This article provides an overview of the fifth stage of a typical waterfall project methodology.

The purpose of this phase is to guarantee all the relevant testing is completed to ensure the solution is fit for purpose and will deliver the capabilities intended, which includes system testing, system integration testing, regression testing, performance testing and user acceptance testing against the use cases. The other important focus of the phase is to ensure the planned benefits are realized from the change, through pre-transition and transition activities. Pre-transition activities include verifying that all required outputs and approvals have been delivered, implementation/rollback plans created, operations environment readiness checks completed, training completed, benefits measurement plans created, handover to operations plans executed and early life support plans ready. Transition activities include implementing the change to the live environment, decommissioning obsolete configuration items and early life support.
Entry criteria include:

  1. Completed solution build and unit test sign offs.
  2. Build (CP4) Checkpoint approval from the PMO.

Exit criteria include:

  1. Necessary compliance approvals received (i.e. legal, security, regulatory, data privacy, disaster recovery).
  2. Fully tested/signed off solution.
  3. Required outputs delivered/documented/stored.
  4. Solution deployed.
  5. Test & Deploy (CP5) Checkpoint approval from the PMO.

Typical outputs include:

  1. Testing sign-offs.
  2. Compliance approvals.
  3. Implementation/rollback plans.
  4. Operations environment readiness assessment.
  5. Training plans.
  6. Benefits measurement plans.
  7. Handover to operations plans.
  8. Early life support plans.
  9. Decommissioning plan executed.
  10. CP5 pitch.

Typical PMO questions include:

  1. Any open testing issues? What risks do these open issues present? Has the business signed off on proceeding to go-live with open issues?
  2. Is the business satisfied UAT covers all requirements?
  3. Have the business and IT stakeholders reviewed & approved test results?
  4. Are the appropriate plans in place for the production move?
  5. Have the production support team approved & accepted the change?
  6. Is the business aware of deployment schedule?
  7. Is all business preparation for the deployment complete?
  8. Is the solution being implemented on any shared infrastructure? If so, are results of performance test acceptable?

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