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author's profile photo Susan Keohan

[Status Update] What would be in your GO-LIVE survival kit, and why?

Hey all,

What would you gather to put in a survival kit for your go-live weekends? (Because go-lives always happen on weekends, of course)

I'd like:

Mouthwash - because my coworkers need it :-)

Tooth paste and tooth brush - because I work better if I think my teeth are clean?

Antacids - alleviate tummy upset

Bandaids - you never know

Chocolate - because CHOCOLATE

Moisturizing eye drops - hours spent at keyboards = dry eyes

Hand lotion = hours using industrial strength cleaning solution = dry hands

Clean socks = I just like socks

Wandering Chair massage therapist = Well, wouldn't YOU???

Ear plugs = block out the sounds of the Basis team crying

Please add yours!


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  • Nov 08, 2017 at 07:23 PM
    • Coffee, because, well, COFFEE
    • Laptop and Desktop computer, so I can play games or surf the web on one while monitoring the GoLive on the other
    • Blankets (and warm socks!), because it gets cold at 3am in the home office
    • Energy/protein bars/snacks, to fuel all the amazing work going on
    • The data center administrator on speed-dial, for when the VPN goes down, or the server host fails to come back up from a reboot
    • Blackout shades for when finally going to sleep after daylight has arrived
    • Nov 08, 2017 at 08:00 PM

      I understand why I would forget the computers and blankets and maybe even the energy snacks.

      But the coffee??? I have no excuse for that omission!

      I don't need the data center on speed dial, because I have my amazing Basis team sitting near me.

      Totally agree on the blackout shades for afterwards. Maybe even a white noise machine.

      • Nov 08, 2017 at 08:35 PM

        Ah, well, since I'm usually managing GoLives from the comfort and privacy of my own home (I love VPN), and since I'm often the only one actually awake for it, if something goes wrong with the hardware it means I need to wake someone up -- that's the speed dial. :)

  • Nov 09, 2017 at 04:47 PM

    Valerian for my project manager, he needs it when I am telling him that I can't load since the customizing from the teams is not yet transported to production

    and my cinema app, because I will purchase a ticket and watch a movie as I can't really do anything until the customizing got transported.

    by the way, my Go-Lives (Master data load) are not on weekends, I am right now in a production load period (and in one hour starts the movie that I am going to see today)

  • Nov 09, 2017 at 05:10 PM

    I'd like to add a couple:

    1. A deck of cards - for the wait time
    2. Dice - wait time again
    3. Headphone for my jams (Does anyone say jams anymore)
    4. Home phone numbers for all involved - I might need to phone a friend.
    5. Hot and cold tea for me - caffeinated of course
    6. Something to take pictures with - there will be some epic ones
    7. A place to write some fun blogs
    8. Tennis shoes in case I need a quick get away
    9. Something to hide behind
    10. Band-aids - just for those quick fixes
    11. A bit of sand - for the quick and dirty fixes
    • Nov 10, 2017 at 08:49 PM

      'A bit of sand - for quick and dirty fixes' LOL!!!

      I would not be pleased if someone were taking pictures during the wee hours of a go-live. Yes, some of them could be epic - but some of them would be epic fails!

      There is a lot of wait-time of course...

  • Nov 09, 2017 at 05:31 PM

    I've been fortunate to not have a weekend go-live in quite some time (if it happens then it's usually our lovely hosting provider who does all the work). And I always have hand lotion in my purse (dry skin) and a first aid kit in the car (scored some serious mom street cred at a park a few times :) ).

    But chocolate - YES! Cannot have a go-live without it.

    In the most brutal go-live I ended up in the night shift, so in that case also: warm clothes, food, and energy drinks (coffee doesn't cut it after 1 am).

    • Nov 09, 2017 at 06:47 PM

      Mine went for approx. 2 weeks with maybe an hour or two of sleep and running home for fresh clothes. And yes I had just went back to work after maternity leave. My baby wasn't even a year old. It was bad. I did need tissues for when I just missed him too much. My baby is now 20 years old. Time goes by very fast....

      The other ones were just one night overnight stay for the actual go-live. The build up to it, well that was a little more harsh.

    • Nov 10, 2017 at 08:54 PM

      I can't even count how many go-lives I've been through, and that's not bragging, it's a function of aging memory!

      But it's been quite a few in 22 years. Never had to do any overnight stuff though - although sometimes it felt like it was.

      Still, I wonder if I might bring my dog in for the next one. Although she's not a trained therapy dog. And getting her in through the security doors might be a problem.

      • Nov 10, 2017 at 10:04 PM

        Beware of the dog!

        In the early days of my career, when the computers were really loud, and the printer even like jackhammers, I spend a night to do the annual reports. About 3 in the night I felt like being observed and turned around on my chair and was directly eye to eye with a German shepherd who immediately showed me his teeth and my heart went south. Finally it turned out it was the dog of our security guard. But I was really scared in that moment.

        • Nov 11, 2017 at 06:30 PM

          Does it make me a bad person that I laughed at that? I'm sure it wasn't funny at that moment - but still.... Nice doggie don't kill the guy doing the annual reports. You might have be able to throw one of them at the dog. Those things can be huge.

  • Nov 11, 2017 at 05:36 AM

    I used to work for a major FMCG and there was a staff shop where we could buy the "reject" lollies. These rejects failed the second quality gate (they passed the flavour and ingredients but something was missing on the packaging to meet compliance requirements or the item was double wrapped). Staff prices were better than wholesale.

