Congratulations! Your MuleSoft implementation is almost complete and now it’s time to think about wrapping up. But first, let me share an exaggerated version of what you don’t want to do. Whether you’re working with a client, business partner, or team, don’t surprise them with an abrupt “goodbye and good luck” because you unexpectedly ran out of time or budget. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve done that exactly once and my client was kind enough to point it out. Since then, I’ve made it a goal not to repeat that mistake because it’s a huge missed opportunity. Your team has accomplished a lot together and it merits a celebration. It’s also the perfect time to share some parting words of wisdom with your client, leaving them encouraged and focused on continuing the momentum.
In other words, wrapping up a MuleSoft Implementation is a little like a graduation ceremony: you have something to celebrate, but there’s still a lot more to do. Below are a few things I like to include in the final week. In my experience, it’s well worth the effort.
Prepare a Final Status Deck
This time your audience is larger than those involved in the day-to-day project work. Go ahead and include the project stakeholders and retell the implementation story. Finish by reflecting on technical readiness, making focused recommendations, and reminding them how to stay in touch.
Specifically, I like to include the following topics in my final status deck.
- Project story - Since this could be shared with others, I prefer a paragraph format including the problem statement and initial use case(s) in non-technical language.
- Overall status - What’s the result? How did the implementation address the problem?
- Use-case status - It’s helpful to remind the audience which use cases are complete or partially completed. Maybe some use cases were mentioned during kick-off but weren’t part of the implementation. List them all with status and some notes if applicable. A table format works well here.
- Challenges and wins - Chances are you encountered some challenges along the way. It’s okay to be honest about them: the way you overcome challenges as a team often makes your accomplishments all the more impressive. And of course, don’t forget to emphasize the wins.
- Another look at technical readiness - Before you go, take some time to look back at the client’s technical readiness. How are they doing now as compared to the beginning of the project? I like to include a list with red, yellow, or green indicators complete with suggestions on how to improve. You definitely want your technical lead’s help with this content.
- Recommendations - Your team most likely has some idea of what the client would benefit from focusing on next. Maybe it’s some unfinished QA testing or perhaps additional training. Often it’s carrying out some suggestions related to technical readiness or sharing tips on how to prioritize the remaining use cases. Regardless, I strongly recommend collaborating with your team when creating this list.
- How to stay in touch - Think about the various ways you’d like your client to stay in touch and let them know.
- Any feedback - Lastly, I like giving the client a chance to share positive and constructive feedback in a way that encourages authentic remarks. Hopefully, they’ve felt comfortable enough to share feedback already, but if not, it’s valuable information you don’t want to miss. So, at the end of the final presentation, consider leaving the meeting while someone from your management team asks for feedback.
If possible, schedule a stakeholder demo showcasing the new functionality and benefits of using MuleSoft. You’ll want to take time and make this demo more polished than the normal sprint demo since it’s likely you’ll have people watching who haven’t been involved daily.
Extended Time for Knowledge Transfer
Is the client team prepared to take over? What could you review to ensure they’re set up for success?
This is one of my favorite parts of wrapping up a project. You’ve spent weeks or months working toward a common goal and now it’s time to celebrate. Get together in person if possible, but if that’s not an option a virtual happy hour is a great substitute. Having trouble getting an hour? Try a “Happy Half Hour” instead.
Follow-up After the Project
How is the team doing? Has the system gone to prod? What about other use cases? How were edge cases that came up once in production handled? How well was the team able to troubleshoot problems and come up with a solution? Check-in from time to time to see how everything is going post-implementation.
I genuinely miss interacting with my client teams, so I enjoy finding reasons to say “hello”. Sharing information about ongoing support in the form of webinars, meetups, etc. is a great way to stay connected after the project ends.
Now that we’ve reached the end of our 3 part blog series, I hope you’ll stay in touch and let us know how we can help you with your MuleSoft needs. We would love to hear from you! If I could talk with you over a cup of coffee that would be even better. Meanwhile, best of luck!
Missed parts 1 and 2 of the series? Check them out here!