– by Dale Hardy, VP of Professional Services
Driving home from a customer meeting this afternoon, it occurred to me that more and more, it seems that nearly every project we do for our customers has a very short timeline or compressed schedule. Once a company decides to move forward and implement a technology that will help them expand market share, reduce costs, or improve the productivity of their personnel, they want to reap those benefits right away.
When implementing technologies for our customers that touch nearly every area within their business like Unified Communications, data center automation, storage networking, or security, we think it’s important for our customers to understand the potential risks of a compressed implementation schedule (that go along with the rewards). Short timelines often rely on everything going “just right,” and as we all know, there is a very good chance that something can likely go wrong.
Project success is much more predictable along with risk avoidance when there is sufficient allowance in the schedule for discovery, planning and testing. When time is short, we collaborate with our customers to assess the potential risks inherent with compressed timelines. Then, we to put together a joint action plan that balances the business’ needs against the risks we’ve identified. For some customers, that might mean that we meet the target dates for critical locations, departments, or applications while slightly delaying deployments to non-mission critical areas. For others, it might mean deploying the solution to all locations, but limiting non-essential system functionality to ensure system stability. In any case, we believe that the most important thing we can do for our customers is to meet their implementation schedule needs without disrupting their business.
We think our honest approach is the best one for our customers and their businesses, and they do too. We recently received letters from three customers who thanked us for “doing the impossible” – meeting implementation schedules that even they believed couldn’t be met. In reality, nothing can displace thorough project discovery and planning; however, our team was committed to exceed our customers’ expectations while mitigating the risk inherent within compressed timelines.