This project plan represents a general collection of processes and procedures covering the implementation of Voice over IP (VoIP) Solution for a fictitious customer. The purpose of this document is to define a VoIP project plan proposal to provide a customer with a comprehensive plan outlining the details, stakeholders, and time-frames for the defined project scope.
I have developed the project plan in conjunction with the customer to identify implementation objectives and priorities. The project plan includes Project Scope, VoIP Implementation Plan, Dependencies, Risk Assessment and Management, VoIP Training, Communication Overview, and Project Closeout. Overview This document describes the project plan for the installation of a VoIP telephone solution and subsequent migration of the existing Centranet (Centrex) users to the new VoIP platform.
Centranet is the brand name for Verizon centrex service. The new system will replace the existing Centranet and become the voice network enterprise-wide. This new system will greatly reduce all voice network costs currently incurred by the customer, associated with voice service. This includes, but not limited to, toll calling, domestic long distance, and international calls. The greatest benefit the customer sees is the four-digit dialing plan capability that will include extensions for people who tele-commute (work from home).
The first phases of the project will target Centranet users in a select department, as this is where the first trial can take place and help establish metrics for the system as a whole. Migration from existing Centranet system will happen as departments determine their existing equipment needs upgrades or replacements; although, it is difficult to predict the exact rate of deployment. Project Plan The project plan is a working document to be updated throughout the course of the project. Customer personnel should review this document to ensure the design meets their time and technical requirements.
Changes captured throughout the project life cycle will be incorporated into the plan. Changes to the plan and or schedules must be reviewed and agreed to by the vendor and the customer. I have developed a project plan in conjunction with the customer to identify implementation objectives and priorities. This plan includes the following sections: Project Scope, Roles and Responsibilities, VoIP Implementation Plan, Change Management, Risk Management, VoIP Training, Communication Overview, Trouble Reporting Procedures and Project Closeout.
The first step we took in determining if VoIP is right for our customer is to understand what potential benefits a converged network provides and factor them into ROI calculations. The benefits include reduced toll charges (long distance calls), conference bridges, and capital and operational savings from utilizing shared resources for multiple sites additionally reducing administration tasks. While cost savings are still key drivers in VoIP deployment, other benefits are becoming equally as compelling, such as employee productivity, employee retention, and office real estate savings.
I anticipate the deployment project will have a life cycle of about six years, as that is the estimated accounting life of this type of equipment (Bandwidth). The first step to optimizing a network for VoIP traffic is the ability to understand and identify traffic running on the network. Once applications are identified, policies can be implemented to control application parameters and enable better alignment between business-critical applications, reduce unwanted recreational traffic, and allocate sufficient bandwidth to VoIP calls to reduce latency, jitter, and delay (Ganguly).
Advanced compression algorithms can provide low-latency, high-impact compression to increase WAN capacity and create room for VoIP implementations (G. 729). Therefore, you can optimize network performance without increasing bandwidth (Ganguly). The first order of business is to perform a complete network assessment. Most businesses know that VoIP runs over a network and that a VoIP system needs to be designed such that voice traffic runs as smoothly over it as it does over the traditional phone system. What many businesses do not realize are the network requirements for VoIP to operate correctly.
The quality of a phone call can be impacted by issues such as having the right type of cabling (cat 5e or 6 is recommended), and ensuring that switches, not hubs, are deployed within a customer’s network, and that all routing and switching CPE support QoS (CIO). Additional details can include whether a company has a firewall, and whether the ports that permit the two most common VoIP protocols SIP and MGCP ports are blocked. In addition, reviewing internal network needs, a review of the network connectivity will be used to deliver VoIP should occur.
Network connections should be over dedicated circuits if more than one phone call are to be supported, but the shared nature of other technologies such as ATM, Frame relay, and cable connections tend to cause quality issues that would not otherwise be noticed as a user utilizes the network (Bandwidth). Next, I will perform a complete business flow design. This is a frequently overlooked preparation item a Project Manager should consider when installing a VoIP system. In a natural haste to deploy VoIP, companies forget to properly plan for the way that a phone call is routed to various groups within the company.
There are issues to consider, such as, what will happen to calls that come into the company after hours? For a sales call center, do I want to route calls equitably, or have them routed to my top closer first? Or, a company may fail to plan for servicing calls that are forwarded by the intended recipient and the destination extension is not picked up, which voicemail receives the call? Are there hunt groups to be set up? Even more common is for a business to look to deploy a solution knowing that these features exist but without properly planning ach feature (TMCNET).
Each employee’s phone should be considered for each feature that they have with their current system, and which of VoIP’s new features should be made available to them. These are just a few of the questions that typically merit consideration; however, it is smart to employ a service provider of VoIP services who has already implemented these services elsewhere and can help quickly build an effective template for calls so that they will be routed throughout the business (TMCNET). Project Dependencies
A site survey will need to be performed. A site survey is a means of collecting the information that will be needed to help nail down the scope of work from a technical level. Use of appropriate technologies such as firewall implementation, VLAN, DHCP, QoS, DiffServ, etc… will be determined by the data collected in this step (CIO). While interviewing the project stakeholders, the focus of the meeting will encompass things such as: what types of phones they want, system features, IVR menu trees, and call center configuration.
In the site survey, imperatives of the installation need to be identified with information such as required features defined by the project sponsor and stakeholders. The number and types of phones required for each application and the location of each type of phone. Agent phones will need to be located in the call center and multi-line appearance phones will need to be located in the appropriate locations. Telephone circuit information will need to be disseminated to the appropriate personnel, particularly the project team member responsible for scheduling.
Circuit data, cabling requirements, and other network infrastructure will complete a good site survey. With a good site survey in hand, you have all the technical information you need to put together a quote and to know what pieces are going to be required to be dealt with (CIO). Circuit Install or modification (Change Order) is a critical item to monitor and manage properly or project jeopardy could occur. A delay in the installation of trunks or data circuits can push the installation and testing of the CPE and other portions of the overall voice network.
This action item is owned by the Project Manager, but may be assigned to a project team member to monitor. This task can be combined and coordinated with other tasks such as router install and miscellaneous CPE installation and configuration (Bandwidth). A successful trial will be performed at the appropriate time to insure the installation and configuration is correct. Before a performance trial can occur, metrics need to be established and full documentation with alternative courses of actions and definitions detailing the criteria of a successful trial.
The initial trial phase of approximately 75 IP phone sets and supporting equipment of various other nodes will allow staff the time necessary to become familiar with the set up and support of this new technology. Once we deem the trial a success and staff are comfortable with the system, the rollout to additional departments will begin. (Buffalo) System Constraints The following table defines system constraints to be accounted for. Perhaps the most troublesome problem in voice-over-IP is the issue of Quality of Service (QoS).
The delay in conversation that many VoIP users encounter is caused by the jitter, packet loss, and latency of packet delivery within the network itself. Quality of service, packet loss, latency, and jitter are definitely problems for VoIP. The following table identifies the metric, the metric goal, the definition, and the accepted (agreed upon) method to monitor (Cisco). Metric| Goal| Definition| Method to Monitor| Round-trip delay (RTD)| 100–300 ms| The RTD is the delay for a packet sent from the originating endpoint at the customer location to the terminating endpoint at the service provider and back again.