    My husband was on a major project with quite a few go lives at the time. He liked to bake

    Between the two of us, he would front up to go live weekend with 10+ kg of lollies and chocolate as well as a heap of cookies. They would place bowls of lollies, chocolate and biscuits all around the 3 floors of the building where teams were and everyone would be on a sugar high for the weekend.


    Most go lives have a celebratory breakfast to thanks those who have been at work uber early and those who were involved in the project. The shortcoming of such an idea is that the Basis/Tech team - who have been working the worst hours - for months are usually tied to their desk at go live. They never get breakfast. Always could tell if the project manager came from a Tech Background as they would typically send coffees and bacon/egg muffins up to the team remembering they were there nursing the system.

    tldr; keep the troops fed so they can focus on getting their job done instead. It keeps them at their desk and working instead of hunting for food.

    My list was usually

    - phone charger and/or contact list

    - list of contacts and backups for go live as well as escalation points

    - task cutover plan

    - password list stored for any unexpected requriements

    - coffee machine

    - something healthy to eat to counter all the junk

    - taxi voucher (pre uber days) to get home

    - book to read or movie to watch

    - cards or some game that the team would like to fill day in (not so common as most go lives had a call in system to avoid being in office idle)

    Haven't had too many like that recently as most have been greenfields so cutover has been during business hours over several day. I'll be a culture shock next time I'm on Support Packs or Upgrades

  • Nov 13, 2017 at 02:25 AM

    plane ticket to Hawaii

    • Nov 13, 2017 at 12:50 PM

      Ha ha ha ha, I think this also falls into the category of 'Wandering Chair Massage Therapist' as in, it's never happened, but it sure would be nice!

    • Nov 14, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      Just in case something goes wrong ?

      • Nov 14, 2017 at 12:55 PM

        I see, so the intent is to be able to make a fast get-away? But what has ever gone wrong with a major go-live.

  • Nov 14, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    you should always include something celebratory like a bottle of champagne or maybe an amarone.

    I did the latter for an almost overnight Go-live (23.30)

    • Nov 14, 2017 at 12:59 PM

      You speak the truth, Rob. It's always good for team morale to have a little something nice to look forward to after those long, hard days (weeks, months) of preparation!

    • Dec 07, 2017 at 04:57 PM

      Years ago I worked at an alcohol wholesale company and I suspect some people in the warehouse celebrated SAP rollout quite a bit. :)

      Seems like a helpful item though: either celebrate success or drown your sorrow. Very versatile.

  • Dec 01, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Nobody has mentioned pizza yet. Do you guys really get through a go-live weekend without pizza?

    And a table booked at a nearby bar immediately after the planned go-live time.

    • Dec 01, 2017 at 03:29 PM

      Hi Steve,

      We do actually get pizza over go-live weekends. That is sort of the norm. I was looking for people to share their *secret* go-live survival items (because guess who is going to have a major go-live in 4-5 months).

      So? Please tell me your team has gotten chair massages during a long go-live weekend. I need some backup here.

  • Dec 06, 2017 at 04:20 PM

    A stronger pair of glasses. Just to be able to read SAP messages:

    capture.png (70.3 kB)
  • Dec 06, 2017 at 09:31 PM

    Ummm, nothing?

    Coffee, snacks (muesli bars, nuts and gummy bears), and headphones are standard on any normal workday. Pizza is the PM’s responsibility.

    Zero additional effort, just crack on with the job!

    • Dec 07, 2017 at 02:50 PM
      You forgot enrgy drink - REDBULL ...:)
      • Feb 26, 2018 at 07:29 PM

        Coffee, Dark Chocolate covered Marzipan, raw pecans, eggnogg. Of course a lot of this is seasonal, so I have to buy room temp eggnog and store it in my basement and freeze a goodly supply of Marzipan so they are both available year round.

        • Feb 28, 2018 at 01:50 PM

          You have interesting tastes. :-)

          • Feb 28, 2018 at 02:23 PM

            My wife doesn't put it quite so diplomatically, but it's the thought that counts!

            Cheers, Mike

            • Feb 28, 2018 at 03:58 PM

              Praises be, I'm not your wife. Eggnog and marzipan. Why would you ruin perfectly good dark chocolate?

              I know the marzipan fans will be out to get me now... <ducks>

  • Feb 25, 2018 at 08:25 PM

    Resurrecting this thread because we are doing a mock go-live and I thought you all should know....

    Coffee cannot be overestimated.

    Chocolate and other sugar products are going well.

    Games! I have Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, and Shut the Box.

    And Basis people are amazing. They have to wait so much, and then LEAP into action. I love my Basis team.

    • Feb 26, 2018 at 08:50 AM

      Don't forget the card game "Uno".

      • Feb 26, 2018 at 11:15 AM

        I should have brought Uno! I think some people were intimidated because they hadn't played Apples to Apples before. Oh and that they'd been up for hours and hours.

        But it's all preparation for the real go live, so it's all good.

  • Apr 12, 2018 at 04:34 PM

    We are now entering go-live weekend and have a 'stealth sticker' game going on. One other developer and I have sparkly stickers (stars, hearts, etc - sadly no goats) and for each team member who completes a task, we must apply a sparkly sticker to their cubicle without them knowing what we are doing or why.

    Wish me luck!

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