Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New year plans

So the holidays are over and we are all back to work – well almost. Unfortunately, the bad weather has caused some disruption, as a number of staff can’t get into work. Although that hasn’t affected IT staff, we are having to a do few things to help others out. Bet we don’t get any help from them when we need it later in the year!

I like to plan out what work we have to do – preferably at least a few months in advance. As such, I have a list of jobs and priorities against them and this gets updated throughout the year. At the moment, there are a large number of items for the next 3 months and quite a few for the second half of the year.

We are planning to go on a couple of specific training courses, there are some hardware and software upgrades, a couple of events that I feel would be appropriate for myself or my staff to attend and there are a number of jobs that need to be done as part of rolling maintenance programmes. We also have several projects under way and the various steps need to be arranged in the correct sequence and fitted in amongst the other work – plus of course we have the occasional problem that needs to be supported.

Unfortunately, there are several jobs that we cannot yet schedule – we are waiting for information from other people. One of our sites is proving to be a bit too small to handle the work load, so the company are looking at alternative locations. However, the senior managers can’t decide which of the newer sites would be most appropriate, so we can’t yet arrange for any work to be done that is required. Of course we know full well that when they do finally decide, they will expect all of the work to be complete within a few days!

In fact that move is going to be a much bigger task than they anticipate – once the decision is made they will then argue over the layout of the place and almost certainly, will change what they want on a daily basis. We will be cabling up the site for a network ourselves – it saves the company quite a bit of money although it does take up a bit of time. I’ve designed a particular method of network architecture that really works for us, and provides a great deal more flexibility and scalability than the way that these installatins normally get done. Most of the people doing cabling appear to be electrical installers, and they think CAT 5e can be treated like standard 2 core and earth and they seem to have a real problem if you ask for work to be done in a particular way.

On top of that, we have get the telephone lines moved, get an ADSL connection and move all the IT equipment ourselves – the last time we had a move, we also ended moving all the desks and cabinets as well. The staff seemed to think that they could just close down the PCs, put on their coats, pick up their handbags and walk to the new site to find the desks all set up, the PC installed and turned on for them! They were rather upset to find that they were expected to do some of the work themselves!

So January is looking to be quite a busy month, what with one thing and another. Happy new year!

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