Project Management Guidelines for Development and Operations (DevOps) Teams Preparing For Multi-Site IT Deployments.
Suppose a DevOps team is considering a new IT deployment project. They want to install new, standardized circuits and equipment across a legacy enterprise network. The company has multiple city-center branches, rural warehouses, and a full campus Head Office. Each building has different infrastructure footprints. Now imagine that they want to deploy the solution world-wide.
Without the guidelines of a proven rollout system, it is easy to see that there will be an overwhelming burden on the company's internal resources.
From technician partnerships and technology implementation to materials logistics and project management, setting up an efficient Technology Rollout System will lower costs, save time and ensure a successful rollout.
Here are some essential tips to developing a Successful Technology Rollout System and ensuring smooth IT deployments:
Confirm Sufficient Internal Resources
The first step to developing your rollout system is to confirm that you have the necessary internal resources to build a management team that will oversee the entire project. Project managers, project facilitators, warehouse managers, technology managers, and partnership managers are all highly trained professionals with an exceptional aptitude for their specific role. It can be difficult to find the right internal team members to fulfil these positions.
Take the time to judiciously select each team member, train them for their role and give them the necessary resources to easily adapt to their new position. Setting up an Internal Resources hierarchy of command lowers the chances of costly setbacks and limits any unforeseen complications.
Demand Critical Information From Each Site
Conducting accurate site surveys is another important step towards building a successful rollout system. One of the biggest time-limiting factors to a rollout is whether site-technician have a thorough understanding of their job and access to the materials essential to completing it.
Ageing, undocumented infrastructure is a nightmare for rollout teams, as ‘on-site’ problem-solving can be potentially disastrous to a timeline. Preliminary site surveys guarantee that each location’s existing infrastructure is properly documented and enables all managers to properly prepare their teams, address every challenge at the site, and ensure that the right materials are shipped, prior to the team’s arrival.
Launch Pilot Program
Confirming that the correct technology has been chosen for an enterprise solution starts with understanding how efficiently that technology can be implemented.
Does new cabling have to be installed? Is there enough bandwidth to support the technology across the existing network? These, and many more, are the types of questions that will need to be addressed at each site, so it is necessary to get an accurate picture of how well the new technology solution can be integrated.
Various scenarios will impact the success of a technology rollout and pilot programs allow DevOps to trouble shoot the most prominent difficulties, find scalable solutions and write-up accurate scopes of work.
Determine Accurate Deliverables
Always remember that schedules will inevitably change and so too will the availability of your materials. Materials logistics is a complex discipline and another important time-limiting factor. A ‘Warehouse Manager’ must be put in charge of optimizing materials logistics so that every site receives the right equipment and that it arrives according to schedule. If the right resources aren’t available for the job, field technicians will end up having to revisit the site.
Verify Critical Information
Site documentation done in-house is often conducted by untrained professionals who have been tasked to do an extremely complex job. Before the rollout begins, be sure to verify the documentation that has been provided and demand any supplemental information that was neglected in the primary site survey.
In large campuses and buildings, unused communications infrastructure is often left behind and new technology deployments are installed independently of any review or verification. This is not good practice and should be avoided at all costs.
Develop a Broad Network of VETTED Partners
Many rollouts fail because of the inexperience of the technicians. Large scale rollouts will necessitate partnerships with local technicians and good partnerships are not simply developed from a local database. It is of paramount importance that experienced, well-vetted partners are used for each job.
Dedicated management resources should be allotted to selecting and training skilled field technician partners. Concise work order packets, tech evaluation programs and support programs, prompt payments, and stable relationships should be developed to ensure a successful rollout.
The Bottom Line: Expect Surprises
All IT deployments present unique challenges and follow complex paths to completion. The key to a successful rollout is to respect the guidelines of a well developed Tecchnology Rollout System that is flexible enough to mitigate against the risks of unforeseeable challenges.
This means developing a system of processes and methodology that will leverage the strengths of each team member and provide a complete support network for the rollout's entire duration, as-well-as any future IT deployment projects.