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Step 5: Identify and Prioritize Requirements

Early in my career I participated on a number of production acceptance teams that fell short in providing an effective production turnover process. Looking for common causes for these failed attempts, I noticed that in almost every case there were no agreed-upon requirements at the start; when there were requirements, they were never prioritized.

Later on, as I led my own production acceptance design teams, I realized that having requirements that were prioritized and agreed upon by all participants added greatly to the success of the efforts. Requirements vary from company to company, but the following are common to most shops:

  • Ensuring that all key areas are represented early on

  • Ensuring that capacity-gathering requirements are compatible with the capacity-planning process

  • Providing training and documentation on the application to operations weeks prior to deployment

  • Developing and enforcing management policy statements

  • Resisting the temptation to set up a separate help desk for each new application

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