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Software Rollout


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Published in: Business, Technology

Software Rollout

  1. 1. Data Networking Year 2 Procedure for rolling out new/upgraded software Colm Bennett
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Potential issues with new/upgraded software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn't work! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not compatible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware (old clients, printers etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significantly different UI/Process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all new features obvious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible security issues (Internet access required, update schedules etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Rollout Plan – Key Areas <ul><li>Sandbox / Staging </li></ul><ul><li>Performance Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Deployment </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sandbox <ul><li>A smaller scale copy of the production environment </li></ul><ul><li>Isolated from the production environment </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable sample of production PCs/OS's/Desktop setup etc </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally using recent data backup from production </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sandbox <ul><li>Check basic functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Confirm compatibility with hardware and other systems </li></ul><ul><li>Check for security issues </li></ul><ul><li>Start user documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Start training of Pilot participants </li></ul><ul><li>Start deployment/administration documentation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Staging <ul><li>Some large critical applications may have a staging environment </li></ul><ul><li>Post test/sandbox but pre production </li></ul><ul><li>Different people mean different things by “Staging” but usually </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exact same as production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe dual purpose as a backup system for prod </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Final “Smoke Test” done here </li></ul><ul><li>Small revision upgrade may go straight to Staging </li></ul>
  7. 7. Performance Testing <ul><li>Vital for applications with large data sets </li></ul><ul><li>Establish acceptance criteria first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>X screen responds in x seconds etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Equipment as close as possible to production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Or confident of ability to scale up results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Depending on project may need performance rig </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automated UI software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulating multiple users etc </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Pilot <ul><li>Pilot is a roll out to a small subset of users </li></ul><ul><li>Aims to root out production problems in a controlled way </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller impact of any major issues </li></ul><ul><li>IT resources able to focus on small group </li></ul><ul><li>Helps refine training materials </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally a cohesive unit – sub office, one country, one department etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Review security, documentation, compatibility etc </li></ul>
  9. 9. Training <ul><li>Materials started in sandbox, refined in pilot </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure IT staff trained if required </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally training materials will be process based and form the basis for user documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. “Enter order from phone customer” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As “Just In Time” as possible </li></ul><ul><li>For upgrades, existing materials should be reviewed, new features added </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider a “new features only” course </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Deployment <ul><li>Create technical deployment plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large organisations will probably use network deploy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or terminal services type deploy (Citrix etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May do a staged deployment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By country/geo etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure users can't self update before you are ready to rollout out to everyone </li></ul>
  11. 11. Support <ul><li>Usually done by rollout team for pilot </li></ul><ul><li>Train support staff </li></ul><ul><li>Clear guidelines as to when support transitions from rollout team to support </li></ul><ul><li>Monitored closely in initial period to enable quick fixes, workarounds, FAQs to be communicated to users </li></ul>