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Chapter 2. Planning, Prototyping, Migrat... > The Pilot Phase: Validating the Plan... - Pg. 75

The Pilot Phase: Validating the Plan to a Limited Number of Users 75 If you need to implement multiple servers in the pilot and implementation phases, you can document checklists for the step-by-step processes in the prototype phase. Bear in mind that creating step-by-step documents takes a great deal of time (and paper!), and a change in process requires drastic changes to these documents. Typically, creating a step- by-step "recipe" for server builds is not worth the time unless lower-level resources need to build a large number in a short period of time. 2 When the testing is complete, the migration plan should be revisited to make sure that the timeline and milestones are still accurate. Ideally, there should be no major surprises during the prototype phase, but adjustments might be needed to the migration plan to ensure the success of the project. Depending on the time frame for the pilot and implementation phases, the hardware and software that will be needed for the full implementation might be ordered at this point. As the cost of server hardware has decreased over the past several years, many companies "overspec" the hardware they think they need, and they might determine during the prototype phase that lesser amounts of RAM or fewer processors will still exceed the needs of the technologies to be implemented, so the hardware requirements might change. The Pilot Phase: Validating the Plan to a Limited Number of Users Now that the prototype phase has been completed, the deployment team will be raring to go and have hands-on experience with all the new technologies to be implemented. The process documented in the migration document and migration plan will have been tested in the lab environment as completely as practical, and documentation detailing the steps to be followed during the pilot implementation will be at hand. Although the pilot process will vary in complexity based on the extent of the changes to be made to the network infrastructure, the process should be well documented at this point. It is important to identify the first group of users who will be moved to the new Windows Server 2008 R2 environment. Users with a higher tolerance for pain are a better choice than the key stakeholders, for the most part. NOTE In many organizations, the CEO, CIO, VP of sales, or other key executives might want to be part of the initial pilot rollout; however, we suggest not making these individuals part of the initial rollout. These individuals typically have the most complex user config- uration with the lowest tolerance for interruption of network services. Users in the pro- duction environment with simpler needs can be used for the initial pilot. If necessary, create a prepilot phase so that the senior executives can be part of the official pilot phase, but don't make the challenges of pilot testing more difficult by starting with users who have the most complex needs.