Complex building projects incorporate diverse user requirements and need constant management to keep them moving forward. Information technology infrastructure and systems are an increasingly important, and increasingly complicated, part of the equation.
IT deployment requires advance planning, milestone checks, a technical understanding of systems integration, and a knowledge of construction processes. When starting a project, it’s best to roadmap all the elements that go into delivering the technology program, including corporate technology standards, communication processes across departments, utility and vendor coordination, commissioning and decommissioning requirements, and the construction and building occupancy schedule.
As you’re embarking on your project, consider the following:
Possible Signs Your Building Project Needs an IT Project Manager
1. It’s a complex IT project with no existing budget. An IT PM can establish parameters for the project’s technology needs, setting a foundation for budget management.
2. You only have an operational staff and have no one who can peel off to manage your building project full-time. TEECOM’s clients are too busy doing their day-to-day jobs — they don’t have the time or skill-set to work with the new project team.
3. Do you have someone dedicated to work with service providers? The number one IT challenge for building projects is getting service providers into the building on schedule. Here’s a scenario: construction completes, and AT&T is still a mile away. It’s important to establish at the outset which service providers are (a) in your building or in your area and (b) can actually service your project.
4. Do you have the expertise in-house to liaise between IT and construction? Contractors don’t speak IT. Neither does the GC. Neither does the construction manager. You may have two to three Construction Administration meetings a week for a project; you need someone who can “translate” and drive the IT topics.
5. This is your first time doing a build out, or you only do build-outs every couple of years, so you don’t have staff to do build-outs. If you’ve never managed a project of this scale, or you only do it occasionally, it doesn’t make sense to staff in-house. A consultant IT PM will be your voice and help you make informed decisions.
6. Do you have staff in-house that can navigate your organization to get decisions made? Building projects inevitably come with politics and oversight of multiple (sometimes hundreds) of consultants and vendors. You need someone who can power through construction milestones and deadlines, keeping the project’s needs at the forefront while coordinating conflicting requests.
7. Do you have in-house staff who can manage the training of end-point technology users on the new systems? Here’s what success looks like: the building opens on schedule, and IT systems are powered up and ready to use. The next step? Training users how to take advantage of all this shiny newness. A great IT PM won’t hand off the project until all systems are go, and all occupants are up to speed.