Preparing your organization for change

Your basic migration plan should be agreed and finalized at the time of System Design Review. While the vendor is installing the system it is up to you to prepare your organization – radio users, dispatchers, system administrators – for the upcoming change. This will include training and communications making sure all involved parties understand their roles, the scope of the changes and are ready to start using the new system.

Training your users
In most cases it is not feasible to have the vendor train each user on the new system. Most buyers adopt the “train the trainer” approach under which the vendor will train a limited group of radio users or technicians and provide them with the instruction that can then be carried all the way through the organization.

Be realistic about the amount of training needed. If you are swapping a proprietary digital technology for P25 and your sites stay in their previous locations, the amount of needed training is probably limited. Where you move frequency bands, sites and technologies from analog conventional to digital trunked you need to allow significantly more time to prepare your users for the change – even if the change amounts to overall significant improvement.

Training your technical personnel
A similar approach needs to be taken in deciding the scope of training for technical personnel. Even if your technicians are not going to be maintaining and repairing the system or user equipment, they need to have thorough understanding of the system and its elements so that they can monitor its performance, report issues to the vendor, engage in potential discussions about improvements and extensions as well as explain any issues to others in your organization.

Training your system administrators
Finally, training for system administrators needs to be extensive as they will be setting up your fleet architecture, changing system features, setting alarms, enabling and disabling users, monitoring traffic and performance. This cannot be done with confidence without thorough understanding of the deployed technology.

Subscriber fleet planning
Creating the necessary number of groups and assigning their numbers is not particularly challenging for P25 networks once the basics are well understood. It can, however get complicated if you are planning mutual agreements with your neighbors. You should avoid using the same group and individual IDs as your neighbors to allow easy identification of groups and units across multiple networks.

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