Project Managing the Roll out of Windows 7
The other day a project manager came and asked the usual question “How many and how fast?”
It is quite common to come across project managers who may say that they have a background in IT, but more times than not, their son or daughter have more knowledge in IT than they have. This particular Project Manager’s question however was to do with creating a baseline from how quickly computers could be built and rolled out to the end user and once that he had the quick answer he went off on his merry way to write up his project plan.
The issue here is the answer I gave was not a real world answer and any plan that he built would be challenged to say the least. The issue lies in the fact that people always look for the simple answers without accounting for the variables. For example: to roll out Windows 7 across the network without any issues is of course unlikely as there will always be some variables that has not been accounted for, but if you can afford to plan properly you can avoid many of the pot holes that lesser people will hit.
No project should be under taken without understanding the landscape, understanding the terrain is vital for any soldier planning his campaign. To go into any project without discovering what you are stepping into, is asking for disaster. A comprehensive audit should be done identifying:
- Location, building, floor, desk or ceiling reference that the computer is on, name of the computer that is being replaced, model of the computer, is the computer salvageable and be reused?
- Is the computer on the network or has it been unplugged or fallen off the network due to not being used?
- Who is the person who uses the computer, do they have any data that will require moving, if so how much?
- Who is the person that can be contacted if this user is on holiday?
- What is the computer build (financial, technical, cad etc.)
- What optional software has been installed?
- Will there be any compatibility issues with the existing software?
- What printers have been mapped?
Results from Audit
These results will provide a sound foundation as the logistics of estimating build times will become viable. Whether this project manager will take the time to look before he leaps is unfortunately doubtful.