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Plan and direct computer-related aspects of your office relocations.

When H&A's main office, home to about 150 staff at the time, moved from Cambridge to Boston, there was a lot to coordinate. Everything that had to do with moving the network and the workstations was my project. It was my responsibility to plan how it would be done, prepare adequately, anticipate every possible contingency, and accomplish the move itself within a very tight schedule.

Well. It turns out that a move of this magnitude generates about a million questions and issues.

It started months before the actual move, of course. The space we were moving into didn't exist yet; the building was a derelict shell that would be restored (hopefully) before we moved in, so we got to design the layout of our future space ourselves, which was great, but it meant questions. For example:

I had to think about preparation for moving the network and all the computers. For example:

The move itself also required a lot of planning. We had only a weekend, and a lot to do. For example:

The move was so complex that I couldn't possibly present a coherent description of everything we did to prepare, or the move itself, or the setup of the network and workstations during the weekend. During the months before the move, I constantly racked my brain for things I'd overlooked. The move itself was like being ringmaster of an eight-ring circus. But I have to say, it was quite exhilarating.

If you're curious, you can look at the checklist (Acrobat; 9 KB) I used during the move. This is a concentrated summary of all the planning and preparing. The checklist was a living document; it constantly got modified and updated as I thought of new problems and new ways to be more efficient. The items in red are the heart of the move--the setup of the computer room, and the reconfiguration of the network.

And yes, it was all up and running on Monday morning, as though nothing had happened.

1Clunker: This is what we called a workstation that is dedicated to running an infrastructure-related task. For example, the email system has agents, which have to run all the time; we install and run them on a dedicated computer, which we then called a clunker. The term was indicative of the quality of computer involved at the time (they're better these days). Some people prefer the term "boat anchor".

Copyright © 2002 Lisa Nelson. Last Modified: 9 March 2002 Back to Top