The five main areas of focus we believe are required for a successful LAN cabling installation.
Download: Gathering Project Information (LAN).pdf
“Measure twice, cut once”. The old adage has its roots in the carpentry industry but is quite apt in the world of LAN installations. To ensure your project comes to completion on-time and within budget, it is of the utmost importance to quantify and define all aspects of the install.
As LAN projects grow in scale, so does complexity. Getting the details right, such as creating a manageable structured cabling infrastructure & staying in compliance with local codes, can be the difference between a sustainable network or one that leads to problem after problem.
#1 Input from all stakeholders
A LAN build-out involves a variety of teams including IT, the project manager, facilities, property managers, contractors, 3rd party business partners, and more. Capturing input from all the stakeholders prior to finalizing a plan and committing to a budget positions you for success moving forward.
#2 Quantification of special requirements
The world of cable installation is rife with building codes, requirements, and “gotchas” that can stop any project in its tracks. These must be identified before installation begins.
Example questions to ask at this stage:
What permits are needed?
Can non-union labor be used?
What are the access hours to the facilities?
Is a man lift be required?
#3 Required documentation
We can’t stress this one enough: having the right documentation can make or break a project. Be sure to have floor plans, elevation drawings, specifications, and schedules in-hand before you proceed. Plan for expedited surveys and scope development costs if project documents are not available.
#4 Scope approval
The need for an approved budget prior to a project beginning is obvious, and getting the budget right should be relatively easy assuming you do your homework first.
An approved scope narrative is often overlooked but can work wonders in avoiding finger-pointing and unnecessary confusion and delays after a project begins. A well-written project scope document should include details on: project overview & purpose, project scope, specific milestones, change & issue management, and project deliverables
#5 Detailed Work Breakdown Structure
A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a common project management tool that enables all involved parties to have a clear visual breakdown of the work involved. Creating a detailed WBS that covers the entire scope of the project, not just how the fiber and copper cabling will be installed, helps ensure things go according to plan.
As you can see, there is much more to a LAN installation than just selecting category cable type and installing patch panels. Getting the details right requires a detailed and rigorous approach to planning.
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Removing risk begins with removing assumptions
Communication, Documentation and Seeing Around Corners are the big three roles for risk mitigation.
Early, Frequent and granular communication streamlines any project, but especially WAN Ethernet installations with construction requirements.
Documentation is critical. Email communications, project agreements, field notes and project conversations should all be recorded and appropriately dispersed immediately.
Seeing Around Corners
It is all about expierence. Knowing what questions to ask, what tasks to prioritize and which stakeholders to approach (and in which order) is paramount to project success.
We are continuously learning and adjusting to make our process better. We install hundreds of projects each quarter for our customers…and we use that experience to make future customer experiences better.
Sometimes you should take the road more traveled.
We know what questions to ask
We know how to reduce risk and accurately budget costs
We install WAN projects weekly across the country