Last week was all go, so I was glad to have last weekend in Villefranche-sur-Mer, looking at the houses set into the cliffs, making the most of a little bit of free time before the project kicked off.Launch week for any project is always busy, but it’s my favourite time. It’s the moment everything comes together and you realize what you have been working towards for the past few months.
It can also be extremely stressful. It’s a frisson of nerves to send out a communication, in my case, to 450 database administrators, informing these people that the launch is complete. There’s stakeholder communication and overtime to manage for people who are putting in system changes after everyone else has gone home. It’s nerve-wracking but a good thing.
But project launches can ruin your social life. I worked long hours all week. I never made it to the gym. I lost sight of the importance of healthy eating and thought that a large bowl of ice cream was a portion of fruit. This was because I had broken a passionfruit over it. After recently firing my cleaner, housework was out of control.
This week, I have lots of cleaning to look forward too. I’m also trying to quit drinking coffee. Planning all the closing activities that follow a project launch. The project does not end with the implementation date. There are still many things to do, such as:
Make sure that all documentation is current before system changes are implemented.
Producing close-up documentation
Planning for Phase 2
Summary reporting for stakeholders on implementation issues
Doing a final budget statement
Plan for a post-project evaluation.

I was hoping that life would be less hectic as we move into October. But it does not appear to be the case. I spent a lot of time proofreading my book last weekend before the final version goes into press. This week’s work schedule looks the same as last week, even though there is no launch.
Managing projects can be hectic, with all its ups and downs. There are many great moments in busy times, such as launches, firefighting, and solving problems. That’s why we do this job, right?