While examining how to minimize the risks to success inherent in a large-scale, Category 1 multi-site technology rollout, we look at the critical role played by the Project Facilitator.
Note: A Project Facilitator is NOT the Same as a Dispatcher
If you follow multi-site rollout best practice, the role of the Project Facilitator is not the same as a Dispatcher, or Administrator, titles used by other rollout companies to describe administrative and not technical roles. It’s important to understand that the difference is more than just nomenclature. The Dispatcher/Administrator role employed by some rollout companies is passive and non-technical, i.e. they perform administrative functions, but are not equipped to play any part in the rollout beyond that.
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While the Project Manager oversees the entire rollout, the Project Facilitator actively manages and, at times, participates in, on-site deployments. Because of this, the person filling the Project Facilitator role must have a different skill-set.
Achieving Consistency in a Multi-Site Rollout Takes Discipline and Skill
One of the barriers to success for large scale Category 1 rollouts, is that the on-site work is often ‘trivialized’; i.e. because the job is considered to be small, it is thought of as inconsequential and therefore, not requiring much oversight. This introduces significant risk to the rollout, because it makes some dangerous assumptions:
|1.||Local conditions will be exactly the same at every site, e.g. the equipment and wiring already in place, ingress/egress points, or utilities.|
|2.||The Field Tech performing the on-site work will be able to handle all unexpected circumstances.|
Experience teaches us that #1 is never true, because no two locations are alike, and #2 is rarely true, because the technician performing the on-site work could be different each time, therefore possessing different capabilities. So how do we achieve consistent success at every rollout site?
Every Good Rollout Needs a “MacGyver”
As the old military saying goes, “No plan survives contact with the enemy”. In the context of rollouts, this means that while most rollout risk can be mitigated using well-applied methodologies, there will always be unforeseen circumstances.
When this happens, you need a particular set of qualities to ensure a successful deployment. It’s unfair to expect the Field Tech to resolve these issues on their own, so they need someone to turn to who can help them. This is where you need a “MacGyver”*.
If you’re not familiar with this name, MacGyver was a TV show that ran from 1985 to 1992, which has been brought back in 2016. The MacGyver character is a secret agent who rights the wrongs of the world. He never carries a gun: instead he thwarts his enemies with ingenious solutions that he creates using his vast scientific knowledge, a few paper clips, and duct tape that he always carries.
The Bottom Line: With a MacGyver Managing Deployments, You Will Quickly and Reliably Overcome Unexpected On-Site Issues
The advantages of having someone directly managing deployments, who combines broad technical knowledge, with the ingenuity and resourcefulness to “think out of the box”, are significant.
|Customer Need||Project Facilitator “MacGyver” Benefits||Dispatcher/Administrator Benefits|
|No Site Left Behind||Avoid costly site revisits by coaching the on-site Field Tech through what is required to finish the job.||None. Does not possess the skills to do this.|
|Sustainable Solution||Ensure the agreed solution will not cause other issues or aggravated support cost for customer. Accomplished by communicating directly with Field Tech using specific technical knowledge.||None. Does not communicate with to Tech on-site. Does not possess skills to review technical solutions.|
|Consistency||Avoids “re-inventing the wheel” by capturing the local conditions that caused the issue. Uses this to adjust the Work Order Packet (SOW) for subsequent jobs.||None. Does not communicate with on-site Tech. Cannot adjust SOW.|
The Best Project Facilitators ARE MacGyvers.
Having identified this critical role, you must staff it, but MacGyvers don’t just happen by accident. You must first hire people with the right attitude and base skills, then invest in the training and coaching necessary to cultivate them. It requires a defined career path, where Project Facilitators assuming greater responsibility as their skill-set grows.
When a rollout company makes these investments, customers reap the benefits in terms of rapid, reliable, high-quality rollouts; and Field Technician partners will love working with you, because they know they are not going to be left hanging when something unexpected happens.
Just for fun because it’s the Holiday season, here is a practical example of how MacGyver Project Facilitators, apply their unique skills to the challenge of making Halloween fun.
If you are planning a multi-site technology rollout, ask your rollout company how they recruit and train their Project Facilitators. If you don’t like the answers they give you – or worse still, they don’t even seem to understand the questions – contact us and we’ll give you our answers.
Then we will walk you through how our approach has successfully delivered hundreds of thousands of technology rollouts, with a “done right the first time” measurement of over 99.7%.
Other Useful Posts to Read in Conjunction with This One
How to use a Categorization approach to build an accurate, repeatable, work order packet.
How to optimize project communication to mitigate the risk of mistranslation.
How using a “Project Management Maestro” to manage technology rollouts, drives quality.
How to build strong Field Services Partnerships
*MacGyver is a registered trademark of CBS Studios, Inc.