Sometimes the most painful exercises are the most valuable.
I spent an hour or so yesterday in a meeting, going over every line of expense in my new phone upgrade plan. It was grueling. It was also enlightening. Know what I found out? I need to pay more attention to the “small stuff”.
If you’re at all like me, when you plan upgrades, you probably have a mental picture of what’s involved. You say “I know X needs upgraded, and when we change X, Y is going to need to change, too”. So you calculate the requirements for changing Y, add them to the requirements for X, and sum the results. Of course, lots of time, changing Y requires alterations to Z. When does it stop?
When it’s done.
Sad but true. I had mentally done the requirement scavenger hunt, but my problem was that I stopped too early. I didn’t investigate all of the possible leads, and I didn’t chase it down to the finish. What did that nearly cost me? A few weeks and a few thousand dollars. It turns out that upgrading VoIP phones doesn’t just require upgrading bandwidth. Or upgrading the phone system. Or buying phones. Or buying PoE switches. Which is sad, because that’s sort of the end of the line for my train of thought. I thought I was being thorough. But no. As it turns out, those PoE switches have to connect to the VoIP phones somehow. Using cables typically, so I hear.
As it turns out, we currently have ethernet lines for computers in that office. Not phones and computers, just computers. There are phones that contain a “hub” port on the back, that you can use to connect to the computer, so that you only need one port, but the wiring in that office is in a state of disrepair beyond the scope of this entry. It deserves it’s own entry, which will come at some point in the future.
In any event, new cable runs are needed, and sadly, they don’t grow on trees. Honestly, I can’t believe I neglected this until now. And I wouldn’t even have thought about it now, unless someone prompted me with the line “I don’t care how small the expenditure is, I want to know about it. I don’t care if you have to order cables for the phones, I want the price included”. Oops.
But this is how we learn, and making mistakes is a part of that process. Don’t hide your mistakes, or lie to yourself that they didn’t happen. You can’t improve that way. Accept them, find the reason you made that mistake, and fix it.