Group Theory

Tips for Maintaining Project Communication

WooCommerce

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Communication is at the heart of any business, and its strength and efficiency are vital to ensuring the proper operation of every department. From an IT standpoint, keeping your team, as well as the rest of the company updated on past, present, and future tasks and goals is something that every IT professional should practice.

Since my company’s building move is complete and the new IT system is finally operational, I have been looking back at what could we have done better, what we excelled in, and how to use our experiences to help facilitate future growth. In my studies, I ran across some of IT’s building updates and figured I could share some of what was involved in keeping our channels of communication open. The following updates are merely one-way communication; however, multiple discussions were happening on many mediums throughout each email.

While updating your company on IT progress is indeed another added task to your seemingly endless responsibilities, it has many benefits. First, being active in communication on your side motivates everyone else to do the same. Also, with your intense workload, forgetting when and what happened at a specific date or time can be difficult. With updates such as those seen below, you and your team will always have a detailed transcript to fall back on. Finally, I tend to like the small confidence boost I gain when I complete a complicated task and inform everyone of my success (don’t make fun of me). It doesn’t matter what motivates you to be an active communicator, as long as that motivation exists.

May 6

Our numbers will be ported between 3 AM and 5 AM tomorrow; this is the earliest it could be finished. IT will be coming in at 6 AM to make sure that the new numbers are attached to the correct brand’s auto attendant, and that calls are being routed appropriately from there. After that, we will work on building out the switchboard/queue manager for CS. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on what’s going on with this. See you at tomorrow’s meeting with our progress report.

May 5

8×8

I went over a quick couple of things with customer service on phone-use, got the headsets figured out, and got a shadow line working for training; they are going to need some MAJOR training on all of it this week. There are still several things to get straightened out and set up correctly (that we’ll be working on). Right now our previous main phone numbers are being forwarded to our new location; however, within the next couple days, they should be ported over so we can put the finishing touches on that part of the system. We will also be getting the call/queue monitor set up.

Customer Service

We got both the new printer and the zebra printer set up to each of the computers and printing over the network. I had to fix a couple of Endicia and DoPDF issues. Other than some phone training, they are good to go over there.

Shipping

All of the software issues are taken care of. Endicia, Dazzle, and Solid Ship are all working on each of the stations (with them logged into the appropriate accounts). The stations are numbered: shipping1 is Nate’s, shipping2 is Chris, on down to shipping5 which is by Jason’s office. I also managed to get all the address info changed in all the software. Flash software is loaded and working except for the REM Unlocker on Nate’s station; I’m still trying to find the correct license files for that flash box (I may need to pull them off the old flash station computer or contact who we purchased it from to get new ones). All of the shipping stations can now print to the shipping Brother printer which is connected to Jen’s computer (which is how it’s supposed to be); we need to get the printer put on the shelves between receiving stations (I have a new longer USB cord for that).

Marketing

I got the Brother printer hooked up to the network; I merely need to get it loaded onto each computer over there.

April 30

ADT

  • Update JJ on ADT camera status at the end of the day today.
  • Remember that we need to set up new security codes on Wednesday or Thursday for the alarm system.

Amanda

  • Get the wheels turning on getting our locks rekeyed.

Recap of Generalized Action Plan for Tomorrow Morning:

  • All of us except J-Ham will be at 10306 Ellison @ 7:30 am.
  • IT will tackle PC breakdown/loading PCs into a vehicle before the moving company arrives.
  • Jason Feregrino is handling overseeing shipping in the morning ensuring the correct orders are being prioritized and will be the point person for questions regarding how close shipping is to being wrapped up (target is by 10 AM).
  • Movers arrive at 8:30.  Amanda / JJ will be the point person(s) for directing the movers.
  • J-Ham will arrive by 9:30 to help wrap up moving some hardware (server, etc.)
  • Roll with the punches.

April 26

 Computer Cable Connection

Supposedly they are done; however, I have yet to do a full walkthrough of the CS bay. It looks as though they may have missed one jack, but I will have to check the plans tomorrow to be sure. They did get everything else in, including the backbone lines between the server cabinets, and everything is tested. Tomorrow, we’ll get the CS bay switches installed, tethered to the data room switches and rack, and service running through them.

ULine order

Everything that we got with the order is put together except for the add-ons for the stations still at the Ellison building.

Furniture

It looks like we have all the CS furniture and some of the rest; they were not on site today. However, Matt showed for a bit and said that he and a six-member crew will be there all day Monday. I asked him what all was in, and he said everything except some incidental items like waiting area chairs and such.

UPS

So, while unboxing one of our UPS’s yesterday we found that it was damaged. It appears that everything with it is in working order besides a broken bezel, and the case being bent to where we can’t put the mounting bracket for it on to mount it in the rack. It does, however, have the option to be used as a floor standing unit. I wasn’t willing to settle for a damaged $900 piece of equipment, so I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Amazon and got them to send us a new one, AND we get to keep the aesthetically damaged but fully functional one for free.

Internet

We got everything in the rack cabled up and patched together and ran a feed line from the Cox fiber rack to our rack. We then worked on getting the firewall setup, and the IP, gateway, subnet mask, and everything programmed in, then found we had no internet. We spent about an hour on the phone with Cox troubleshooting that and am happy to say WE HAVE INTERNET! Still have some minor settings to take care of on the firewall; otherwise, everything is entirely operational.

Phones

We got all the phones sorted, and to their respective locations, except for CS, they would be in the furniture guys’ way. All of the phones need software updates, which happen immediately after hooking them up. So far we have five of them hooked up, updated, and ready to use. Tomorrow, we will get them all connected and load test those switches.

Shipping Computers

We started setting up the computer/dual monitor setups for the shipping stations. If time allows, we’ll get those done tomorrow as well, and then they’ll be ready to transfer to the stations when they arrive; if not tomorrow, then Sunday.

Keys

Jeff turned over the keys for everything today.  My only comment for this – we’re going to need a bigger key box!

Whew!  That was everything I think.  Everything is looking good and on track.  The only concern I see is whether or not the furniture guys can get all that stuff put together in time. They will at least get the CS bay done, and the offices, which is what we need.  I will update over the weekend.

Summary

 A great thing to remember is there is no detail too insignificant or small that might not have some use remembering later. In the worst case scenario, your team will be annoyed with your constant updates and choose to ignore them (not a big deal). However, if you fail to keep your team updated, scheduling errors, order problems, failed tasks, and missed meetings can occur, and often. Hope it helps!

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