Orchestrated Technology Rollouts: The Concertmaster

Having a project manager, or a concertmaster is always important when implementing a technology rollout.

Our new white paper explores orchestrated technology rollouts and the similarities between the operation of a concert orchestra and that of a technology rollout company.  The paper shows how the orchestra operational model can be adapted for application to the unique challenges of delivering multi-site technology rollouts at scale.

In this post we compare the similarities between the role of the orchestra’s second in command – the “concertmaster” – and the role of Lead Project Facilitator in the Concert Technologies rollout model.

The Role of the Concertmaster in an Orchestra

As the lead instrumentalist, the concertmaster (aka the principal first violin player, or “first chair”) is the second-most important person in the orchestra.  The concertmaster sits in the chair closest on the left to the conductor’s podium.

As the most skilled musician in the first violin section, the concertmaster is experienced at learning music quickly and counting rests accurately.  They define the overall sound with the conductor, which is then conveyed by the concertmaster to the string section, who make up the majority of the orchestra players.  The concertmaster marks the string section’s score with the appropriate bowing and phrasing, ensuring that all the violinists are moving and playing in unison.

As well as providing leadership for the orchestra, the concertmaster is also a key player.  As leader of the first violin section, the concertmaster plays the violin solo in an orchestral work (except with concertos, when a guest soloist often plays).   Before the start of each piece, the concertmaster leads the orchestra in tuning.

The Role of the Lead Project Facilitator in an Orchestrated Technology Rollout

The Lead Project Facilitator (PF) is the right hand person to the Project Manager (PM) in a multi-site technology rollout.  The primary function of the PF is to assist the PM with the day-to-day management of the Rollout team.

The PF is the most skilled project management practitioner in their team, usually holding a formal credential such as the Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM) from BICSI.  The objective of the PF is for their team of Project Facilitators to manage the jobs and Field Technicians under their control effectively.  To accomplish this, PFs monitor team workload, ensuring that the team remains balanced and overall rollout pace is maintained.  PFs also provide oversight of their team from a quality assurance (QA) perspective, ensuring that each job is delivered to a consistently high quality.

As well as providing leadership for their Facilitator team, the PF is also a key participant in the rollout.  The PF assists team members whenever issues occur.  For example, if there are issues with the people involved in a job, the PF may intervene to resolve the situation.  Or if a job encounters unforeseen technical difficulties, the PF lends their technical and creative expertise to help devise a solution.

The Bottom-Line: You Need a Strong Team to Deliver an Orchestrated Technology Rollout

While an individual Project Manager may be highly skilled, delivering large scale multi-site technology rollouts requires a project management team.  Technology Rollout Companies can create scale their project management team by using the PF role as a bridge between the strategic, high-level viewpoint of the Project Manager, and the tactical day-by-day, job-by-job focus of the Project Facilitator team.

An accomplished PF expands the capacity of their team by proactively balancing the Project Facilitator team workload, managing the overall rollout at a macro level, by heading-off potential issues before they become show-stoppers, and by ensuring a high-quality delivery for every job.  This serves to insulate the PM from the minutiae of team management, allowing them to focus on scaling rollout performance across all of their Project Facilitator teams.

When your next multi-site technology rollout needs to deliver a large volume of consistent, high-quality deployments, make sure that you have the necessary skills and processes in your rollout team.  It’s worth talking to your technology rollout company before the project starts to see how they approach rollout management.

If you don’t like their answer, talk to us.  We’ll be happy to walk you through our methodologies, processes and training programs, as well as share our data on their effectiveness.

Technology Rollout Project Management

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