Tips & Go-Live Checklists for Planning Go Live Events


Go-Live Plan Guide with Templates and Checklists for Getting Users Ready for a Change

As you may know, a project go live checklist is a template used to track go live activities to ensure the project is successfully implemented without major problems. This can also be referred to as a readiness matrix or a pre go live checklist.

In this article, we’ll review go-live preparation in detail and what go-live readiness means. We’ll also include a “how-to” on creating an effective go-live readiness checklist template, and discuss things like a cutover checklist, SAP go-live checklist, and more.

You can also obtain the OCM Solution free project management templates and use them to manage your go-live activities.

If you’ve been looking for a way to reduce dropped balls when a project launches and mitigate post-go-live problems, this article should be a great resource for you.

go live preparation

With all types of projects, you normally have a planning phase where the project is planned, a build phase where the solution is built or designed, and then the phase where the solution is implemented. Sometimes you will also have a Pilot phase and/or a user acceptance testing (UAT) phase.

The phase when a solution is rolled out is called a “go live event” because the project is now a reality, and the project solution is being used by employees, managers, customers, or other intended audience groups.



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Are you looking for project and change management tools to help with go-live activities? Please reach out and let us know. Or check out our free go live readiness checklist which is available in our free project management toolkit.


Table of Contents: Go-Live Process & Pre-Go-Live Checklist

Keep on scrolling down this page to read each section or click any link below to go directly to that section.

1. What Does Go-Live Mean?
          a. Go Live in Project Management
          b. Go Live in Change Management
2. What is Go Live Readiness Assessment?
          a. How Do You Prepare for Go Live Events?
          b. What Makes a Successful Go Live Event?
3. What is a Go Live Checklist?
4. Different Types of Go-Live Checklist Templates
          a. SAP Go Live Checklist
          b. Go/No-Go Checklist
          c. Cutover Checklist
          d. Change Readiness Pre-Go-Live Checklist
5. How Do You Create an Effective Go Live Checklist Template?
          a. Outline of a Go Live Plan Template
6. Why Is It Important to Use a Checklist In Your Go Live Plan?
7. OCM Solution Go Live Readiness Checklist
8. Conclusion: Go Live Checklist, Activities, & Planning
9. FAQ: Go Live Readiness Checklist Template & Guide

Is there a best go live readiness assessment that you have used that you would like to share with other project managers and change leads? Please, reach out and let us know.


What Does Go-Live Mean?

The term “go live” refers to the point at which a project is delivered. This could be when a new software tool is launched and put on a website for people to buy. It can also be the date when a new policy being implemented is put into use within an organization.

If you look up the definition of go-live on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, it describes go live as meaning, “to begin operating or to become available for use.”

It’s important to understand the distinction between the meaning of go live in project management and go live in change management. Project management is looking at the technical delivery of the solution, such as a tool or system. While change management is looking at the people side. Meaning, are people ready to adopt the new solution?

When answering “What does go live mean?” you should include both the technical side of the project and the people side if people are required to adopt the solution that the project is delivering.

What does “Go Live in Project Management” Mean?

Project management teams are often focused on the technical side of change (e.g., designing, building, testing, and rolling out a solution).

For example, in the case of a new software tool being adopted by an organization, the g0live templates used by the project management team would include things like testing the new software in the company’s network, verifying that users had login details, and ensuring that any bugs in the tool are caught and corrected.

As mentioned above, when it comes to go live preparation, project management is most concerned about ensuring the solution (e.g., new product, process, policy, tool, system, etc.) is completed and implemented correctly.

What does “Go Live in Change Management” Mean?

Change management teams are often focused on the people side of change, and are always looking at the project from a different angle – from an impacted users’ perspective – and so the change team’s go-live plan template will be looking at how ready the users, employees, or other stakeholders are to adjust to the changes associated with the project.

In this case, the go-live process will include ensuring stakeholders know about the project and what is changing and have the necessary training and support to successfully transition.

A go live meeting looking at the people side of the project will include discussion on any resistance individuals have to the project and if adequate communications and a go-live email template are being sent out.

For a successful project, you need a project go live checklist to consider both the technical deployment and stakeholder adoption parts of the project.


OCM Solution Toolkit for Assessing Go-Live Activities

go live in project management

The OCM Solution Change Readiness Toolkit helps project teams do comprehensive go live readiness assessment.



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Have you been looking for tools and templates to help with go live preparation, like an SAP go live checklist or cutover checklist? Please reach out and share your thoughts.


What is Go Live Readiness Assessment?

How do you know if a project is ready for “show time” – in other words, going to be successful on the go-live event date? You do assessments well ahead of that date.

You don’t want to find out at the last minute when there is little time to correct things that there are major problems. Such as the mechanics of a project aren’t ready or that the people that need to use the project solution don’t know what they’re supposed to do.

The go-live readiness assessment is a survey of important key points that help indicate whether or not a project is ready for launching successfully according to the go-live plan.

