FACTORS IN INSTALLING HARDWARE
Many of the factors for installing
hardware are similar to those encountered in a normal IT implementation
project, but with the added complication of the non-standard Telelocations.
- Project control. We must assume tight and detailed project methodology,
eg PRINCE, will control most of the risks. Above and beyond the usual
issues, however, there are a few lessons emerging from earlier
implementations. As a Telework project often initiates as a trial or
pilot, the control needs to have buy-in at senior levels to ensure
continuity and consideration amongst competing priorities. Many such
projects have set off without such ownership and ended up abandoned when
costs have risen or priorities change.
Handover, both from supplier to purchaser, and internally from project
team to operational unit, needs to be managed sympathetically. Hard
deadlines and over-policed operational boundaries are contrary to the
fuzzy-logic nature of a project which requires a symbiosis of machine and
human inputs. Relationships have proved to be important in successfully
negotiating the inevitable glitches.
Testing has particular difficulties in organic projects such as
Teleworking. The separate bits may all test out singly, but opportunities
must be made to test as the system is built and expanded. Mission critical
elements can be ring-fenced whilst segments are added.
Downtime on implementation is a common feature of an IT project. A popular
solution is to use overtime and weekend working to limit the operational
impact. In Teleworking this phase needs particularly sensitive handling,
as it is the first real repercussion on the lives of those Teleworking,
and those who will not be.
These are just a few of the priorities
identified from experience so far. This crucial phase has often been treated as
a mechanistic one, to the detriment of the overall programme. The matter of
ownership is critical at this juncture. If ownership has not been established
across the organisation then problems will occur. For example, if operational
units view the project as IT-led, they are often content to act passively in
the face of technical difficulties.
Last Updated on 10 December2002 by COLIN TIERNEY