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Project Plan: Sustainability

How will this space evolve over time? How can sustainability and flexibility be engineered into the plan? How can we make this lab easy to change or upgrade after a period of several years? What role will documentation play?  What training can be provided to technology leadership within the organization to enable them to better support the space and the technology?

Costs: (1) Time, (2) Monetary (3) Gaps
1.      Time

  • Time constraints are a current factor to the long term success of the computer lab.  Running the network, fixing computers, and software installs/upgrades all take time.   May also want the computer lab supervised during open lab time, which would require volunteers or staffing.
    • Short Term Planning
      • Should aim for decreasing the amount of time it takes to upgrade/install software and maintain the network.
      • Decide whether supervision is required and whether this will be staff or volunteers
        • Rationale: There is no employee dedicated to running the computer space and keeping the operation time low, can help make sure that the systems are maintained.
    • Long Term Planning
      • As the computer lab expands and computer based programming, look to whether a part time staff member should be hired.  This staff member may work on the computer/lab, or can take on some of the duties filled by Josh, providing him more time administer the lab.
  • Establishing Workflow Guidelines
    • Establish times to check for software updates.
    • Scheduling Virus Scans, Malware Scans.
    • Schedule cleaning the computers every 6 months.
    • Checking the computers security- for example, can check if the administrator account been modified or that things were downloaded that were not supposed to be able to download.
    • Establishing Workflow documentation takes time, but it will likely lead to the organization saving more money.  Establishing workflow records how things need to be done and when, and makes it so the lab can run, even if a person leaves or just happens to be sick that day.


2.      Monetary

  • The computer space will cost money, both in natural upkeep (e.g., electricity), purchasing software, repairs, and for purchasing new equipment.
  • Short Term Planning
    • Raising or earmarking funds for the equipment needed for the lab.
    • Allocating more funds to electricity bill.
    • Save money for purchasing new equipment and to pay repairs.
  • Long Term Planning
    • Seeking local sponsorships- perhaps Comcast (etc.) that will help support the network and the machines
    • Save up money for future purchases.


3.      Information Gaps

  • Organizational level of Expertise
    • It is unclear whether the group has anyone that can fix the computers if they break.
    • Can they recruit people with expertise to fix computers?
    • Is anyone willing to learn more about fixing computers and networks
    • Would Professor Wolske let them sit on classes that concentrate on upgrading/fixing computers and networks
  • Computer Space Funding
    • Can they get Grants or donations of money or equipment?
    • How much money have they allocated to run the lab?
    • How much money will they save for replacement parts/machines?
  • Building Security
    • Would the computers and hardware be stolen?

Design Aspects that Support Growth/Change

  • Building desks that are mobile, that are sturdy (limit breaking equipment, saves money for other needed project goals/equipment), and that limit the exposure of cords to the lab users.
  • Designing signs for the lab that durable and portable.
  • Designing at least one handicap desk- may not be a handicap person now, but could be in the future.
  • Designing a corresponding webpage that can help notify the community/donor of the lab.
  • (Perhaps creating pathfinders that list resources for a specific task, e.g., job searching, homework help, etc.)

Establishing Workflow and Documentation

  • Workflow
    • Periodically review short term and long term planning (e.g., every 3-6 months)
      • Review current status of lab programs and Access.
      • Determine the feasibility of maintaining current programs, expanding into other programs.
  • Documentation
    • Set up lab rules document.
    • Maybe Set up up sign up forms for lab access.
    • Short computer manuals (possibly in English, Spanish and French)
    • Maintain an inventory sheet
    • Maintain records of weekly updates/software installed on the machines


  • Training includes basic upgrading machine parts, downloading drivers, setting up the network, security permissions.
  • Research Training to help them locate Free Software websites that meets their intended goals of providing access, assisting with job training/searching, and education.
  • Research training for grants and the gran writing process.
  • Grant writing for educational programs