Deployment Blocker No. 10: Deciding to Wait
The decision is made. It’s a go. The deployment will proceed.
But hang on: there is so much to worry about. Let’s wait.
Waiting always seems safer than actually executing the decision. Some bad reasons I’ve heard are:
- Wait for the next big update, such as a service pack or a newer version of software, because the bugs will be shaken out by then. This might have been a good strategy a decade ago, but with Microsoft’s early adoption programs and Release Candidates (RC1 and 2 normally) going out to production networks for months ahead, RTM (Released to Manufacturer) 1.0 code is a lot more mature than it was fifteen years ago. So waiting for a service pack is rarely a good excuse now. Cycles of incremental upgrades are going faster and faster, merging into a blur of ongoing deployment, especially with virtualization and the cloud. The paradigm has shifted. So should you.
- Wait for every application in the environment (mission critical or not) to be compatible. Good luck with that, especially with Line of Business applications. A better approach is to figure out which applications absolutely need to be moved to the new operating system. Research their compatibility with the manufacturer and start testing, in order of priority, those that are still not clearly compatible.
My customers are usually pleasantly surprised at the good news they get regarding compatibility of their outlier applications with Windows 7. They are always stunned at the number of “have to have” applications that drop off the list once they seriously prioritize and ask stakeholders to provide installation files.
There are hundreds of other reasons offered for waiting but I rarely hear a good one.
The better way: Don’t wait. Be firm, set a clear deadline, and drive like heck towards it, using testing to prove it out in production and to get those early wins. Keep knocking down blockers one by one; make the groups that cannot move to the new Operating System the exception, not the rule. Get complete backing from the most powerful executive you can find, because you are going to need it.
This is part of a ten part series of blogs “Top Ten Deployment Blockers”