I am now down to just a few more items to install before I can call our campus’ latest remodel complete. I has been a stressful summer and fall, doing configurations, physically installing equipment, meeting with contractors, and turning in punch lists. The stress was increased by the fact that I personally checked and approved the data-com design and specified the equipment, so any failure in the design — to some degree — is on me.
Despite the personal stress, I am happy with the process that we use. Several years ago, IT began injecting itself into the construction design process. One one hand, we see this as a way to “get what we want,” but in the greater sense it is a way to help the designers and contractors to succeed. It is always disappointing when we spend so much money on a building and discover that we just don’t have enough data ports on move in day.
As part of the process, I spend time each year revising our site specifications. The constant updates are mandated both by changes in the industry and by lessons learned in the project. I find that because I take the time to document “the right way” to do things — from our viewpoint — that my expectations are better met and construction issues are often resolve just by pointing out that the answer is in the specs. The old saying is, “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself,” but that is not really practical on a large scale. Instead, if you want something done right you have to make sure you communicate exactly what “right” means. Good specifications do just that.