Many companies Communications managers believe they can successfully relocate their telephone and data center hardware with their own project management, processes and procedures. The manager possesses a strong belief that no matter how good their vendors might be, they don’t have the insight into the data center that they and their center’s staff have. Unless the manager has experienced a communications center move, it is impossible to understand the time, effort and detail required to succeed. The professional project management, with all the advantages it has to offer to address the task of relocation can be worked into any budget. A failed or delayed move could mean significant downtime for critical systems, resulting in lost time, resources and revenue for the entire agency.
Concerned that the costs associated with professional project management may be out of line with the task to be performed, review staff experience accounting for those who have handled a major move.
Knowing what to do and when to do it is the beginning to any new project. Break down the structure of these two critical tasks. They are the foundation for planning the move. You will be on your way to knowing what needs to be done and on what schedule. Lay out resource plan and schedule key people and all who are needed throughout project.
Risk and uncertainty shadow every project but loom large over complex projects such as communication center relocations. You must plan for challenges by including time in the schedule to accommodate changes and adapt to modifications. Personnel, Contractors, the environment, inspectors and many other unknown risks will affect the project. Being prepared and flexible, along with a plan prioritizing system needs depending on various scenarios will ensure critical systems and applications remain available.
Scheduling key personnel at the right time is better than scheduling all staff for the move. It causes confusion and space is limited. Instead, schedule with key players connected to the phase which they support best as defined above. Bringing on the right resources at the right time is efficient and effective
Communication is a key to success. During the actual move, keeping e-mail and voice mail systems running will be invaluable. Cell devices for texting, twitting and Facebook can be invaluable throughout the cutover. But long before that, instilling good project management up front will create a process for identifying all stakeholders and keeping them informed during every step of the planning, execution and completion of the relocation.
In the initial planning, the team must focus on the details that can turn the new-facility dream into a data-access nightmare. These include verifying completion of backups, ensuring proper labeling of racks and equipment, and double-checking that the destination can support the weight and other requirements of the agency equipment. Confirm all inspections are complete and all abandoned cable has been removed.