Implement products with no experience

Implement products with no experience.

Have you been sent to implement products, apps, or solutions that you never saw or worked on before. Early in my career, in many cases I got sent out to work on servers and equipment that I didn’t have a clue in how to implement them. Finding myself winging it.

This was a lack of leadership in my manager’s part, sending someone out to do something that they never had done in the past. All I had with me was a tech support or escalation engineer’s number, and pray that he or she would answered the phone whenever I called.

For some estrange reason, I thank them for sending me out without knowing the product. Why? you may ask. Well, the fact that they trusted my availability in going out to a customer site and successfully deploy a solution that I have never seen, told me that they had faith in me. Also this forced me to do some research about the product to be implemented. It also made me find the right customer support resource, and learn the ins and outs of the App/Solution. In occasions I had to stayed home late preparing, researching, and at times configuring the actual solution.

Following these 5 steps will help you implement products with no experience.

  1. Work from home
  2. What does my gut tell me?
  3. White-papers and best practices
  4. Comparing working solutions
  5. Get out, and do it

 

1.- Work from home

I know what you are thinking. But if you really want to succeed in life, you need to make some sacrifices, and it all depends on which season are you in, in life. Allocate time to research the products or apps. This time will be a maximum of one hour. Normally I do this when kids are in bed. In case that you need to deploy your solution right away, then skip this step and move on to the next.

2.- What does my gut tell me?

This is the most important of the 5 steps. If you don’t feel comfortable implementing apps, software packages, or any other solution, then you need to communicate with your peers immediately, and let them know how do you feel about this situation. If you are okay with proceeding, then move to step 3.

3.- White-papers and Best Practices

Visit your manufacturer’s tech-support website and look for the White-Papers or Best Practices documents available in their site. Look closely through the document and make sure that the solution you are putting in, has almost the same components and RTUs available.

4.- Comparing working solutions

Most likely your company already has installed the same solution for someone else. I will suggest for you to some digging and see how is the system/server configured. Compared the Best Practices document and see if they match. Contact someone at your company who already has done it before you.

5.- Get out, and do it

Because you are in a time constrain and can not simulate the scenario in your Lab, do this=

a.-Test prior implementing the solution

You will need to do some testing at the customer site. Ask the customer for a timeframe, so you can test the solution before going live.

b.- Generate a checklist

Create a Check List (cut-sheet) with items in it. Things like= rack and stack, grounding, logins, connectivity checks, etc. Show the list to your contact and explain how important it is to test prior to the deployment.

c.- Engage the customer, then escalate

If something did’t work as planned, then immediately engage your customer, and bring him/her up to the date in your findings. Then escalate your issue with your company first, then contact the manufacturer’s support personnel.

I got to install many Call Accounting Servers, and other solutions after that experience. Opening the doors for me to learn Databases, Windows Servers and its components, and many other things.

Okay folks as always; I want to ask you, have you been sent out to deploy a solution that you never saw before? if so, please share with us in the comment section below. thanks

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Moataz

    yes it happens to me 🙂

  • John

    Learning on the job is unfortunately what we as implementers have to do. Sales is promising things to customers what they read should work. For us it is challenging without the proper training in case of a new product (as training might not be available locally and management is hesitant to send us abroad) or just lack of time to play with the unknown product in a lab, to achieve the promises made to the customer. But i guess because of our flexibility we always find a way to come to the desired outcome.

    • You are totally right John. Trust me, I don’t agree with these types of procedures, but between the salesmen painting the pretty picture, and our managers rushing us out the door, can easily become chaos. One thing we can do, it’s staging and test, before going out to install.

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