Stabilizing

Figure 4 illustrates the primary activities that occur during the Stabilizing Phase. Most of these activities involve testing the mitigation strategies, reporting compatibility mitigation to management, resolving outstanding issues, and communicating deployment readiness to other teams.

Figure 4. Activities during the Stabilizing Phase

Figure 4. Activities during the Stabilizing Phase

On This Page

Roles and Responsibilities Roles and Responsibilities
Testing the Mitigation Strategies Testing the Mitigation Strategies
Reporting Compatibility Mitigation to Management Reporting Compatibility Mitigation to Management
Resolving Outstanding Issues Resolving Outstanding Issues
Reviewing and Communicating Deployment Readiness Reviewing and Communicating Deployment Readiness
Milestone: Application Mitigations Stabilized Milestone: Application Mitigations Stabilized

Roles and Responsibilities

All six role clusters from the MSF Team Model play a role in the Stabilizing Phase of the initiative. Table 7 lists those roles and defines the focus areas for each role cluster relative to the deployment process in the Stabilizing Phase. For more information about MSF Role Clusters, see Microsoft Solutions Framework at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/msf/default.mspx.

Table 7. Team Roles and Responsibilities in the Stabilizing Phase

Role

Focus

Product Management

  • Business requirements analysis

  • Communications plan

Program Management

  • Budget

  • Master project plan and master project schedule

Development

  • Development plan and schedule

  • Establishing the lab

  • Logical and physical design

  • Technology evaluations

Test

  • Test plan and schedule

  • Testing requirements definition

User Experience

  • Localization/accessibility requirements

  • Schedules

  • Training plans

  • Usage scenarios/use cases

  • User documentation

  • User requirements

Release Management

  • Application and hardware inventory

  • Interacting with IT Operations and the Security feature team

  • Network discovery

  • Operations requirements

  • Pilot and deployment plan/schedule

Testing the Mitigation Strategies

Testing the mitigation strategies is an iterative process. The testing process includes a series of tests in the test environment and one or more pilot deployments in the production environment.

To test your mitigation strategies

  1. Perform the following steps for each of the applications for which the Application Compatibility feature team has developed mitigations:

    1. Test the mitigation strategy in the test environment.

    2. If the mitigation strategy is unsuccessful, revise the mitigation strategy and perform Step 1 again.

    At this point, the Application Compatibility feature team will have successfully tested all application mitigation strategies in the lab environment.

  2. Perform the following steps in the pilot deployments for each applications for which the team developed mitigations:

    1. Test the mitigation strategy in the pilot deployment.

    2. If the mitigation strategy is unsuccessful, revise the mitigation strategy and perform Step 1 again.

    At this point, the Application Compatibility feature team will have successfully tested all application mitigation strategies in the pilot deployments. Continue this iterative process until all mitigation strategies are successful in the test environment and in the pilot deployments.

Reporting Compatibility Mitigation to Management

After completing the mitigation testing, communicate the current application compatibility status to management before deployment begins. Communicate the following categories for the applications in the portfolio to management:

  • Application compatibility issues resolved. This status indicates the application compatibility issues are resolved. These applications represent no risk to the project.

  • Application compatibility issues unresolved. This status indicates the application compatibility issues are unresolved. These applications are at risk to the project, and the Application Compatibility feature team must discuss options or alternatives to achieving final compatibility resolution.

  • Changes to user experience. This status indicates the application mitigation required changes in the user experience. Inform management that additional training is required before deployment occurs.

  • Changes in help desk procedures and processes. This status indicates the application mitigation required changes in the help desk procedures and processes. Inform management that additional training is required before deployment occurs.

Resolving Outstanding Issues

At this point in the deployment process, any application compatibility issues that are unresolved probably cannot be resolved by automated mitigation methods or by modifying the application. Resolve any outstanding application compatibility issues by using one of the following methods:

  • Run the application in a virtual environment. Run the application in a version of Windows supported by the application in a virtualized environment (such as one that Virtual PC 2004 or Virtual Server 2005 provides). This method ensures application compatibility, because the application is running on a supported operating system.

  • Run the application in remote desktop software. Run the application in remote desktop software (such as Terminal Server) by using an earlier version of Windows Server. This method ensures application compatibility because the application is running on a supported operating system. For example, if an application is compatible with Windows 2000, run the application in Terminal Server by using Windows 2000 Server.

  • Resolve application compatibility by using non-Microsoft tools. If the application was developed in a development environment other than Microsoft Visual Studio®, use non-Microsoft debugging and analysis tools to help resolve the application compatibility issues.

  • Outsource the application compatibility mitigation. If the Development Role Cluster has insufficient resources to resolve the application compatibility issues, outsource the mitigation effort to another organization.

Reviewing and Communicating Deployment Readiness

After resolving all application compatibility issues, review deployment readiness with other teams. Table 8 lists the team roles and what must be communicated to each team.

Table 8. Team Roles and What Must Be Communicated

Role

What must be communicated to this team

Product Management

Status of current project and any changes that affect the business functions within the organization

Program Management

Any updates or modifications to the project plan

Development

Review of all testing and Development Role Cluster report of its perspective on application mitigation status

Test

Review of all testing and Test feature team report of its perspective on application mitigation status

User Experience

Any modifications to the user experience based on application mitigation

Release Management

Status of all application compatibility issues and readiness for deployment to the production environment

Milestone: Application Mitigations Stabilized

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

At this milestone, shown in Table 9, the Application Compatibility feature team has stabilized the mitigation packages.

Table 9. Stabilizing Phase Deliverables

Stabilizing Phase milestone

Deliverable description

Owner

Mitigation Strategies Tested

Each application in the test matrix is tested and the results recorded. Iterative mitigation and further testing is performed until the incompatibility issues are successfully mitigated.

Test

Compatibility Mitigation Reported to Management

Project stakeholders are informed about the current status of the mitigation before deployment to the production environment, including any at-risk applications.

Release Management

Outstanding Issues Resolved

Any potential at-risk applications are mitigated, and all potential obstacles to deployment are removed.

Development

Deployment Readiness Reviewed and Communicated to the Team

Appropriate teams are contacted regarding the current status and readiness of application compatibility in the deployment process.

Release Management

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