Go Live Prep and Checklist
When approaching your Go Live Weekend, it is very important to focus only on the 'next thing'. Allowing yourself (or others) to get distracted by what they need a few weeks into the future will decrease your effectiveness for your Go Live Weekend. We purposely only allow one aspect of the project to go live per day:
- Weekend = Children's check-in goes live
- Monday = Contributions processing goes live
- Tuesday = Congregation follow-up goes live, and if desired, any or all of your Portal can go live as well
With this methodology, you would solely focus on getting check-in prepared for the weekend services as soon as you have given your final data migration (cutover) the 'all clear'. Remember, it is critically important no one changes data in the system until you have given the all-clear. If any adjustments need to be made to your data, the migration will be re-performed and will overwrite anything you've changed. Therefore, it must go in order - cutover, approve data migration, start prepping for the weekend.
When you're ready to prep for the weekend, we recommend:
- Create one event per worship service time. This means if you have a service at 5 pm on Saturday, and one at 9 am on Sunday, and one at 11 am on Sunday, you would create three events - that's it! No more. It's not one event per group.
- When you create those (very few) events, it is best to create them for the Go Live Weekend only. Although you can easily set a recurrence, at this point in the process, you really haven't fully made all your internal decisions. You may change your mind after the first weekend. We suggest creating your weekend events one weekend at a time for the first 4 weekends. This gives you a very easy way to get comfortable with your decisions and change course whenever you'd like. Once you're settled, then you can create a series that runs out to the end of your ministry year. That will be the next breakpoint you're likely to want to change how you do things. After that, it's perfectly fine to set up your next series of events to run the full ministry year.
- Remember what you learned in training: events should always reflect reality. Do not arbitrarily decide to create one event that starts this weekend and then the end date is in 2072. If your worship service time is 8 am to 9:15 am, then the start and end dates should be the same and the start time should be 8 am and the end time should be 9:15 am. You will be able to make that a series when you're ready. This is absolutely the best practice for having great reporting on the attendance for your events.
Here's a specific checklist of things to consider doing to prep for go live weekend:
- Have you made your weekend service events?
- Have you associated the groups to the event?
- Have you tested every single check-in station with at least 10 people checking in on each one, hitting all the groups you have?
- Have you gone to one station that’s in attended mode and:
- added a new fake family, added one of the kids to a group, then checked into an event?
- gone into an existing fake family and added a new member, and checked him/her in?
- go back to one of those fake families and add a note about that family and save it?
- Have you tested checking in kids early and late from an ATTENDED station?
- Have you tested checking in kids early and late from an UNATTENDED station?
- Have you updated the FamilyNoteCareContact Configuration Setting to the correct Contact ID?
- Will all SPoCs be available & attend all of the Go Live weekend services. (may not be applicable for Finance SPoC)?
- Will all SPoCs be available from 8-5 on Monday of Go Live?
- Will all SPoCs be available from 8-12 on Tuesday of Go Live?
- Will all SPoCs (and contributions staff, and those who do online registration events, and those who process Connection Card follow-up) confirm that the focus will be on Go Live activities during Monday & Tuesday of Go Live, are excused from any other activities or meetings that would conflict with Go Live? We have also posted signs and/or schedules so that the group’s focus is not diverted by staff who may have forgotten that their focus needs to be on Go Live activities Sunday through Tuesday.
- Do all SPoCs understand that the weekend of Go Live is focused on Check-in and ensuring children, youth and adults are successfully checked in as they were in our previous system? Will all SPoCs will arrive 1 hour before the first weekend service to greet the Go Live resource? Go Live resource will provide volunteer Check-In support during consecutive morning services. Go Live resource leaves once the final morning service is underway.
- Do all SPoCs understand that the Monday of Go Live is focused on contributions? Will the Finance SPoC, Church Project Manager, and IT SPoC meet the Go Live resource at 9am and work with the entire contributions staff until noon when they will go to lunch together to take a break, but still use their time with the Go Live resource effectively? If contributions processing is not complete by noon, they will pick up with contributions processing again after lunch. All other SPoCs & ministries will need to wait for any questions/concerns/processes until AFTER contributions is complete. If contributions processing concludes early, there may be time to answer questions for, or work on, one of the other two priorities (Connection Card & Event Registration) Monday afternoon.
- Have you notified the appropriate staff who process Connection Card info, or create online registration events to be available on Monday afternoon, in case time is available with the Go Live resource, and available on Tuesday morning for sure?
- Do all SPoCs understand that Tuesday morning is focused on creating a working, testable event registration and on Connection Card follow-up? Once those priorities are completed, other ministries with questions/how-tos can be addressed. Have you prioritized those ministries, and will you use Tuesday, including lunch, with the Go Live resource to its fullest? Go Live resource leaves after lunch on Tuesday.
- Do all SPoCs understand that the Portal cannot go live until Tuesday of Go Live?
- Do all SPoCs understand that it is not common to have Portal Event registration ready right away after Go Live?
- Do all SPoCs understand that if their Go Live happens in the August/September time frame, and they plan to launch their event registration page, very soon after Go Live, they will need to work extra hard, possibly plan to work all weekend of Go Live weekend, building events to make that happen? Do you understand that the Go Live resource will show us how to create and test one online registration event on the Tuesday of Go Live? Most churches do not elect to put themselves under this much pressure. They simply allow their events to live to completion in their legacy system and create new events in MP as the need arises.
If you do those things then you will have covered what can/will happen over the weekend and can have a greater confidence/comfort level that the weekend will go smoothly.