Planning

Published: June 30, 2006 | Updated: November 30, 2006

This section describes the team roles, establishment of the lab environment, and selection and prioritization of applications during the Planning Phase. It also identifies application SMEs and the application files and settings. Figure 3 shows the planning tasks accomplished during this phase.

Figure 3. User state migration Planning Phase activities

Figure 3. User state migration Planning Phase activities

On This Page

Roles and Responsibilities Roles and Responsibilities
Establishing the Lab Establishing the Lab
Selecting and Prioritizing Applications Selecting and Prioritizing Applications
Identifying an Application SME Identifying an Application SME
Identifying Application Files and Settings Identifying Application Files and Settings
Identifying Operating System Settings Identifying Operating System Settings
Determining Where to Store Data Determining Where to Store Data
Milestone: Deployment Plan Complete Milestone: Deployment Plan Complete

Roles and Responsibilities

All six role clusters from the MSF Team Model play a role in the Planning Phase of the initiative. Table 1 lists those roles and defines the focus areas for each role cluster. For more information about MSF team role clusters, see Microsoft Solutions Framework at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/msf/default.mspx.

Table 1. Roles and Responsibilities During the Planning Phase

Role

Focus

Product Management

  • Business requirements analysis

  • Communications plan

  • Conceptual design

Program Management

  • Budget

  • Conceptual and logical design

  • Functional specification

  • Project plan and project schedule

  • Identification of SMEs

  • Identification of files and settings to migrate

Development

  • Application inventory prioritization and review

  • Establishment of the lab

  • Location of migration data store

User Experience

  • Localization and accessibility requirements

  • Schedules

  • Training plans

  • Usage scenarios and use cases

  • User documentation

  • User requirements

Test

  • Test plan and schedule

  • Testing requirements definition

Release Management

  • Application and hardware inventory

  • Design evaluation

  • Network discovery

  • Operations requirements

  • Pilot and deployment plan and schedule

  • Working with IT Operations and the Security feature team

Establishing the Lab

Development work occurs in the lab environment created during the Planning Phase of the project. The User State Migration feature team does not necessarily need a separate lab. Typically, it can use the lab infrastructure that the Computer Imaging System feature team, the Application Compatibility feature team, and the Application Management feature team establish.

However, the User State Migration feature team must have the USMT 3.0 software and the BDD 2007 solution. USMT 3.0 is available for download at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=76169.

Selecting and Prioritizing Applications

After the User State Migration feature team obtains a copy of the application inventory from the Application Compatibility feature team, it reviews the application inventory. The User State Migration feature team typically addresses only those applications that will be redeployed during the deployment project. There is little use in migrating an application’s data and settings if the user will no longer have the application that uses these files.

The lead team often establishes a committee with representatives from the User Experience Role Cluster, customer SMEs, Application Compatibility feature team, Application Management feature team, User State Migration feature team, and Product Management Role Cluster to review the application lists and decide which applications will move forward and be redeployed during the deployment process and which applications will be retired. These decisions affect all teams on the committee but have particular significance for the Application Management feature team and the User State Migration feature team.

When this review exercise is complete, both the Application Management feature team and the User State Migration feature team should have the same list of applications to address. Ranking the applications in this list helps the User State Migration feature team focus its attention on the applications in an orderly process. Often, the applications are ranked based on a combination of how prevalent an application is in the environment and how complex an application is. The most prevalent or complex applications are listed first followed by the less-prevalent and simpler applications.

Identifying an Application SME

After the User State Migration feature team has a ranked list of applications, it can start to address each application in order of priority. The USMT developers will not be experts in all applications in the organization. It is important for both the Application Management feature team and the User State Migration feature team that an SME be identified for each application. This SME may not be an expert in the application but has the most experience with the application. The SME provides insight into how the organization installs, configures, and uses each application.

Identifying Application Files and Settings

The investigation and identification of each application starts in the Planning Phase and continues through the Developing Phase of the deployment project. Working together, the USMT developers and the application SMEs review each application and identify specifically which files or file types to migrate, which settings or preferences to migrate and where to store them, and where to place the files during the restore process on the new client computer.

The SME should assist with several key issues:

  • Locating the software media (Often, the SME is the best source of information on where the source media, such as CDs and floppy disks, can be found.)

  • Describing the appropriate configuration, behavior, and usage of the application

  • Identifying which data files (if any) must be migrated

  • Identifying which preferences or settings (if any) must be migrated

  • Identifying any constraints associated with restructuring file locations during the restoration

    Note   If possible, store all user data under the user’s profile, either in \%userprofile%\My Documents or \%userprofile%\Application Data, where %userprofile% is the folder containing the user’s profile. The application SMEs should provide input into the feasibility of any data file relocation requirements. Some customers have roaming configuration support with site-based or location-based logon scripts. These scripts modify configuration files when computers start and when users log on to them. It is best to identify these kinds of applications and exclude or merge them with the USMT scenario to avoid conflicts.

Because there are expectations and dependencies across teams with respect to where data and settings reside, the User State Migration feature team, application SME, and Application Management feature team should work closely with one another.

It is easy to dismiss saving and retrieving user preferences, but experience shows that users spend significant amounts of time restoring items such as wallpaper, screen savers, and other user interface (UI) customizable features. In addition, most users do not remember how to apply these settings, which increases the loss of productivity. So, although these items are not critical to migration success, migration of these items often increases user productivity and overall satisfaction during the migration process.

Identifying Operating System Settings

When planning a migration, carefully consider which operating system settings to migrate. Several key elements to consider are:

  • Appearance. Includes items such as wallpaper, colors, sounds, and the location of the taskbar

  • Action. Includes items such as key repeat rate, whether double-clicking a folder opens it in a new window or the same window, and whether users must click or double-click an item to open it

  • Internet. Includes Internet connection settings and controls how the browser operates; additional items include home page, favorites or bookmarks, cookies, security settings, and proxy settings

  • Mail. Includes the information required to connect to mail servers, signature files, views, mail rules, local mail, and contact lists

Consider any previous migration experience as well as the results of any surveys conducted and tests that have been completed. Also take into consideration those elements that will eliminate the bulk of help desk calls in the organization.

Note Do not migrate settings that Group Policy objects (GPOs) control. These settings have no effect on the destination system and only waste time and space during the migration.

Determining Where to Store Data

To determine where to store the files, first determine the size of the stores to be migrated. Base these calculations on the volume of e-mail, personal documents, and system settings for each user. The User State Migration feature team should select a location near the BDD 2007 distribution files to simplify project data management.

Milestone: Deployment Plan Complete

Milestones are synchronization points for the overall solution. For more information, see the Plan, Build, and Deploy Guide.

At this milestone, illustrated in Table 2, the User State Migration feature team has created the test lab, identified the applications and SMEs, and started reviewing applications’ settings and files.

Table 2. Deliverables

Deliverables

Description

Lab Ready

The lab environment is up and running for testing the USMT.

Application List Identified and Prioritized

The list of applications that the User State Migration feature team must address has been identified and prioritized.

Application SMEs Identified

SMEs for each application have been identified.

Application Evaluation Started

The applications are starting to be individually reviewed for data files and settings.

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