Mortality and Morbidity Reports are used in the medical field to analyze the underlying causes of a patient’s death. While UC deployments do not carry with them life and death consequences, the ability to review situations that were less than ideal is a great practice to utilize as a core process improvement step. After Action Reports are valuable for this industry for their own reasons.
After a Unified Communications (UC) deployment is concluded, it’s good practice to look back at every stage in the process to see if there were any lessons that can be learned. This can naturally be time consuming and arduous, especially when the deployment went as planned.
But if it went sideways, and steps needed to be taken to make sure the customer was content — even if they weren’t going to be happy — it becomes doubly important to review the happenings.
Have a meeting with all involved personnel as soon as possible to the event. When I worked with large scale deployments, these always occurred the Monday following a Thursday/Friday cutover. This gave us enough time to decompress from the deployment, have a few days to see if any trouble tickets surfaced, and yet close enough to remember any details of the job.
Focus on the things that deviated from the norm. It doesn’t really help to review the portions of the process that went according to plan. Bring to the meeting any documentation about the deployment, from the original order to the site survey to any accompanying notes from the installation itself.
Then, review the portions, step by step, that were not as planned. Did the sales order reflect the services and products needed, or were there features that needed added after the fact? Does this show a breakdown in understanding from the salesman, or did the client change what they wanted midway through, or during the design phase? This may mean that the salesperson could benefit from more training, or that the design itself was flawed and added products that weren’t necessary.
Were there difficulties during installation? Was the network not as predicted, which may indicate a breakdown in the site survey process, or were there devices that were delivered before they were provisioned?
By carefully analyzing the things that did not go as planned, mistakes can be avoided and workarounds can be documented.
And speaking of documentation, the notes and observations from the review should be compiled and posted in a place that can be accessed by all parties involved in the sales and service delivery process. These reports are useful, particularly if cross-references exist, to have as an ongoing library of problems, solutions and workarounds.
The meetings and the reports can be used to make the next deployment with similar issues reach a better outcome.