I knew going into our project at the University of Missouri that it was going to be a lot of hard work for the next two and a half years. When we started in April 2016, I was ready for the challenge ahead of us. We were there to manage the implementation of the new Cisco UC system in over 300 buildings, with 20,000+ phones. The University had initially contacted us because of the difficulties they were having with the carrier in the beginning of the project. They were experiencing up to eight-hour long events to port just a few hundred phone numbers, interrupted service and very unhappy end users. We were ready to come in and help repair that relationship and manage the carrier portion of the project. What we didn’t realize until jumping on board, was that the carrier portion was not the only challenge the team was dealing with.
As we see with many clients, the University was not in full project mode. Part of the team consisted of several members of the IT department. This team was given many additional responsibilities for the project, in addition to their day to day operational tasks. The processes that they were following were also not specific to a project, but followed the normal operating procedures. These additional roles and responsibilities were not structured for the project.
A few months in, we hired four additional team members, and eventually that number went up to eight Convergent employees on the project team. Integrating our team with the University team and the carrier’s team was the key to success for this project. We were soon moving along smoothly, with updated procedures specific to the project. We had a cohesive team that worked well together, friendships were formed, a very comprehensive project plan was created and a lot of months ahead of us!
Fast forward to August 2018. While we were on track and knew the last cutover was coming up, it was still a bitter sweet ending for me. Feeling accomplished and confident that we were able to stay on schedule and complete the project on time with no setbacks, I was also feeling a bit of a loss for the team I had become to know and the relationships that were made.
While my days were quickly filled with new projects and challenges, I look forward to our next project and the team that we can help accomplish their goals with as much as were able to with Mizzou.
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