Having a solid, cross-functional installation plan for your new workstations is critical for continuation of your mission-critical operations.
Congratulations, you have successfully procured state-of-the-art workstations for your command center or PSAP. While your colleagues in Facilities and Purchasing may start to breathe a sigh of relief, the most critical piece is still ahead: planning and completing installation of your new furniture. Installation of your center's complex communications set-up will take a village, so here’s how “plan your work and work your (cutover) plan” in five steps.
How will furniture installation go down?
If you’re lucky enough to be building a “new-construction” command center, dispatch or healthcare telemetry lab, you will likely be in an existing space awaiting the installation of your new workstations. Or perhaps you have “downtime”—blackout days or less busy weekends available for standard installation (note weekends and after-hours can incur an additional cost). If neither of these scenarios exists, you likely will need a live cutover in which your operators continue to work while new furniture is being installed.
A live cutover is the process by which new equipment is installed with little to no disruption to the delivery of mission-critical operations. While the term live cutover is typically associated with the onboarding of new software, it also applies to the installation of new consoles and workstations for your dispatch center or command and control.
When will your live cutover take place?
Coordinate with your workstation vendor’s project manager to set a date for your live cutover. Your project manager has experience coordinating multiple vendors (electrical, IT, phones/radio, flooring, etc.) to minimize disruption. Remember to include time to remove existing workstations and clean the space before installing new furniture. Phase your live cutover.
What equipment, specifically, needs to be changed out?
Monitors, CPUs, phones? And in what order do you need to have each workstation go down and back up again? Determine the minimum number of workstations you need continuously up and running during your installation. In mission-critical environments, be sure to account for all possible scenarios. Decide the order in which each responsible technician will remove existing equipment AND install new gear into your new workstations.
NOTE: Double- and triple-check your measurements for space and furnishings. There’s a saying in construction, “measure twice and cut once.” Human error happens, but gosh, is it ever a bummer when it relates to your live workstation installation. Check and re-check all measurements through "sign-off drawings" (any workstation vendor worth their salt should provide this). Failure to thoroughly verify measurements can result in added costs—and headache—for you, the customer.
Who needs to be involved
There is no "I" team, but there is "IT." Your command center consoles integrate power and technology, and you’ll need to get all associated vendors involved early. Providers of electrical, IT, phone, radio , logging, mapping, NCIC and CAD—as well as your internal departments for IT, facilities and security—will all play a vital role in this grand orchestra.
Make a detailed cutover timeline
Working with your workstation vendor’s project manager, document a detailed cutover timeline. Confirm the specific timing and tasks with each vendor. Remember to factor in time for removal of existing workstations, wire clean-up and space cleaning before beginning installation of the new console workstations. Write a plan to include the order in which each vendor will remove their equipment from the existing workstations AND install equipment in the new workstations. Again, using your workstation vendor’s project manager reduces a ton of stress. They have experience with live cutover projects and will manage the majority of coordination alongside you.
Final Thoughts on Your Live Cutover
A live cutover is like a beautifully choreographed ballet: all dancers doing their part, arriving on cue, and completing their parts on time. Get the most out of your cutover experience: upon successful completion of your installation, document any lessons learned to apply next time around.
Based on the long lifespan of your console furniture (the best furniture will deliver at least 10-15 years of productive, comfortable use), purchasing and installation of new workstations may not happen again in your career. Make it count!
Ready to talk to someone about purchasing and installing new workstations? Contact us today!