This is a visual overview of the 3 stages involved in a typical live version update project. The time it takes to get through each stage largely depends on 1) your engagement level in the process, and 2) how much Client and Compatibility work is needed to prepare for the Live Roll-out. More details on the steps within each stage are included in the “Process Details” sections below.
Key Things To Expect
There are several key assumptions that you need to know and understand to successfully execute your next live version update project.
- It’s a Project – This is a project. It may actually be a really small, fast, and low risk project (if you have minimal customizations on your site and are just incrementing by one minor revision), or it may be more involved because you have significant customizations and/or you are several minor or major versions behind. Regardless, it’s still a project and should be taken on with a deliberate focus. Make sure these two key roles / job functions are filled by someone on your team (make sure they “GWC” their job function).
- Size Up the “Client Work” and “Compatibility Work” – The primary risks and time involved in a live version update are tied up in what we call “Client Work” and “Compatibility Work”. Your Project Manager should estimate how much time this work will take and who will do it… and get that incorporated into your plan.
- Don’t Intermingle Extra Work – In many cases, a live version update is triggered by a new project or capability that you want to add or change on your site (i.e. adding & implementing a new add-on bundle, reengineering content or product data, adding a net-new custom modification, etc). It makes sense to (or in some cases, you may be required to) update to the latest version of CIMcloud before tackling that project. Go ahead and take on that new project… but don’t intermingle the work with a live version update. Keep the live version update totally separate and clean. Get the version update done and live, and then work on the new stuff.
- Be Safe, But Do It Fast – Try to limit the start-to-finish calendar time on this. Don’t drag out your tasks. Pick a start date (in the future is ok if resources are back-logged right now), line up resources to handle any “Client Work” and “Compatibility Work”, and pack in the work as tightly as you can to limit the number of business days your live version update is in a “WIP” (Work in Progress) state.
Project Tracking Tool and Checklists
This article provides and explains a sample version update project tracking tool that the Project Manager and Lead Operator can use to manage a Live Version Update project on the CIMcloud platform. It also includes a walk-through explanation video of the tool, including context on why the different parts of the tool can be useful.
Standard Version Update – Process Details
The following is a breakdown the the typical steps and tasks in each stage of the live version update process.
Common Triggers to Start The Process
There are three common triggers that start the version update process outlined below.
- CIMcloud notifies you that it’s time to update after a new major release (2 times per year).
- You request something (a quality improvement, new feature, new development, etc) and CIMcloud informs you that you need to update to the latest version before proceeding with your request.
- You request to update to the latest version (by submitting a support task / request).
Stage 1: Preparation (on Sandbox Copy)
- Step 1: [CIMcloud] Version Update Preview On Sandbox Copy
- One of the triggers listed above starts the version update process with CIMcloud.
- CIMcloud completed the version update for preview in a sandbox environment
- CIMcloud disables any customizations you have and verifies the version update.
- CIMcloud provides links to the preview in the sandbox environment.
- Step 2: Size Up Your Client and Compatibility Work
- Plan The Implementation Client Work (Tasks and Who)
- Determine and Plan the Customization Compatibility Work (Test, Build List of Issues, Who)
- Step 3: Complete the Client and Compatibility Work & Build Your Checklist
- Complete the Client Work on The Sandbox (and Build Checklist)
- Complete the Customization Compatibility Work on the Sandbox (and Build Checklist)
- Step 4: Test Everything and Make Changes / Tweaks
- Step 5: Create Change Communication Plan for Users
- Any Change Management for Workers
- Any Change Management for Customers
- Plan These Parts:
- 1) Before Go Live (What to Expect)
- 2) When Go Live is Scheduled (Tell Them When It’s Happening)
- 3) When Go Live Starts (Tell Them It’s Starting Now)
- 4) When Go Live is Completed (Tell Them It’s Over, But Watch & Report Issues)
- Step 6: Execute Change Communication Plan
- Step 7: Make Decision on Next Step
- Output: Draft Go Live Checklist (of content / data tasks to do for go live)
- Decision: Proceed to Dry Run or Live Roll-out
Stage 2: (Optional) Dry Run
- Input: Go Live Checklist
- Step 1: Version Update In Sandbox
- Enter Task for CIMcloud Deployment Team
- [CIMcloud] Version Update in Sandbox Environment
- Verify Customizations Turned Off
- Provide Copy With Customizations On
- Step 2: Schedule Two (2) Hour Time Window for Version Update
- With CIM Pro Services (if applicable)
- With anyone else invoice in Go Live Checklist
- Step 3: Complete Work
- Follow the Go Live Checklist to Install Client Work
- Follow the Go Live Checklist to Install / Update Custom Compatibility Work
- Step 4: Test, Verify, and Fix / Refine Checklist & User Communication Plan As Needed
- Step 5: Make Decision on Next Step
- Output: Verified Go Live Checklist
- Decision: Repeat Dry Run or Proceed to Live Roll-out
Stage 3: Live Roll-Out
Key Information: The Preview Copy and Live Copy of CIMcloud both use your Live database/data and Live images / files.
- Step 1: Schedule Two (2) Hour “Maintenance” Time Window for Version Update
- With CIMcloud Deployment
- With CIM Pro Services (if applicable)
- With Anyone Else Involved in Go Live Checklist
- Notify Users of Expected “Under Maintenance Window”
- Notify Users of Changes Coming (if needed to diffuse change pain)
- Step 2: Enter Task for CIMcloud Deployment Team
- Verify Date / Time Window
- Step 3: Support CIMcloud Deployment Work (as needed)
- [CIMcloud] Put Up Maintenance Message
- [CIMcloud] Version Update on Preview Copy / Environment
- [CIMcloud] Turnover to Client (and CIM Pro Services If Applicable)
- Step 3: Execute Go Live Checklist (on Preview Copy w/ Live Data)
- Install Client Work
- Install / Update Custom Compatibility Work
- Step 4: Test & Address Issues (on Preview Copy w/ Live Data)
- Step 5: Go Live (Publish from Preview to Live)
- Notify CIMcloud You Are Ready for the Live Publish
- [CIMcloud] Publish (from Preview Copy) to Live
- Review & Approve The Live Publish
- Remove The Maintenance Message
- Step 6: Test Again & Address Issues (on Live)
- Step 7: Monitor & Stabilize As Needed (on Live)
If you’re unsure how to take next steps, please submit an Extranet Task and ask to speak with a Customer Success Manager.