Effective project management is critical to the success of every project. Most business leaders understand that. However, who you select as your project manager is equally essential to project success. With technology projects, a person may be a professionally trained and credentialed PM, but if they do not have current, in-depth expertise and experience with the technologies, systems, and applications actually being implemented and clearly understand your networks and their interdependencies, their generic process expertise will not be enough. The devil is in the details, and your project is at risk if your PM does not understand the technical details.
We sat down with Jorge Meraz, a PLANNET Vice President and Senior Principal, to get his take on Project Management in an ever-changing technology-focused workplace.
Q: What should a company consider when taking on a mission-critical project?
Jorge: The first question should be, do we have the staff to tackle this effort? If not, they will have to bring in an outside resource. The second question is, do we have recent experience with the technologies being considered? Projects can go sideways quickly if there is a lack of understanding technically. Another critical question is, do we have the time to allow folks on our team to focus on this project? Everyone has their job to do, so does it make sense to pull people from their daily duties, to focus on another project?
Q: Why should a company consider a dedicated technology PM?
Jorge: In large, complicated projects, you may have different groups on various facets of the project; these may be experts in their particular disciplines. The same should go for technology-centric efforts. Many of our large construction/TI projects often involve third-party construction and project managers, MEPs, Architects, and what have you. It is well understood that specialized technology PMs are essential to their project’s success. We partner with these firms and have a solid understanding of the Architect’s vision while always keeping the client’s best interests in mind. Therefore, a company considering implementing new technologies should consider this level of expertise and collaboration. What you may be saving in costs by going it alone now will undoubtedly be made up by avoiding the pitfalls of errors and change orders in the future.
Q: What’s different about PLANNET and its approach?
Jorge: We are your independent technology partner and guide. We are not aligned with any supplier or vendor, so you can trust that our recommendations are unbiased and truly in your company’s best interests. We are technology experts, aware of what’s on the horizon but, more importantly, what makes sense for your organization, both from a technology and budget perspective.
Jorge Meraz, RCDD, brings over 25 years of electrical, structured cabling, information systems, and telecommunications experience, with a primary emphasis on data communications (inside/outside plant) and technology infrastructure project management to PLANNET.
Founded in 2001, PLANNET is an independent technology consulting firm focused on low voltage design (smart building technologies, IT/Networking, audiovisual, security, DAS) and Data Center consulting services.
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