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Lifecycle Approach
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Black Box Network Services

The Black Box approach to client engagements supports the entire lifecycle. Careful planning, deployment and management help ensure optimal outcomes and client satisfaction. This lifecycle approach is centered on the Black Box Exchange Zone.

The Black Box Exchange Zone organizes the many inputs and outputs necessary to successfully deploy new technologies. In conjunction with best practices from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Cisco PPDIOO methodology, the Exchange Zone model allows for high quality engineering and project management expertise to infiltrate the project life cycle.

Project Management Lifecycle

The Black Box Exchange Zone lifecycle approach follows these phases:

Define - The most important phase
  • Determine what the client wants and needs to run their business more efficiently
  • Understand business drivers and validate objectives
  • Define the scope, timeline, resource requirements, stakeholders and deliverables
  • Identify and understand requirements for project success

Plan - Develops the overall project structure
  • Put the project team in place
  • Review project scope and bill of materials
  • Begin project risk analysis activities
  • Review hardware and software release notes
  • Create work breakdown structure and begin project plan build
Design - Outlines, designs and perfects the key deliverables
  • Establishes commitment and understanding of the project scope at the client kickoff meeting
  • Sets the communications plan and establishes commitment from all parties
  • Allows engineers to validate the initial design and complete design workshops for final design deliverables
  • Allows the Project Team to begin developing the implementation, training and operations plans

Stage - Prepares the key deliverables for the client
  • Training documents and materials for the end users and administrators of the product are prepared
  • Hardware is reviewed for manufacturer defects and replaced as necessary
  • Software is installed per the detailed design document
  • Hardware is delivered to the client site
  • Hardware is installed
  • Maintenance is ordered, if applicable

Test - All features and functions are tested
  • Test matrix created and test plan approved
  • Administrator training is conducted along with end user training
  • Engineer creates a cut sheet to facilitate a smooth transition into the deploy phase

Deploy - The execution of the defined activities against the project plan
  • Ensures the proper execution of the go live plan per the cut sheet
  • Provides the trigger for final documentation and client profile to be completed
  • Initiates the closing process
  • Facilitates the lessons learned debrief session

Support - Reviews the project performance and the clients overall satisfaction
  • Final deliverable review meeting is conducted
  • Transition client to Day 2 Services and the support process
  • Obtain client feedback for continuous improvement process

Black Box Steps to Success

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