With all the complexities of running an IT department, you have to systematize the work to be successful. As devices multiply, threats grow and user demands increase how you run your department is as crucial as what technical work you do.
For example, when planning for an upgrade, IT groups spend months considering software options, hardware specifications and budget options but comparatively little time is spent considering the acquisition and rollout process and how they affect the overall cost and success of the upgrade.
When planning an upgrade of hundreds or even thousands of devices, begin planning the rollout at the same time you’re evaluating the technology. Below are some sample steps of a rollout plan.
- First decide on a rollout beginning and end date. Give yourself the time you need to specify the new technology but hold yourself to a timeline.
- Communicate your timeline to purchasing and logistics so they can begin preparing for the acquisition and deployment of devices. If purchasing and logistics are handled within the IT department, make sure to assign roles ahead of time.
- Create a draft checklist for device setup, refine as specifications change, test checklist against test system and finalize for rollout.
- During testing, assess time for “per device setup and deployment.” Calculate how many man hours will be required against how many man hours will be available for the rollout. Does your team have enough capacity? If capacity is a concern, create a list of options to augment your team.
- Schedule rollout by device type, department or type of user, whatever makes sense for your organization.
As you can see, these aren’t hard or complicated steps and can easily be added to your project plan. Consider streamlining the how of IT deployment process to make the what that much more successful.