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Sin #6: Greed - Avoiding the 7 Deadly Sins of Windows 7

Created: 10 Nov 2009 • Updated: 24 Mar 2010
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GREED: Failing to run a test or pilot to test the migration

For any organization, upgrading operating systems can be exciting. But if the anticipation leads to an attempt at immediate adoption without first testing the deployment process, that greedy haste will cause headaches. If the process has any complications or glitches, going straight to implementation isn’t a shortcut, it’s a shortfall.

All it takes to overcome greed is a simple pilot test of the new operating system, applications and custom settings before a full deployment. The IT administrator should implement a pilot program to run the new system, see how it goes and make any necessary adjustments. The end result is a smoother migration, happier end users and less calls to the service desk.

The first aspect to consider is whether any necessary network changes are required to support the migration. You will need to implement the network changes identified during assessment and evaluation phase performed at the start of your planning. These steps may be required depending on the software that will be used to automate the migration process.

The next phase is to identify good test candidates. A good pilot program spans departments and user types to ensure organizations are testing the most common variables they’ll encounter. Select the target group carefully, we recommend that you run the first pilot on a small IT group that has been involved with the overall migration project. Picking the IT users allows you to have a group of users that are able to understand if there is problem and rapidly provide feedback to the project team. The small problems in a pilot test will translate into huge roadblocks in a company-wide migration, so the test is invaluable for catching these glitches before they cause bigger issues.

When a successful pilot has been completed it is now time to roll out the full migration. Depending on the number of total clients being managed, as well as the complexity of the environment this will need to be done in phases. There are various methods of phasing a large scale deployment, so you should use the techniques that best fit your environment.

A common approach is to start first with a migration of a small number of systems such as five to 10 that are all local in a single subnet or network and complete the entire migration process on those systems. When a smaller group has successfully migrated, it is time to select groups at remote locations and slowly ramp up the size of computers being simultaneously migrated.

With all the hard work behind, let the automation of the complete and tested process run its course. This is the time to sit back, relax and savor the moment.

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