Appendix A: Planning

Planning a Windows and 2007 Office system deployment involves two key phases that are explored in detail in the “Planning” section of this document. These phases, which include the Envisioning and Planning Phases, are summarized in this appendix.

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Envisioning Envisioning
Planning Planning


The initial phase of the planning process involves envisioning the deployment project and determining goals and expected outcomes. This phase comprises several key steps:

  • Set up teams. The initial task is to define the teams that plan, design, and accomplish the deployment. These teams are defined by their roles, which include Product Management (identify customer needs and requirements), Program Management (document design goals, solution concept, and project structure), Development (create prototypes, evaluate development and technology options, and perform feasibility analysis), Test (testing strategies, testing criteria, and reporting), User Experience (user education and implications), and Release Management (deployment consideration, operations management and supportability, operational acceptance, network discovery, application and hardware inventory, interfacing with operations and security).

  • Perform a current assessment. This crucial step includes identifying existing systems and applications, determining existing operating systems, and identifying deficiencies in the current environment that the Windows and 2007 Office system will address. The Release Management Role Cluster generally takes the lead in this step.

  • Define business goals. The need for the deployment should be driven by concrete and quantifiable business goals. Rather than simply planning to deploy the latest technology for technology’s sake, identify key deficiencies in the existing system that Windows and 2007 Office system will address as well as process and productivity gains to be made possible through the deployment.

  • Create vision statement and define scope. Create a vision statement a paragraph or two long that defines how planned technology changes (including the Windows/2007 Office system deployment) will meet the defined business goals. The scope determines the extent of the vision that can be accomplished through the Windows and 2007 Office system deployment.

  • Create user profiles. Develop an accurate and complete picture of users’ functions, needs, and wants. Refine these into user profiles that accurately identify the types of users in the organization. Understanding the users and what they need is the first step in determining how to structure the deployment to benefit the most users.

  • Develop a solution concept. Create this high-level document to define how the team will meet the requirements of the project. The Project Management Role Cluster should take the lead in developing this two- to three-page document that explains how the deployment will be accomplished and evaluated.

  • Create risk-assessment documents. In this step, carefully evaluate the overall deployment with the intent to anticipate, address, mitigate, and prevent risks associated with the deployment. Risk assessment and documentation is an ongoing task throughout the Planning and Deploying Phases.

  • Write a project structure. This document details how the team manages and supports the project and describes the administrative structure for the project team going into the Planning Phase. This document should define the standards the team will use, methods of communication, documentation standards, and change-control standards.

  • Approve milestones. With the initial planning and documentation complete, identify and schedule key milestones for the deployment.


The Envisioning Phase creates the framework for the Windows and 2007 Office system deployment. The next phase, Planning, serves as a transition between vision and implementation, laying the groundwork for the actual deployment. The Planning Phase uses the documents and processes created in the Envisioning Phase to add structure and content to the deployment plan. Key tasks for this phase include:

  • Create the development and testing environment. Build a testing lab that adequately embodies the target deployment environment, using virtualization to reduce the cost of lab creation. In addition to resources such as servers and sample target systems used to develop and test the deployment, the lab should also include the resources the Deployment feature team will use to prepare and accomplish the final deployment.

  • Develop the solution design. This document builds on the solution concept, project structure, and other documents created during the Envisioning Phase to define the conceptual, logical, and physical solution designs for the planned deployment. This document serves as a roadmap for the Deployment feature team to begin building the deployment.

  • Create the functional specification. This document defines the requirements of all stakeholders targeted by the deployment and serves as a contract between the customer and the project team. It should clearly define the goals, scope, and outcomes of the deployment.

  • Develop the project plan. This document is a collection of plans that address the tasks the Deployment feature team will perform to carry out the project as defined by the functional specification. Each plan in this document covers a particular area, such as facilities and hardware, testing, training, and communication.

  • Create the project schedule. This schedule compiles individual schedules created by team members for the purpose of planning deployment activities.

  • Complete a computer inventory. During the Planning Phase, a complete computer inventory must be made to identify existing systems and applications that the deployment will affect. In addition, the server resources to be used for deployment must also be identified and evaluated for suitability.

  • Perform network analysis. Diagram network topology and identify and inventory network devices.


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