Posted on 09/16/2015

By Kevin Zentmeyer, Product Marketing Manager

As mobile network operators approach your company for colocation and build-to-suit projects, getting towers and equipment up and running faster, and without costly errors, means that your company can recognize revenue more quickly and with greater profitability. However, housing your data and processes in multiple systems makes it difficult and time-consuming to access and manage the complex set of data, documents and steps needed for feasibility studies, permitting, ground leases, site visits and other project work.

Pulling together tower data and project-related documentation and processes into an infrastructure lifecycle management system helps to ensure that everyone — your employees, your vendors and your customers — has appropriate access to a single source of information. It also streamlines workflow across multiple vendors working on a project, helping to reduce costly errors that may result from missing critical deadlines or lacking insight into correct data. Ultimately, it also gives you greater visibility into active projects to ensure each one is on track.

The following are important capabilities to look for in an infrastructure lifecycle management system to help increase the speed and decrease the costs of your BTS and colocation projects:

Documents and data managed in a single integrated system

To ensure your project teams have appropriate access to the documents they need, your system should allow your teams to easily collaborate by uploading and organizing all documents related to a project. Storing data in a single system reduces the need to access multiple systems for information and deploy ad hoc tower audits. Instead of sending out trucks or digging through multiple systems every time you need to modify a tower, you can access information immediately through your system — effectively reducing the time and cost of your projects.

Project schedule templates for standardized processes

Using project schedule templates based on best practices for tower builds and new equipment installation helps you kick off new projects consistently without starting from scratch each time. Look for systems that give you built-in process steps, with the flexibility to modify steps to suit your specific processes and projects, including special circumstances such as seasonal weather considerations.

Automated workflows for streamlined task handoffs

Be sure to select a system that allows you to automate the progression of projects. The system should track each step’s completion, and notify the person responsible for the next step. The system also should allow you to set up task dependencies between related projects, and require documentation of each completed step to ensure smooth handoff and to ensure that everyone follows proper procedures. This is particularly important for complying with government regulations and permitting requirements, as your system can effectively enforce specific processes and store documents related to regulations and permits.

Permission settings for control over system access

Certain data and processes related to any given project can be confidential. Your sub-contracted vendors should have access only to the documents and data needed for their specific project tasks. Your system should give you complete control over who can see, change, and complete which information and activities in the system.

Project and cross-project reporting for greater visibility

One of the greatest benefits of having a single system with which to manage your BTS and colocation projects is visibility into multiple projects, towers and budgets to ensure projects are on track, and to forecast project timelines to avoid costly delays. Are certain vendors’ projects coming in late or early? Are certain tasks behind schedule? Look for systems that give you answers to these questions through dashboards and both pre-built and customized reports.

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