Appendix B: Building
Upon completion of the Planning Phase, the Deployment feature team can begin the process of building the solution. This process includes preparing the environment, completing the packaging of applications and creation of operating system images, performing test deployments, creating and completing deployment documentation, and more.
Building consists of two primary phases: Developing and Stabilizing. The following sections summarize these two phases.
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The Developing Phase is the period during which the team builds and unit-tests the solution. The Developing Phase culminates in the Scope Complete Milestone, indicating that the solution is ready to be tested (piloted) in production.
The Developing Phase of building the deployment encompasses seven key tasks. These tasks include:
Start the development cycle. In this initial step, the team creates a distribution server for development work and begins the process of creating images, installation scripts, and application packages. The team should also create an issue-tracking system to enable team members to communicate about and coordinate solutions to issues that arise during development.
Prepare the computing environment. In this key task, the teams build a deployment environment with facilities such as servers, networking, system backup, and data repositories (such as Visual SourceSafe) with separate workspaces (computers and network shares) for each feature team. This environment provides the infrastructure for teams to work independently and jointly as necessary to complete their development tasks.
Develop the solution scripts. In this step, the teams begin the process of packaging applications, creating computer images, and developing remediation steps for application-compatibility issues. The teams also plan how and what user data will be retained and migrated during the deployment and validate that network infrastructure (shares, credentials, and other components) are in place and functioning properly prior to deployment.
Develop deployment procedures. Using the documents, processes, and other resources created to this point, begin creating the documents the teams will use to accomplish the deployment and post-deployment tasks. These documents include training materials for users as well as administrators and others who will maintain systems and applications after deployment; a plan for communicating with users about the upcoming changes; and site-deployment procedures to simplify and standardize the deployment of solutions across sites.
Develop operations procedures. This document details the operations procedures to support, maintain, and operate the solution following deployment. Key processes to be detailed include maintenance, disaster recovery, new site installation, performance and fault monitoring, and support and troubleshooting.
Test the solution. Perform test deployments and remedy any issues that arise, using the issue-tracking framework created during the Planning Phase to monitor and address these issues.
Approve the key milestone: Scope Complete. All features are complete, and the solution is ready for external testing and stabilization. This milestone gives customers and users, operations and support personnel, and key project stakeholders an opportunity to evaluate the solution and identify any remaining issues that must be addressed before beginning the transition to stabilization and ultimately to release.
The Stabilizing Phase addresses the testing of a solution that is feature complete. This phase is typically when pilots are conducted, with an emphasis on real-world testing and with the goal of identifying, prioritizing, and fixing bugs. Key tasks in this phase include:
Conducting the pilot. At this stage, a small pilot deployment enables the teams to test the deployment and identify any remaining issues. Procedures, resources, and personnel should be in place to assist in addressing any user issues that arise during the pilot deployment. This key task should also include obtaining user feedback as well as review and remediation of issues identified during the pilot.
Operational readiness review. All teams at this stage perform a complete operational-readiness review to determine that the deployment plan is ready to move forward to full-scale deployment. The solution is frozen at this stage, and any remaining issues are addressed.
Final release. This task incorporates all fixes and issue resolutions to create the golden release of the solution, which should now be ready for full deployment.
Approve the key milestone: Release Readiness Approved. This milestone is the opportunity for customers and users, operations and support personnel, and key project stakeholders to evaluate the solution and identify any remaining issues they need to address before deployment.