Best laid plans: a lesson in overcoming adversity

ExcelRedstone adapts fast to ensure another successful project delivery

As we have said in recent blogs, all the technology in the world means nothing without ingenious minds behind it to design and deliver those solutions. A recent project delivery drove home just how that ingenuity is a great asset of the ExcelRedstone team.

We were already facing a huge challenge- a client wanted us to deliver IT infrastructure for a 100,000 sqft fulfilment centre composed of over 1000 access points and an AV system. A large project like this takes time. However, our client didn’t have the time – they had a tight deadline. About a month less than even a smaller project would take ordinarily.

Nevertheless, our team rose to the challenge. They created an aggressive deployment plan, calling upon our talented engineering teams. It would be busy on site, but it was doable. Once again ExcelRedstone was going to deliver on budget and on time.

Then there was the small matter of the Pandemic to deal with.

Our team of 30 people on site was now impossible. With COVID restrictions, we could not have that many people on site and meet government guidelines and keep our people safe.

On top of that, as we figured out a revised and safe project plan, it became apparent that work would be slowed by increased cleaning and hygiene requirements. Staff would also be segregated based upon their work to ensure unnecessary contact did not take place, further slowing down the project.

There is the well-known scope triangle with three points: Quality, Cost and Time. You can compromise on one or two of the elements, but you can never safely compromise on all three. Compromising on quality is never an option for us, nor our client.

In these situations, it’s good to give your client options. They were realistic and understanding that the old plan couldn’t hold due to the pandemic, and they wanted the focus to remain on delivery time.

So, our team set about revising the plan, bringing in extra shifts and working out a schedule that could still be delivered on schedule. It was a significant challenge, but our in-depth experience paid dividends in knowing what could be achieved.

This wasn’t the only curveball we encountered during the project. One example is how supplies were getting harder to obtain due to other companies going into lockdown. Our buyers had to scramble to secure the needed materials where they could – balancing buying enough to provide some contingency, while making sure to carefully manage the cashflow.

The end result is another project successful delivered. The scale was large: tens of thousands of kilometres of basket and conduit containment and tens of thousands of metres of cable to support the IT system. Our team did this in the one of the most challenging periods in recent memory.

The key to success was the ingenuity and perseverance of our team and a pragmatic client. We kept them informed, came together on an agreed plan and once again demonstrated that if you have the right people you can do amazing things.

Even in the middle of a pandemic.