Secrets of Multi-Site Technology Rollout Success: Categorization

One of the most Important secrets of a successful multi-site rollout.

One of the biggest obstacles to conducting a successful multi-site technology rollout, is how to drive consistently high quality performance when delivering a large volume of deployments when using different field technicians at each site.  Failure to achieve the right level of consistency is manifested as project schedule delays and cost overruns due to site revisits, as well as a poor end customer experience. This is where rollout categories play a role in your rollout success.

There are several elements of a well-orchestrated technology rollout methodology that support consistency, but the one that we are focusing on in this blog is job categorization.  In this context, the “job” being categorized is the unit of on-site work that must be performed at each location by a Field Technician.  The categorization model plays a central role in helping the technology rollout company (TRC) to optimize the methodologies and processes that are applied to each project to achieve consistency.

A Proven Rollout Categories Model

Grounded in our 20+ years experience in successfully delivering hundreds of thousands of technology rollouts, Concert Technologies employs a 3-tier categorization model:

Cat. Work Intensity per Site Time Required per Site Volume per Rollout Example Deployment
1 Short 1 Day or less 100s or 1000s 1x Telecom Demarc extension and router installation
2 Medium 2-6 Days <10 20x Cat6 cables and 5x VoIP phones
3 Long 7 Days or more ~1 30x wi-fi access points and Cat5e cables for a warehouse Wi-Fi network

In this model, as well as representing the relative complexity and scope of the job, each category represents at least an order of magnitude in deployment volume over the subsequent one.  It is this volume that ultimately governs how the rollout methodologies are applied to drive efficiency.

Generally, Categories 2 and 3 are more forgiving of planning and/or process errors. This is because the technician is scheduled to be on-site more than 1 day and the scope of the work to be done justifies the incremental expense in management overhead that is required to properly orchestrate the deployment.

So, because Category 1 projects combine a small job size with high deployment volumes, we will focus on the challenges to successfully delivering these rollouts.  These challenges relate to delivering consistency, quality, speed, and cost-effectiveness.  As these jobs must be completed within 1 day, great care must be taken to ensure that every aspect of the job is actively managed to minimize the potential for site revisits.  By doing this, we avoid the negative impact that revisits have on project schedule, budget, and customer satisfaction.

Finding the right level of management for large-scale rollouts to ensure consistently high quality without introducing excessive cost, demands a proven system of methodologies and highly-skilled project management practitioners.  We discussed this in more depth in our recent post “Every Rollout Needs a Project Management Maestro”.

How Rollout Categories Help Rollout Success

By applying a rollout categorization model, the technology rollout company (TRC) starts the project with 80-85% of the rollout activities defined “out of the box”.  These elements of the rollout follow standard processes and procedures, enabling the TRC to focus on mitigating the risk associated with the remaining 10-15% of variables that are unique to this rollout.

To address these variables, the TRC works with the customer and/or service provider to capture any special customer requirements, as well as the level of service expected.  This knowledge is applied to the statement of work (SOW) using a “minimize to maximize” approach, to build a work order packet (WOP) that mitigates remaining project risk by ensuring clear, concise communications with on-site technicians.

This last part is critical, because use of outsourced local technicians is a central pillar of every cost-effective, rapid rollout.  At the same time, lack of clarity in communication, or a failure to properly understand the motivation of the person performing the on-site work, is the root cause of many deployment failures.  These failures are often incorrectly attributed to the capabilities of the field technician when, in fact, they are the result of inadequate rollout planning and management on the part of the technology rollout company.

The Bottom Line: Size Matters

Categorizing the size of the job to be performed on-site is an important part of building the correct multi-site technology rollout plan.  The temptation in the case of Category 1 jobs is to think that because they are “small” they are easy and low-risk, so there is no need for strong project management, or that the success of the rollout can be placed entirely in the hands of the on-site Field Technician.  This is a fallacy.

The greatest challenge to success for volume rollouts is that of affordably achieving consistently high quality – at speed.  Working with a proven technology rollout company, with the required methodologies and experienced project management personnel, addresses this challenge, and massively increases the probability for success.

If you are planning a multi-site technology rollout, ask your rollout company how they achieve scale of delivery without compromising consistency.  If you don’t like the answers they give you – or worse still, they don’t even seem to understand the question – contact us and we’ll give you our answers.  Then we will walk you through how our Project Management Maestros have successfully delivered hundreds of thousands of technology rollouts with a “done right the first time” measurement of over 99.7%.