Simply dumping your product or system on an unprepared support team will not be appreciated. The people who are to support your finalised project need to be trained and prepared to do their job properly. As usual the scale of this training will vary with the scale of your project.
At the bottom end of the scale, provision of user manuals and support manuals will be adequate. If your product or system is not very complicated then that may be sufficient. More complicated products might require specific training guides and support material, such as tutorials or simulations to get the support team up to speed. At the top end of the training rung you might want to consider full blown training presentations and accreditation for support analysts.
Also consider using members of your project team to train support analysts. No one will know the product as well as the people who worked on it and some of these people will probably operate as third level support for the system once it has rolled out. By opening up these sources of information to the support teams you will gain their appreciation and support and your project team may actually enjoy getting to interact with the people that will be directly using the product.
Nick Jenkins is an IT manager with 10 years experience in software development, project management and software testing. He’s worked in various fields of IT development in Australia, Britain and the USA and occasionally he learned something along the way. Now he lives on the banks of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia, and he publishes the odd guide to help aspiring IT professionals. Nick’s website can be found at www.nickjenkins.net.
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