Some of the assessment criteria that you want to look at to assess go live preparation include:

  • Technical deployment criteria
    • How many bugs still need to be fixed?
    • How much product/solution documentation has been completed?
    • What percentage of the solution is functioning as intended?
  • Stakeholder adoption criteria
    • What percentage of stakeholders have been trained?
    • What is the level of acceptance and resistance to the transition?
    • How many groups have enough capacity to successfully make the transition?

How Do You Prepare for Go-Live Events?

The first go-live readiness assessment is typically done at the beginning of a project to get baseline information. This information then informs the project and change management teams where they need to focus their attention.

One or more assessments are done throughout the pre-go-live preparation to check in on the project, look for risk areas, and prepare the project for the go live event.

What Makes a Successful Go-Live Event?

Preparation and testing help make for successful go live events. It’s important to follow a go live checklist template that covers all aspects of what is considered a successful project. This helps ensure that no balls get dropped and you don’t have any unpleasant surprises at the go live event.

Some of the pre go live activities that improve your chances of success are:

  • Doing project risk assessment and management
  • Conducting at least 2 or more go-live readiness assessments
  • Putting together a go live email template to communicate the go-live event well ahead of time
  • Properly preparing stakeholders to adopt the changes being implemented by the project
  • Holding several go live meetings to discuss any items that need to be addressed prior to the go live date.
  • Putting post-go-live support and issue monitoring in place for at least 4 weeks or more to proactively address any issues


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Do you have any questions about what’s included in a go-live meeting or go-live email template? Need to find tools that can help with the go-live process? Please reach out and share your thoughts.


What is a Go Live Checklist?

Checklists are used in all sorts of capacities to ensure that important items aren’t missed. For example, airline pilots have a checklist they go through to ensure the plane is functioning properly before takeoff.

Safety inspectors grading a restaurant will also have a checklist of items that need to be covered to clear the establishment to serve food. These checklists improve quality, consistency, and security.

A go-live checklist will similarly help you ensure that your project is not going to fail due to something that was missed in the planning or preparation go live process.

The pre-go-live checklist includes a list of requirements that need to be met before the project can be completed successfully. Using the project go live checklist not only helps with double-checking that all requirements have been met, but also acts as a planning tool.

Both the project management and change management teams can create a go live plan, that goes into more detail, using the go-live checklist template as a starting point.

Go-live in project management is perhaps the most important date there is. It’s the whole purpose of the project, to be unleashed to do what it is supposed to do. Without golive templates and checklists to govern the pre-go-live process, it’s very easy to miss something that could end up derailing the success of the project solution.

Whether you call this document a cutover checklist, a readiness checklist, an SAP go-live checklist, or something else, the goal is the same. Which is to ensure that all requirements have been met to successfully launch the project for those that are intended to use it.


OCM Solution Go-Live Readiness Checklist Template

go live process

The OCM Solution Readiness Assessment Toolkit, includes a step-by-step go live plan. This pre-populated pre-go-live checklist guides you through a readiness assessment for user adoption.


Different Types of Go-Live Checklist Templates

The type of go-live plan template and checklist you use will depend upon the project type. Some projects encompass the building and delivery of a software solution, in which case you may be looking for an SAP go live checklist.

If a company is moving from one telecommunications platform to another, then the project manager may be using a cutover checklist. For culture adoption projects, a change readiness go live checklist template may be used.

All of these project go-live checklists have the same purpose, which is to provide a list of requirements that need to be confirmed and checked-off as complete for the project to launch successfully. They are simply tailored to match the type of project that is being deployed.

Here’s an overview of some common types of checklists for go-live in project management:

SAP Go Live Checklist

SAP (Systems Applications and Projects in Data Processing) is a well-known software company that makes ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software). These types of golive templates are also known as SAP ERP go-live checklists.

The SAP go live checklist will be focused on software and technology product deployment. It will include things like UAT (User Acceptance Testing), bug resolution, and change control processes that you find in ITIL.

Go/No-Go Checklist

Often, in a go-live meeting, the project management team is looking at the bottom line – is enough done to launch the project solution? This is a “go/no-go” decision. Meaning if the minimum needed to launch the project isn’t ready, then the go-live event date will need to be moved up to allow more time for readiness preparation.

The go/no-go checklist looks at just those minimum criteria, rather than the entire list of items that are meant to be done. It’s a condensed version of a full go-live plan checklist.

Cutover Checklist

Cutover is a term used to describe the steps that need to be taken to successfully transition (or cut over) from one system to another. The goal of the cutover checklist is to lay out a strategy that will mitigate any downtime during the move.

A cutover checklist is often used in large technology projects, for example, when a company is moving from one telecommunications system to another or when a vital tool that is required in the daily workflow is being replaced.

Change Readiness Pre-Go-Live Checklist

The change readiness pre go live checklist is focused on ensuring that individuals and groups being impacted by a project are properly enabled to adopt their “new normal” after the project goes live.

What does go-live mean to the people that have to use the new solution or adopt new behaviors? This is what the change readiness checklist addresses. It includes things like confirmation that people have been trained, the go live email template deployment, and post-go-live support preparation.

Do you have any questions about the go live plan template? Please reach out and let us know.


How Do You Create an Effective Go Live Checklist Template?

