Planned. Tested. Delivered. Right. On-time.
Those five words aren’t typically used to describe technology projects. For Network 1 clients, they apply every time.
What Makes Our Project Execution Different?
here's how we manage client projects
1. CREATE & PLAN
Three of our 1-damentals serve us well when we undertake client projects:
- Prep & Plan
- Details Matter
- Expert Advice
How does it work? First, the client engineer and client manager – the two people who know the client best – meet with the Network 1 project manager and project engineer. Based on scope and complexity, other experts may join, including a desktop engineer with expertise in imaging computers, a NOC engineer with backup/recovery or cloud experience, or a leader who knows the client’s market. By including these experienced team members, we ensure the various components of the project will work together properly to create an outstanding deliverable.
The project engineer and client engineer take a deep dive into the existing environment and review the client’s business initiatives and 2-year Technology Roadmap. The project team starts off by asking questions such as, “Does the project design align strategically with the business and technology?” and, “Does the future state cut costs, improve productivity, increase security, reduce risk, or help the client gain a competitive edge?” The project manager then puts together a scope of work that the broader team discusses, questions, strengthens, and finalizes.
Only once that analysis is complete, do we put together a straight-forward project proposal, typically with a fixed fee or not-to-exceed price. The proposal details the project’s benefits and explains how monthly service fees will be impacted. We will then discuss the proposal with the client, answer any questions and receive their approval to proceed.
Some of the projects we design & plan include:
- Consolidate, simplify and/or refresh servers and infrastructure
- In the cloud
- Move to the cloud – 100% or partial
- Migrate email to Microsoft 365
- Refresh desktop and laptop computers
- Upgrade or roll-out software, or migrate an application to the software vendor’s cloud
- Server room organization and cleanup
- Switch refresh/upgrade
- Office moves
2. ROLL OUT
Once approved, the project manager works closely with the client’s point-of-contact (POC) to determine the best timing for the rollout. Timing and communication are critical, particularly if downtime is required. In most cases, much of the work can be done behind the scenes. However, when that isn’t possible, any action that is client-facing is closely coordinated with the POC to ensure the least amount of inconvenience or loss of productivity.
Testing is a major component of the rollout phase:
- Are all systems ready and working properly?
- Has everything been properly communicated to the POC and the end-users?
- Are all resources scheduled?
- Have internal support teams – Support Desk, Network Operations, Client Engineering, Management – been briefed on how to support the new environment?
- Have instruction sheets been produced, and tested, for any actions that the end-users need to take?
Once all details have been analyzed and approved, a specific date and time are established for Go Live day. (Workstation refresh projects may require multiple Go Live days.)
3. Go Live
In some cases, like switch refresh or server room organization, project delivery doesn’t directly impact end-users. However, most projects do, and we are sensitive to any impact to the end-user’s environment. No matter how many instructions are delivered, emails are sent, or systems are tested, questions will arise on Go Live day. To minimize any disorientation and ensure that questions are answered promptly, we have project team members onsite on Go Live day to quickly help end-users through the process and address any issues as they arise. Once a project has launched, we are sure to decommission any old equipment to keep the environment organized and secure, as well as to prevent future issues or confusion.
4. FOLLOW UP
While the project may be complete for our client, we aren’t done until we know if the client is satisfied, what went well, what could have gone better and how can we improve? To complete the project loop, we always hold two meetings:
- A post-project meeting with the client
- A post-project internal meeting with the team
Every project is an opportunity to learn and make adjustments for future client work. It is this analysis that allows us to live up to our tagline, Better IT = Better Business.
what you can expect as a client
“Everybody at Network 1 is a pleasure to work with; they make things so easy. The projects they’ve done have been on time and under budget and when we have an issue it’s taken care of quickly and professionally. I now sleep peacefully knowing all of my IT issues are handled.”
Mary Stearns-Montgomery, Managing Partner, Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
We would love to talk to you about how we can help plan, test, deliver and execute your project so it works perfectly and delivers on time.