Smart Buildings

Create Your Own Fiber Playbook to Design, Install & Manage Fiber

Henry Franc

A fiber playbook isn’t just a guide for pre-planning, but for everything involved with your fiber. It lays out system requirements and practical solutions to visualize what you need to achieve success.



As fiber continues to move into the mainstream, managing your fiber projects to achieve the outcomes that you—and your client—expect will be vital. You need to be ready to design, install and manage fiber effectively.


And we’ve learned a little trick to make it easier. Want in on the secret?


It starts with creating a fiber playbook. There is no single fiber solution that will meet all your needs, which is what makes a fiber playbook so helpful.


What’s a fiber project playbook?

Think of a playbook as a roadmap—a diary of trust that spells out how you’ll achieve expected outcomes based on needs and the constraints of your environment.


When you build it right, your fiber playbook will empower you to do the following:

  • Capture all the requirements you need to get through your fiber project successfully.

  • Document and ensure that everyone’s goals are met throughout the fiber project.

  • Provide a way to record, formalize, organize and regularly review all the fiber “plays” and strategies your project team can use, along with their impacts.

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend in firefighter mode so you can focus on your job without worrying about as many unexpected emergencies or troubleshooting issues.

  • Develop a framework for succession planning. Even if the playbook won’t be relevant to your role in five or 10 years, it will be very valuable to whoever comes in behind you and needs this information.


A fiber playbook isn’t just a guide for the pre-planning phase of design, but for everything involved with your fiber. It helps you lay out system requirements and practical solutions to visualize your target and what you need to achieve success.


What information should we include?

At a high level, it should include information about:

  • People
  • Organizations
  • Processes
  • Materials, tools and other technologies


It can include pictures, diagrams, examples, and even links for firmware updates and technology resources.


Here are some vital components to include in every fiber playbook you create:


  • A description of the organization’s needs. What’s driving this need? Why is the need there in the first place? Why must it be addressed? While standards can play a role, you may have to go beyond the standards to achieve what you truly need.

  • The people and organizations that will be impacted. Who will be served by this fiber solution? Who will be involved in the project, and what role will they play? This section should include clients, agents, vendors, channel partners, contractors and consultants.

  • Processes. Record things like workflows, installation practices, trusted resources, formulas, expected performance levels, maintenance tasks and troubleshooting steps.

  • Materials and tools. This section should include documentation of components and equipment, pictures, examples, software and testing gear. Be clear in the language you use so that anyone who picks up the playbook will know exactly which component or piece of equipment you’re referring to.

  • Technologies and other resources. This can involve things like monitoring, security and asset management, as well as the coordination required for these resources.

  • Expected outcomes. What results do you expect? How will success be measured and verified? What performance values will be prioritized, and how will those values be documented?


How often should we update our fiber playbook?

Just like a football team’s playbook changes from season to season, your fiber project playbook will change, too, based on what’s happening with technology, business requirements, your environment—and even what’s happening around the world. Just ask anyone who was managing a fiber project playbook when the pandemic hit, when the state of Texas experienced unprecedented freezing or when a 5G tower was set on fire in England: Changes will be necessary!


For example, 20 years ago, you may have used OM1 fiber to connect control panels. But, as Ethernet speeds increase, OM1 fiber can’t keep up. Your internal specification or standard needs to change as well.


Consider a data center, for example. We worked with a client to help them update their fiber playbook as they modernized their data center. The playbook included information about fiber, of course, but they also added information about new end-of-row methodologies and how they manage equipment and technology migrations.


The next step in building a fiber playbook

As the entire world connects via IoT to support automation and data-driven decision-making, adaptive and purposeful fiber optic technology will be critical to make it happen.


Once you recognize what you need (and why you need it)—and better understand fiber design and deployment considerations—you’ll be ready to develop your very own fiber playbook.




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