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5 Tips for Keeping Your Retail IT Deployment on Schedule

5 Tips for Keeping Your Retail IT Deployment on Schedule

Retail IT deployments are major undertakings — that’s no surprise. Because of their size and the amount of moving parts involved, keeping these projects on schedule can be a challenge. If you’ve already invested time and energy into planning and scheduling your next retail IT deployment, remember to also dedicate resources toward keeping the project moving at a consistent pace so you can finish on time.

There will always be distractions, problems and other events that occur and try to throw your schedule off course. If you’re prepared and ready to make adjustments, you can navigate smoothly through these issues and keep your deployment on schedule. Here are five things you can do to stick to your timeline.

How to Keep Your Retail IT Deployment on Schedule

1. Know Who’s in Charge

Everyone involved in the deployment should have specific jobs, tasks and outcomes. Most importantly, though, you need to know who controls the schedule. Will this be the retailer themselves or the managed service provider overseeing the project? This role needs to be made clear as early as possible so there is no miscommunication. 

If the retailer is in charge, they’re taking on the responsibility of handling any delays to avoid additional charges after an elongated project. If the managed service provider is handling the schedule, it’s up to them to keep the project on course to ensure a satisfied customer.

2. Establish Key Milestones

Milestones are an important and obvious way to track how your retail IT deployment is progressing. These milestones should be set as the project is being planned, and everyone involved should understand and agree on the timeline and what the milestones mean. When tracking your milestones you can easily see if a critical piece is missing, and you can make adjustments immediately without losing time or veering off course.

3. Emphasize the Importance of Communication

In any project, communication is key. In a major IT deployment, it is critical. Communication within your team will build trust among any contingent workers and help them feel part of the team. When your technicians and their supervisors have open lines of communication, techs can easily alert one another and their supervisors of any problems as they arise. When you can catch issues early, you are more likely to be able to solve them without falling behind schedule.

4. Do a Pre-Site Survey

Pre-site surveys are one of the most important things you can do to ensure your retail IT deployment goes smoothly. Chances are it’s already on your to-do list as you’re planning your project and determining which equipment you need and how many techs should be on site. Beyond that, though, a pre-site survey gives you the chance to see and anticipate any potential issues that could appear during the deployment to derail it. Doing a physical inventory of the space can help you see if there are any hardware problems your team might face or otherwise wouldn’t normally have built into the schedule.

5. Sign Off on the Schedule

Before you begin, you need to ensure that everyone involved is aware of and agrees to the schedule. Make sure the retailer hasn’t accidentally forgotten a day they need to have their location open with no impediments or that there aren’t blackout periods in a particular area. Plan how many technicians will be needed and if they’ll be available locally or if you’ll need to arrange for someone to travel there.

Keeping your retail IT deployment on schedule can be a big undertaking. Chances are, no matter how well you plan in advance, something unexpected will occur during your project. Be as prepared as possible by following these five tips, and then be ready to be flexible and communicate openly about any necessary updates. If you need additional support, call Kinettix. Our global field technicians will ensure your project runs smoothly — no matter where your business takes you. 

RETAIL-IT

Lisa Cook

Written by: Lisa Cook

With more than 30 years in the technology field, Lisa has deep experience overseeing the design, analysis, implementation, deployment and support of varying sizes and complexities of technology initiatives across a broad range of industries. Her experience has allowed her to provide all aspects of technology deployment support to national and global clients such as Walgreens, Ulta Beauty, Office Max, Walmart, Blockbuster, American Eagle, Chrysler, Simon Property Group, and CBL & Associates. As the founder of OPL Technologies, Lisa is an integral part of the Kinettix Team due to her expertise in designing and managing complex multi-site technology deployments. She is the author of the recently released book “Designing Retail Success: A Blueprint for Designing Retail Technology Deployments.”

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