Archive for the ‘pre-implementation planning’ Tag

When to Perform Pre-Implementation Planning (3rd in a Series of 3)

Here is the previous portion of this particular post.

In the first two parts of this post, I spoke about the “what” and the “who” of implementation planning.   Specifically I talked about pre-implementation checklists and pre-implementation conference calls.  I also talked about getting buy in from senior management and taking a top down approach towards planning.

Now I tackle the question of when to preform preimplementation planning.  While it is mostly common sense, my answer is “not too soon, and not too late”.  I believe the sweet spot is usually 1-2 weeks before the beginning of the project.   For longer projects with more detail, it may be neccessary to begin planning even sooner.  For short projects (less than a week), pre-implementation planning may be done 2-3 days before the official start of the project.  At that time, an official kickoff meeting may be required.  We will explore the timing, audience, and agenda of kickoff meetings in a future post.


Who to Include in Pre-Implementation Planning (2nd in a Series of 3)

Read the first part of this post if you haven’t already.

In the first part, I talked about pre-implementation conference calls and pre-implementation checklists as planning tools that ensure a smooth deployment of a new technology.

One area that I didn’t discuss was who to involve in these processes.  Because we are talking about a change – either in the form of implementing a new technology or in the form of upgrading an existing one – it is best to have senior management involved.    Any business book on change or change management is likely to tell you the same thing.

*Why* is it important to get these individuals involved?  I believe two main reasons.   First, a top-down approach ensures that individuals with the proper authority make (or approve) decisions.  If decisions are made by those with no authority, large amounts of re-work become a credible threat to the project as original decisions may be overruled.   You also can’t make much progress if there is no one involved in the planning process who is willing and able to make decisions.

Second, besides having authority, most leaders are decisive.  This makes project planning more efficient because they are able to quickly settle any disputes around network architecture and design.   As the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”.  I also think this is applicable to network architectures – there are often many different ways to design a network to meet the business and technical requirements at hand.   Having senior management involved can eliminate the often spirited debates that arise on which design is best.