When I was with a public policy consulting firm, my title was Project Manager, before it became fashionable…
Over the years I’ve used a variety of project management methodologies, the first being GANTT charts printed on perfed “greenbar” computer paper that I would tape outside my office. It would stretch down the wall and I and my team would mark it up with amended milestones and new subprojects. My superiors could see at a glance our status, in those early days of low-tech approaches. Over time the tools became Microsoft Project, and most recently the Office 365 Planner app, which offers great collaboration capabilities. I’ve been a part of external collaboration groups via Trello. Some notable complex projects…
University of Tulsa, 1994: Migrating our university mainframe-based systems to Datatel (now Ellucian). The subordinate project that was under my management involved getting all campus offices upgraded sufficiently to connect to the new systems. Not to get too far into the weeds, but it required careful scheduling of network services personnel upgrading from serial links to terminal servers at first – connected to Cabletron multiplexers and on to the new fiber loop. Then I and my team would sweep into a given office (Human Resources for example) and upgrade their systems, often in-place. We repeated that all over campus for 6 months, amid other projects, to get everyone attached via TCP/IP rather than serial links.
Centralia College, 1997: Via SBCTC funding, managing Centralia College’s first fiber runs, between the main campus and the tech buildings 2 blocks away. This involved working with homeowners and obtaining right-of-way agreements before tunneling, and in one instance replacing someone’s sewer line when it wasn’t marked correctly.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, 2000-2001: migrating the company from a mainframe-based mail system to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, 2001: managed replacement of all network switches in 4 buildings, 3 sites, across the state.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, 2001: Updating a 1990 version Disaster Recovery Plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma in 2001, allowing for near-real-time block-level replication of critical systems from the Tulsa to Oklahoma City offices.
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, 2007-2008: network design and implementation of a multistory residence, a mix of market-rate apartments and formerly homeless conversions. Each apartment had wired network access and basic cable TV, provided by the Association, with training to building staff on how to shut off services based on nonpayment, etc.
Tulsa Area United Way, 2014-2016: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure project, which involved deploying solid-state appliances on every desk, pointing back to a virtual desktop server. Each desktop per-unit cost is ~$225 per seat, and OS updates and security patches are performed centrally in the datacenter. For 6+ years we’ve upgraded systems, even to new OS versions, WITHOUT touching the hardware on user’s desks. Via our outreach arm, the NTech Collaborative, we were able to offer this technology and support to many of our partner nonprofits, who did not have funds for sufficient IT talent.
Tulsa Area United Way, 2016-2018: Data analysis and visualization platform (DAAV), which allowed us to combine several ongoing rich multiyear data repositories into one data warehouse. By “rolling our own tool” with a local energy data vendor, this has allowed us to delve deep into data across silos to answer questions we were previously unable to answer – to look at trends in services and giving in several counties, better target fundraising appeals to geographic stakeholders, and generally make data-informed decisions. A more complete overview of this can be found at this blog post: https://mindfultechnologies.com/fttmf/