Golive templates need to be well planned because they are going to be the thing that helps to ensure every “t” is crossed and “i” dotted before the project goes live.

Here are some recommendations for creating an effective go-live readiness checklist template:

  • Make sure you fully understand the project goals & objectives
  • Incorporate both technical go-live requirements and user adoption go-live requirements
  • Incorporate feedback from leaders of highly impacted groups (what does go-live mean to them?)
  • Update the go-live readiness checklist as needed to accommodate changes in project scope or timeline
  • Share the checklist in a collaborative tool where everyone can see updates in real-time
  • Walkthrough the checklist mentally and physically (if possible) to find anything that may have been left out of the go live plan

Outline of a Go Live Plan Template

Your project go live checklist is going to vary according to the parameters of the project you’re supporting. However, certain things will remain constant, such as ensuring that users have post-go-live support in place.

Below is an outline you can use and edit when creating a go-live readiness checklist template.

  • The project solution has been reviewed/tested.
  • The project solution has been signed off as ready to deploy live.
  • An acceptable percentage of impacted individuals and groups support the project.
  • A go-live email template has been sent out to announce the go-live date and expectations.
  • End-users (employees, groups) have been trained successfully.
  • End-users have access to the new solution they are expected to begin using as of the go-live event date.
  • Post-go-live support has been put in place (help desk, office hours, tutorial videos, guides, etc.).
  • Post-go-live bug identification and issue resolution tracking have been set up.
  • The final change readiness assessment has been done and it indicates an acceptable level of employee/group readiness for the project launch.
  • The project solution documentation is complete
  • There has been a go-live meeting to go over the launch day go-live activities.
  • A knowledge transfer go live plan has been executed.

Have you been looking for an easier way to conduct a change readiness assessment? Do you need a go live plan template to guide you through the assessment steps? Check out the comprehensive OCM Solution Change Readiness Toolkit with Bonus Go-Live Readiness Assessment Checklist.

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Why Is It Important to Use a Checklist In Your Go Live Plan?

A go-live checklist offers a quick and easy way to confirm that all vital tasks are complete before a project solution is launched. It’s a condensed version of all the documented project requirements that helps to ensure the project is launched successfully.

Without using golive templates and checklists, project managers can be in the dark about how ready the project really is to be launched. Using the project go-live checklist helps ensure that no major balls are dropped when it comes to the go live events day.


OCM Solution Go Live Readiness Checklist

An important part of being ready for “go live day” is to ensure that the people that need to adopt the new project solution are ready to do so. You ensure this by doing readiness assessments. The goal for the last change readiness assessment before the go-live event is that it will show a high level of readiness across the organization.

The OCM Solution change readiness toolkit provides you with a powerful, yet simple-to-use tool for assessing your impacted groups for project go-live readiness.

This one-of-a-kind Change Readiness Assessment software also includes a step-by-step go live readiness assessment checklist to guide you through the best practices for readiness assessment.

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Conclusion: Go Live Checklist, Activities, & Planning

Checklists are a critical part of go live preparation and help you avoid missing important factors prior to launching a project live in an organization. This checklist ultimately gives you the answer to, “What does go live mean for this project?”

When going through the go live process, preparing the go live readiness checklist template should be one of your priorities. To be effective, bring as many leaders and project team members as possible, including the change manager, into the go live checklist preparation process. This helps ensure nothing important (such as having post-go-live support) is missed.

We hope that this overview of a go-live plan template and the outline above will be helpful to you as you work to drive successful projects. Feel free to reach out to OCM Solution anytime if you feel that there is something else of value, we can add about go live in project management.


FAQ: Go Live Readiness Checklist Template & Guide

How do you prepare for a go live?

Preparing for a project’s go live event date involves doing several cross-checks to ensure that the project solution is ready to be deployed successfully.

One or more assessments are done throughout the pre-go-live preparation to check in on the project, look for risk areas, and prepare the project for the go live event.

What makes a successful go live?

Preparation and testing help make for successful go live events. It’s important to follow a go live checklist template that covers all aspects of what is considered a successful project. This helps ensure that no balls get dropped and you don’t have any unpleasant surprises at the go live event.

What is go live readiness?

Go live readiness means that an organization is prepared to successfully launch a project solution and make it available to its intended audience (known as impacted stakeholders).

What is technical go live?

It’s important to understand the distinction between the meaning of go live in project management and go live in change management. Project management is looking at the technical delivery of the solution, such as a tool or system. While change management is looking at the people side. Meaning, are people ready to adopt the new solution?

Technical go live is when the technical part of a solution (the software, process, etc.) has been successfully developed, tested, and is ready to be made live in the organization.


Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (Content Manager)
Note: Content on OCM Solution (Formerly Airiodion Global Services (AGS))'s ocmsolution.com website is copyrighted. If you have questions, comments, or tips about this OCM Solution (Formerly Airiodion Global Services) content or product, please contact OCM Solution today.

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Have you been assigned to a change management project?

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Safe environment. 1-on-1 change coaching. No question is too small. Ask me anything.

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FREE Change Management Templates (Excel, PDF, PPT)

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