Project Management

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Topics: Construction, Consulting, Information Technology
Largest project I may be doing under $50k.
Hello community. I am really excited to put my first post here!

I am starting one of my first large consulting projects on my own. It is an IT infrastructure upgrade project. Its pretty simple....Installing 31 access points, a few switches and firewalls, installation of new cabling, moving some infrastructure from one corner of a building to another, VoIP phone configuration, and post migration support.

I am looking to see if there is anyone who may be able to give me some advice on this process. Specifically for any lessons learned from someone who has done this type of project before. Maybe some excerpts from someone's risk register on those items. Any general information on wisdom is also welcome.

I don't have an issue with building all my documents from scratch but don't want to re-invent the wheel if its already built. All of my previous engagements have been $10k and haven't had to get real formal. I am going to give them a labor and hardware proposal in the next day or two and just wanted to pick the brains of those more experienced than I before I have to hopefully generate a PM plan.

Thanks for letting me participate here!

-Derrick
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Derrick, I have no experience in this type of projects, but I just wanted to congratulate you on your first post. I hope you will get useful answers. Best regards.

Eduard
Derrick,

good that you ask, I have seen many such projects, and all are a bit different. It is not only the project you are dealing with then, you are also learning in your first project, so allow for some slack and adjustments.

Let me give you some questions.

- what the overall approach, big bang or gradual upgrade, do you have a sandbox/prototype for the access points?
- think about all stakeholders and try to get their requirements and concerns, make them aware (users of access points with a variety of devices like printers, BYOD, security people with new levels, facility management with several changes to coordinate, operations who must run the new system, HW providers with redundancies and reliant supply chains, procurement department..)
- this should fill your risk register already
- what will be benefits and dis-benefits for each stakeholder
- technical environment: is there a as-is and to-be drawing and inventory, uptodate?, electrical and cooling capacity, access to rooms - you might want to establish a configuration management system, if not already in place
- information and training for users, facility mgmt, operations, management - when what how much
- measure progress not only in work done but also in devices installed

Good luck, let us know what you learned after the project
Thomas
Try looking through the Templates on projectmanagement.com. I've found a few unexpected gems there in the past. Good luck!
Derrick -

I'd suggest starting by asking your client if they have any standards or templates for project management as they may want you to follow theirs.

If not, then let the complexity and size of the project dictate how much/little documentation and process you follow.

With IT infrastructure upgrade projects, you'd want to keep an eye on things like:

1. Performance
2. Rollback plans
3. Post-implementation vendor support
4. Health/safety regulations (e.g. where can cables run)

to name just a few...

Kiron
Hi Derrick,

I see you got already very good feedbacks.
I would add to pay attention to the procurement part and to gather correctly the parts needed (cabling, connectors, transceivers, etc) especially when you are installing a new system.
as when you miss one of these parts in the requirement/design phase you might end up late as you have to go through the whole procurement process, not to forget that some vendors might take up to 4-6 weeks to deliver and depending on your internal procurement policies you add another 2 to 4 weeks.
As Thomas said the prototype is very important if you are selecting new technology, and ensure you have a good migration/rollback plan with the correct stakeholders well informed.
Good luck!
Derrick - I have had some experience in the project scope as you describe it. A critical item (especially since you are dealing with COVID-19 and physical distancing) is a site survey. This activity should help you identify where items will be deployed and what connectivity issues (risks) you may encounter as execute. Agree with your client/stakeholders on the best way to communicate and provide updates; I wish you success on this - which by the way may not be 'on budget', but a happy, referenceable customer to help generate your $75k project (or bigger)!
DF-
I see you are receiving great nitty-gritty technical advice here.
Let me add something from the high-level PM perspective!
As lessons learned from my experience on a high rise project in KSA, I sat through a meeting with all the su8bs and stakeholders for the communications plan for the 20 story towers and adjacent 10 story offices. this included many wap locations as well as gear at each floor. all designed to be hard-wired.
Well, being a non- structured wiring type of guy, after a 1-hour presentation of 100's of conduits exiting our main control area in the basement, I asked why we were not using F/O cable. We all collaborated on the F/O design for the next5 hour, achieving significant cost savings and much higher efficiency, not to mention the elimination of many conduits.
The client was converting the local area to F/O so this pleased his excellency greatly and allowed us a redundancy we did not have with the original design- a win for everyone!!
All the result of a suggestion from the guy in the trenches!

Good luck with your contract!
M
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