The Importance of a Clear Plan

Over the past couple of days, I participated in an experiment in poor project planning.  This was a fairly new client and they needed me to go onsite to help collaborate in an office move as well assist in the setup of a hosted PBX system.  The client is an engineering firm, so I never thought for a second that this project wasn’t properly planned and all details had been well thought out… boy was I wrong!

So, I arrive Tuesday afternoon to perform the removal of the server and networking equipment and prepared to take the equipment to the new office.  When I arrive, I found out that the client’s internet service provider wasn’t due to arrive until tomorrow between the hours of 12 and 4.  The equipment removal and setup would likely take me 2 hours max.  Nearly a whole day would be wasted just sitting around waiting for internet to be installed.

On top of that, I find out the client had refused to activate their hosted PBX system initially and as a result, a new order had to be placed.  This new order created a mad-dash to provision the phone system in time for the install.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen during the time window that I was due to be onsite.  Again, more wasted time and money for the client for me waiting around.

Some simple planning and coordination ahead of time would have made this whole process a lot smoother.  I could have been in and out in 4 – 6 hours rather than 12 hours.  More importantly though, the client should have engaged a professional to help with the project management.  This is an engineering firm who thought they could do it themselves.  There are so many factors involved in a move like this, that I typically recommend allowing an IT professional with experience in moves and relocation handle a project such as this.  Had we spent a couple of hours planning, it would have saved the client about 50% on the total bill.