The most useful way of assessing overall readiness of your organisation's environment — and importantly, what is good to go and what needs remediation — is to list all required capabilities across the whole project and then overlay a service health or readiness heat map. For instance, if your organisation's Active Directory Group Policy Objects (GPO's) have been stacked on top of each other over many generations of different projects (which is unfortunately more common than not), then this would be RED on your heat map and would become a project task with additional effort beyond the standard GPO configuration to remediate as part of the infrastructure preparation. Microsoft Consulting Services uses a simple Technical Reference Model (TRM) to assess where effort needs to be applied to ensure a successful migration project.
The image creation and user experience personalisation activities can be run concurrently as soon as the high level design is complete. Infrastructure preparation can also commence as soon as key dependencies have been identified.
Once these five project streams are successfully delivering into the overall project, deploying the resulting upgraded Windows client is simply a matter of coordination, logistics and effort. Yes, like any technology project, there will be speed bumps along the way however getting these basics right will help set your project up for success.
Before signing off this last article of the series, it is worth mentioning that paid Windows XP Custom Support will be available beyond April 2014. However this is the advice we give our customers: if you know that you will be funding Custom Support next year, consider using this funding to accelerate your migration project today to move onto Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 before April 2014.
I hope that this short series has sparked some ideas for you on how to make your own migration project more successful. Good luck with your migration efforts.
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