Is Process A Dirty Word In Your Windows 7 Migration Planning?
I would like you to think for a minute about some of the most successful companies in the world. Organisations like McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King and Subway. You can go into any of their locations worldwide, and you are pretty much guaranteed the exact same service and product set. Now think about motor manufacturers. Most have modularised their builds, creating four of five different models of every car and able to build in units on demand for personalisation, but the outcome is very much a consistent product and service.
There is something that these companies all have in common. They have made their money by creating many very repeatable processes which can be delivered cheaply, efficiently and most importantly, consistently. Low cost of manufacture, higher standardisation, greater productivity and ultimately better profit.
Ask yourself this: where would these other companies be if they did not understand, in the minutest detail, how every single burger, sandwich and latte would be delivered in every store in the world? Probably still in the corner of some high street somewhere.
So what about your enterprise Windows 7 migration project? How well do you understand your end to end desktop migration process? Your answer to this might be ‘very well!’ Now if I asked you for your end to end process diagram, or your project runbook, could you give it to me? I suspect that a large number of desktop migration project and program managers could not reference this document.
This begs the question, how are companies improving their delivery of desktop migration projects?
Years ago, there was a big push in certain organisations for employees to learn about process. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s there was a manufacturing methodology, and it was called Six Sigma. You could be a six sigma black belt if you had both the money and the desire. In true IT fashion, we went overboard and tried to apply it everywhere, with expected, and inevitably doomed results. The same happened to a lesser extent with ITIL. We tried to apply it everywhere, failed, and it eventually found its correct and best application in problem and service management.
So what did we learn from those experiences? Well, number one is that before you can look to improve what you are doing, you need to understand what you are doing. Number two was that improvement takes time, it takes investment and it stakes senior level sponsorship. Number three was that you need to document – anything and everything related to the thing you are trying to improve. And number four? Maybe controversially, but not everyone makes a good process person, irrespective of training and investment in education. Some people will just keep running at that brick wall until they bash it down, irrespective that just round the corner is a ladder that would simply enable them to climb over it.
Windows 7 enterprise migration is not rocket science. But talking to some people you would think it was! At its core, it is a standard set of processes and tasks that need to be delivered in a highly repeatable, standardised and consistent fashion to achieve the desired outcome. Namely, a product (in this case a desktop environment) that customers will enjoy, that doesn’t cause them major disruption and one that satisfies the need for improvement.
How many of your end customers feel that they have been on the end of a highly standardised and repeatable process? I would wager probably not that many.