I used to work with a team supporting an international, high volume gaming platform. Our prime objective was to not let the service go down, at any and all cost. We were always in search of that next tool or technique that would meet that goal. The challenge was that there was always some new cooler next big thing vying for the tried and true tools that we were already using.
It was so hard to keep everyone focused on the current “big” thing that when attentions started to wonder in meetings, someone would shout “Squirrel!”.
I am not going to lie. The first time, I was ready to hop on the table to get away from a rabid rodent. Luckily, I realized in time to avoid embarrassment that it was a reference to the Disney/Pixar film classic “Up” (here is a short clip if you haven’t seen the movie). It is a humorous warning to not let short attention spans and flashy marketing take our focus off the task at hand.
There are several techniques that we use to avoid getting pulled off plan and the task at hand.
- Requirements – The first barrier to getting thrown off the task at hand is to have a good grasp of what you need a solution to do. Anything that does not meet the requirements that the current solution does gets tabled for future discussion.
- Business Case – In the case where a new solution does exceed the capabilities of the current solution, the usual questions need to be answered. How is it a better solution? When will it be available? What will it cost (including purchase, implementation and ownership costs)? Is it proven?
- Change Control – A big change to the plan is usually pretty easy to prevent or at least control. Sometimes, small changes seem like a good idea at the time but can result in a death by a thousand cuts. This can be the most difficult challenge to manage and takes a thorough knowledge of the requirements, deliverables and timeline to make sure that the project doesn’t get out of control.
- Project Management – This is the umbrella over the above topics. You’ll need someone that (with the backing of management) knows the deliverables and can put their foot down when the project starts to stray.
These basic techniques combined with continued focus on the implementation processare critical to making sure you are getting value for your technology budget.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
Don Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager splits his time between Atlanta and Seattle. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.