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The Longer The Preparation, The Shorter The Game

April 5, 2016

Yesterday the Villanova Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels for the NCAA college championship. The game was very exciting, both teams were well prepared and Villanova hit a final shot with no time left on the clock to win by a single basket. 

My team also had an important event this week. We also had a great win. The differences, of course, are huge, but I really wanted to work in a basketball reference to this post. 

Just as a championship basketball team spends much longer in preparation than they do in games, my team put in long, long hours for a very short payoff. Three weeks ago, we made the decision to open a new call center in Shreveport, LA. Our deadline happened last Thursday. For a few short hours we got to see if our hard work paid off, as our client audited our facility. 

In those two weeks, a number of important things happened. We had to strip down our training room to bare walls. We had to build a wall to make one long training room into two smaller training rooms. We had to paint the new rooms. We laid down new carpet. We brought in about a dozen tables. We installed and configured 31 computers. We cleaned the room, did work and cleaned it again. 

We also had to make changes to our data center. It’s not really a data center. It’s called an MDF, or main distribution frame. It’s the room in your office building that has all the “server” computers. But, you can think of it like a data center.  We had to install new locking cabinets. We had to install new routers. We had to install new patch panels. We had to install new core routers. We had to install new MPLS routers. We had to install new door readers and mag locks. 

We had to do a lot of work and we had to complete it in a really short time. The audit was on Thursday. Wednesday night we were not done yet. We were still putting computers together. It took us all night. I left at 4:00 am and the team was still working. At 10:00am the client showed up for their 4 hour audit. We started by sharing a PowerPoint presentation about our new site. Next it was time for the walking tour. 

Our client expected that we would lock up their access routers and patch panels. We showed them locked up access routers, patch panels, plus core routers and MPLS routers. More than they were expecting. Much more. 

Next was our training room. The client expected a single computer that was setup to be tested.

Take your pick. They are all setup and ready for training to start on Monday.

Again, we had done more than the client was expecting. The audit went well. How well, soon become clear.

I don’t think we need to come back to audit the other rooms when you get them done.

Well, that’s good news. But, we’ll see you on Monday for the start of training?

No. I think we’re going to cancel our visit next week. Y’all are obviously ready to go. I don’t think we need to come back. 

We had spent long hours preparing for our audit. Our preparation meant that we saved ourselves multiple additional visits. Had we not been as prepared, we would have had to spend longer getting them signed off on by the client. 

The longer the preparation, the shorter the actual game. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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