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Lan Connectivity

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LAN Connectivity

By Timothy J, Manley

Date: 19 Dec 05

LAN Connectivity

I first want to start off by saying that since joining the Air Force I have been a Project Manager. A Project Manager in the military is a bit different from being a civilian Project Manager; we do not usually do a lot of systems analysis. Usually a customer comes to us with a requirement that they have and we setup a meeting with 3 different contractors to go over the requirement.

The customer will usually fill out a form 3215(requirement document) in this document the customer will give a brief description of what it is that they would like and a justification for the requirement. The customer will also let us know if the requirement is funded or not. (If the requirement is not funded then the requirement will go on the unfunded list until the Air Force or the customer gets funding). In this particular case the customer was requesting a complete cable upgrade to include fiber and copper along with equipment cases and switches. After receiving the 3215 we contact three different contractors. We setup a meeting between the customer and the contractors to go over the requirement. The reason why we have all three contractors there at the same time is so they all get the same information.

At the kick off meeting we would usually have our Cable shop, Telephone shop, Quality Control, and Civil Engineering along with the contractors in attendance. Even though one or all of the attendees may not have any part in this project we try to make sure we have all of are ducks in a line. Now the customer will usually bring a few coworkers (subject matter experts) along with some users to help with questions about the requirement.

During the meeting the customer will explain what it is he/she is looking for and the reasons that it is needed. The contractors will usually ask a few questions like how many drops per room will you need, do you have schematics of the building, and what kind of time line are you looking for and so on. From this the contractors can go back to there place of work and work on getting some data for the next meeting such as prices for copper, fiber, and connectors.

The next meeting is usually at the building in question. The contractors usually will want to walk through each room and figure out where the customer would like to have the products that they are requesting. The contract will either have schematics of the building (which is usually best) or he/she will draw there own. They will walk through each room with the customer and the customer will point out where they would like to have there product placed. This meeting can usually take anywhere from one hour to having to come back another day. The point of these types of meetings is for the contracts to gather information to give the best product possible. Usually the customer will be asking for one thing and the contractor will offer a better product that in the long term will save them money.

After the contractors have seen and asked there questions they are given thirty days to come up with a Broad Gauge Estimate (BGE). In the BGE you will find the customers requirement along with along with a cost estimate which will include labor, equipment, and products. Once we have received the BGE we send it via email to the customer and also to our Cable shop and our Quality control shop. The reason we send it to the Cable shop and Quality

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