July 22 2014

Defining Smooth Projects

Posted on the 09:14 am under Business,Network Management,Uncategorized by Darren Boyer

Last Friday evening Clifford at our office finished adding a second internet provider for a busy customer of ours who relies on stable internet connections.  On Monday we got a call from the Office Manager asking if the project had been completed or not.  What sounded like a gap in communication was actually great news from my point of view as President.  I knew Clifford had been onsite before the office opened Monday morning and had already left after getting staff feedback once again that the changes had had no impact on operations over the weekend or that morning.  It seemed like almost everyone was up to date on the status except our primary contact.  When he wrapped up Friday night and everything tested well he left the customer’s office and went to enjoy a busy weekend.  I love it when a project is completed and the client isn’t sure there has even been a change.  At our weekly meeting we also discussed how 4 pc’s had been deployed for a client in one day and no service requests had come in the following day from that client.  Three PC’s had been deployed by another client and again no service requests had came in.  Almost as good as no one noticing the project had even been completed.

Getting Projects to run smoothly is a process.  As the President I have tried to be a student of how others do it and what really helps make our clients happy.  It certainly takes a combination of talent, tools and process to keep all of the moving parts delivering and meeting expectations.  Even as a small IT Support company up in Grande Prairie, AB a good portion of our projects are something that are unique and never been done at our office before.  This can make scoping the project and the key communication points to the client difficult to manage.   Currently we have several principles for every project that help us ensure each project is executed efficiently on time and on budget.  We have also invested in having a dedicated Project Manager to help keep track of all the deliverables that are required.  Here is our checklist we review with the Project Manager to keep learning and keep improving.

  • Complete a risk analysis checklist – Have we reviewed some of the things we have learned from past projects that are similar?  Has the project risks been identified and measures taken in the Statement of Work to help ensure the client and the Project Engineer are designing the project correctly?
  • Create a detailed project plan that highlights cutover times and a roll back plan should execution not go as expected.
  • Schedule times in calendar for dates where project will be implemented.  This helps all staff, including non Project team members be up to speed quickly on which projects are being worked on and when.  It also assists in effective client communication.
  • Notify delivery schedules.  A great deal of our projects involve drop shipping equipment to a clients site or a pcit remote office.
  • Provide Weekly update to all Team Members of Project.
  • Notify site contact after work has been completed – Did we complete plan as expected.  Did we meet expectations?
  • Update Project Dashboard.  How long did it take to complete the quote?  How long did it take for the project to complete?  Did we meet the budget?  Was it delivered on time?  If there are wide discrepancies complete a written note as to why as a Project Issue and update the Risk Analysis checklist.

If you got through reading all of this – thank you!  It may be a little bit dry and boring however feedback from clients and readers on what means the most to them during projects is valuable.  Feel free to comment or drop me a note.  We would love to surprise some more people that the entire project is completed and they didn’t notice any impact.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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