your customer

What kinds of things should be done to "get ready" to turn over what we've done to the project's customers?
So you've finished all the development and think the deliverables are ready for delivery, but are you sure? And if you conclude it's ready for prime time, then what do you need to do before you can deliver it to the customer? Let's step back and look at what we've got.

Way too many project deliverables get released before they're truly ready. The customer needs it now! We have to release it now to make our revenue goals, or to save money in IT, or to release the building to its owner, or to begin that new promotional campaign.

But if a project's main deliverables are released before they are truly ready, everyone will pay. The customer will have to live with a buggy product or system. The building may not be ready in every detail for occupancy. Some groups may not be ready and willing to use the new business process. The team may not be truly ready to support the new marketing campaign. Whatever type of project you are on and whatever its deliverable, the team has the responsibility to make sure that it is truly ready for release to its ultimate customers. Take a look at the answer to a related question, "What's a good way to know if we're done'?" Review the End of Approval Phase Checklist and Customer Acceptance Checklist and Signoff for questions the project team needs to answer before turning over the results of the project.

So let's assume that in fact you and the team have decided the deliverables are done and ready for release. Use the Release Decision Process Guidelines to guide the project team through the end of the program toward delivery to the customer. It goes beyond looking at whether the deliverables are completed to the requirements, and helps the team ensure that all risks and issues raised during the project have been addressed sufficiently.

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