Projects and how we manage them

Posted by Martin Lopes on Nov 17, 2017 10:00:21 AM
Chalkline people doing project management at a desk with charts and clever stuff

A few years ago, I worked for a Local Authority ICT department. I think it’s fair to say that whenever the word ‘Project’ was used, the resources team was always overcome by an overwhelming feeling of apprehension!

Which project manager would be in control? What were the timescales? Were the expectations realistic? Most importantly, did we have the tools and resources necessary to deliver the project within a realistic timeframe and to the standard that would be expected?

Our approach to projects at Chalkline is simple: to design simple solutions that deliver business outcomes to our clients using enterprise processes. This enables our clients to ultimately work more efficiently, securely and reliably than before. We pride ourselves on addressing each project with a “no project too small” attitude.  Each and every project goes through our management process, we treat a 2-user migration in exactly the same way as we would a 500-user migration.

Our team uses enterprise grade tools, including Microsoft Project, which enable us to easily assign, track or share the progress of every line item. We use Microsoft Visio to design flow charts of infrastructure, as well as more specialised UI Design software to create wire frames and potential site designs. Each stage of the project is meticulously planned from scope, to implementation and finally to completion, this ensures that what has been asked for is always delivered. As a matter of course, changes to the client’s system at all stages of the project are fully communicated, this ensures they are always aware of any modifications and ultimately how this may affect them.

Our approach to projects is one of the key differentiators between ourselves and other Managed Service Providers. Where some companies deliver Office 365 migrations using a few check boxes on a page of A4, we have over a 100-line items. This ensures that we never miss a step, always ask the questions that our clients don’t know to ask and think of every eventuality so that we can confidently deliver within scope and most importantly for our clients within budget.


It’s not just projects that we apply this approach to, Chalkline can also provide infrastructure reports and security checks for clients to ensure that they are always in line with overall security best practice.

Most recently we also created a Disaster Recovery plan or ‘DR Runbook’ for one of our clients, it is essential to plan for the unthinkable although we hope it never actually happens!

Even if our client has an internal consideration for IT, more often than not they find it useful to use a 3rd party to offer an impartial view and effectively give their existing solutions another set of eyes. It’s extremely easy to rely on a mentality of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ but the reality is that IT is evolving and changing at such an alarming rate that most companies have a duty of care to review their IT on a regular basis.

Three people working in collaboration

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we pride ourselves on always using best in class products and services. This means that a small or medium sized business can use the same products to run and secure their business as a major bank or enterprise. Our approach allows our clients to get there in the most efficient way possible as we have experience gathered over thousands of migrations and hence why we can replicate this in the most cost-effective way. The result of this is that the client has a smooth, stress free experience.

If you want to discuss Office 365 or Azure because you believe Microsoft is the best way forward then make sure you to speak to a partner who has already been down that well-trodden path and can help safely take you on that journey.

We are here to help!

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