Monday, May 11, 2009

The Ultimate Go Live

Image Credit: NASA/Fletcher Hildreth

I briefly turned on NASA TV this afternoon as the space shuttle approached its launch time. It was interesting to listen to the step by step approach to the launch. I can only imagine the time that went into planning the mission.

One of my customers is getting ready to launch the process we've been working on over the past couple of months. I have a standard checklist to help prepare for the go-live. In addition, there will be more detailed plans for the evening that the application is pushed to production.

Some clients I've worked with don't give much thought into deploying applications. They put them in production and if they have problems, they figure out what needs to be fixed. This is a little to casual of an approach for me.

A number of years ago I was involved in some very large, mission critical system deployments. We defined criteria in advance that would be used to make a Go/No Go call if everything didn't follow the plan exactly. If this system doesn't work, we'll try to fix it but if that other system doesn't work we will back out the release and go back to the previous version until we figure out the problem.

When I was in Florida in April, I saw a shuttle launch because of one of these delays. The launch should have been a few days before I arrived, but it was delayed until the day I got there. I'm sure there were a lot of people upset by the delay, but I was happy to be able to see the launch.

How careful are you with launches? Do you have every minute planned out or do you wing it and hope things work out?

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