Any type of large IT system project can be daunting and there is always a ton of prep work to be done beforehand. Take automation software projects, for instance. You need to factor in many different considerations before beginning your project. The same goes for home renovation projects. And, the prep work is not only up front. You prep each subsequent stage as you go. You also have to clean up as you go. As I was reflecting on my on-going home renovation project, I realized that, in many ways, it reminded me of an automation software installation project.
I am about 2/3 of the way through my home renovation. Yes, it has taken longer than expected–doesn’t it always? But it does look good so far. However, when you attack these projects on a very limited basis, you have to do what you can when you can.
For instance, I replaced the base cabinets over the weekend. Simple enough concept: rip the old ones out, put the new ones in. Done. Right! Well, my kitchen sink plumbing did not have shut-offs. We are also moving the location of the dishwasher. The counter top is being replaced as well, but, subsequently, the footprint of the kitchen will be different.
In order to keep the disruption to a minimum, I installed in-line plumbing shut-offs. I disconnected the electrical. I did a million things just to disconnect the sink. After the sink prep work was complete, I removed the old counter. That had to come off in two pieces, as it was a large “L” shape. Once that was removed, I could remove the old cabinets. Then, I completed the flooring in the kitchen. After leveling and plumbing (making sure it was straight and square) the initial cabinet, the fun began. I had to replace the sink base. This involved measuring, drilling, cutting, running plumbing supply and drain lines, electrical for the disposal and dishwasher, connecting, testing, etc. Even though I had pre-purchased every imaginable–minus ONE–plumbing connector, I still had to make an engineering decision and change as I got into the heart of the work, as there was no way to move existing connections to accommodate the new cabinets and equipment. Thus, for the one connector I needed, I had to run to the home center to grab the piece so I could button everything together.
Now I am happy–and exhausted–but everything works! No leaks, shorts, wobbles, drips, and so on. The end is in sight.
The reason I am relating the kitchen remodel to an automation software installation project is that no matter how well you plan, how much you anticipate, and how good your vision is, there will always be things that you need to change on the fly. Granted, my prep work took care of 99% of what I needed, but I was still upset that I had to go back for ONE thing. The fact that on a previous visit to the home center I had that piece in my hand gnaws at me. When you start tearing old applications apart or even if you are in the process of designing new systems or applications, there will always be a few things that will be uncovered later in the process. Perhaps some field or table layout will not be quite right. Maybe someone actually works differently on the third shift and no one knew that. It may even be that some obscure default affects some flag somewhere down the line that throws a monkey wrench into the gears. However, if you do your homework and have the overall vision and a detailed plan of attack, you will have fewer surprises over the course of the project.
At L-Tron, we can provide all of the automation software installation support you need. We can take care of the prep work or work side-by-side with you on the project, every step of the way. Our automation solutions are fully-customizeable and we will listen to you to determine how to best meet the needs of your company. Take the “trial-and-error” out of your project…Call L-Tron!