The Anatomy of a Bad Rollout: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Continuously replying to 'what went wrong' emails causes debilitating pain.

One of the biggest challenges of successfully managing large, multi-site technology rollouts is understanding the project’s true scope and providing a definitive, scalable solution.

Early symptoms of poorly orchestrated rollouts can often be shrugged off as the results of a few individuals’ poor performances. They will exhibit themselves in painful bouts of miscommunication, or a handful of unplanned site revisits.

However, rollout failures are often the direct result of the managing company’s underlying inability to properly allocate their resources and manage their partners in the field. This lack of foresight leads to painful conditions which, if left untreated, will worsen into full blown project failures

As the inbox fills up with angry ‘what went wrong’ emails from vendors, clients, and team members, the symptoms increase in severity until it is impossible to stop the pain from bringing the whole project to a complete halt, analogous of a full-on case of carpal tunnel syndrome!

To avoid this situation and deliver better results, it is important to treat each symptom individually with scalable solutions that focus on optimizing the metrics, data and standardization of fundamental processes.

Technology Rollout Systems that follow a disciplined project management methodology reduce on-site risk, cut cost, and improve overall success rates.

Rollout Wrist Weaknesses Indicates Poor Planning

The first step to planning a new project is to request critical infrastructure data from the client. Without a proper understanding of the size and scope of a new project, it is impossible to effectively allocate the right resources and leverage the necessary field partnerships to ensure a scalable, rapid rollout.

Consolidating and normalizing data from past projects is a complex process.  Too often, contractors include old data and outline new site specs in their preliminary surveys, but their reports are only job specific.

This means the accuracy of the client’s documentation is vulnerable to the varying standards of past contractors, and the resulting archived data is composed of fragmented ‘reports’ from previous infrastructure projects.


With these predictable variances and ‘gaps’ in documentation, it is vital that a comprehensive survey is done at every job site.  The survey verifies that the site design and functionality of the existing infrastructure is well documented before the project begins.

Just like how the subtle symptoms of early carpal tunnel syndrome are often left untreated, project ‘pains’ are similarly dismissed as a necessary hardship of everyday operations. This is not an acceptable approach.  If the right methodology is not followed, then the deficiencies in the planning will quickly manifest themselves into costly challenges in the field.

Standardized, scalable solutions must be designed to effectively treat the symptoms encountered in the survey and documentation phase of the project.  This approach ensures that all technicians understand the specific requirements and have the tools to tackle every obstacle, regardless of the project’s scope.  It also provides the client with an actionable blueprint for their future infrastructure projects and technology roll-outs.

New projects must be clearly defined through proper survey, documentation and verification of all project sites to successfully integrate them into the company’s processes, systems, and internal resources that make up their Technology Rollout System.

Rollout Muscle Atrophy Indicates Project Failure

Allocating resources to the project and managing the rollout requires an experienced Project Manager. However, a leader is only as successful as their team and the overall success of a rollout depends on the ability of the team to efficiently deploy the proposed technology.

Technology Rollout Project Management does not happen in a vacuum. There are many highly skilled professionals involved, each with different skills, schedules, and communication styles.  Even with the most experienced Project Manager, a multi-site rollout will not be successful without a clearly defined process structure to follow.

Whether it’s the Warehouse Manager, the Technology Manager, the Field Partners, the Partnership Managers, the Project Facilitators, or the Project Manager – it is the collective work of each team member that determines if the rollout is on-time and on-budget.

Unless everyone in the company believes in the value of the systems and methodology in place, any lack of detailed processes and methodology will ultimately lead to mismanaged partners, equipment logistics, and resources. If left untreated, these symptoms build into painful site revisits, costly delays and poor client relations, effectively shutting down the project.

The Treatment

The Centralized Single-Tier Process Structure ensures that each member of the rollout team knows their responsibilities and the communication channels between tiers are appropriately delineated.  With the right resources and strong project management in place, a well-defined Technology Rollout System ensures a successful rollout.

A streamlined project management framework sets clear standards for every project deliverable. This includes tracking and communicating schedules, delivery goals, quality metrics, and defined parameters of each rollout team member’s responsibilities.

When To Seek Professional Help

Once your inbox is swamped with ‘what went wrong’ emails, it’s already past time for professional help.  Learn the symptoms of Rollout “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” and talk to your doctor – or better still, a Rollout specialist – and get treated before the pain is unbearable.

IT Deployment Project Management