If you have been through a massive IT transformation project recently, you know what a nightmare it can be. They are incredibly complex, expensive and drain your internal resources, time and availability.
There are many reasons why they are so complex. On the one hand, they are organizationally challenging as they involve members from your internal IT team as well as other departments, or even third parties. Therefore, decisions need to be taken across multiple teams with the associated buy-in. On the other hand, you are dealing with literally millions of data objects such as users, locations, departments, applications, computers, and mailboxes just to name a few. This creates logistical challenges with an incredible amount of moving parts. And like an orchestra without the guiding hands of the conductor, it would crumble into a thousand pieces if just a few tasks were overlooked or not managed properly.
Below, we have outlined four ways that a project management tool, like Dashworks, can help you overcome these challenges because it allows you to run your project in a centralized command and control center that puts you back in charge!
#1: You Need An Up-To-Date Repository Of All Moving Parts In Order To Manage Them
IT migration projects can often feel like you are juggling a thousand balls at once and the second you take your eyes off them, they will all tumble down. Therefore, IT project managers who are responsible for such large projects need to create a live repository of all moving parts in the form of a data warehouse in order to properly manage them.
Only then, is it possible to have an always up-to-date view of the inventory and the dependencies between users, computers, applications, departments and location information. This repository needs to be refreshed continually so that changes to the live environment are reflected in the project.
#2: You Need One Version Of The Truth That Everyone Can Rely On
These project managers also need to have a way to figure out and manage migration readiness, a method to trigger end user communications, and to collect end user information. They need to create multiple reports and data extracts and prioritize the work tasks across multiple teams. All of this needs to be done in real-time.
However, many project teams still rely on spreadsheets or hand-cranked databases as the cornerstone of their project management command and control efforts. They do this by passing around spreadsheets by the hundreds on a daily basis — all while trying to keep on top of the activities being performed by resources across multiple teams. With the constant changes in schedules, readiness tasks and logistics, it’s no wonder that most IT migration projects fail to achieve efficient delivery.
#3: You Need To Be In Control Of Your User Communication
Throughout the entire process, you need to communicate with your end users. It is crucial that you let them know ahead of time that a migration is planned, what is expected of them, what timeframe they are looking at and how to get support if they run into any issues. But manually triggering all these emails can quickly get out of control - you need a project management tool that can handle this for you!
Let's take for example the email communication: If you are migrating 10,000 users and you will send them each 6 emails during T-30 until T+3 as well as several potential emails regarding changes, updates, and rescheduling, you will have to send more than 100,000 emails! It is impossible to keep track of that without a proper project management tool! With a tool like Dashworks, not only can you automate a large portion of the email communication, but you can also make sure you are reaching the right person, the emails are sent in the right languages, and you can override mail delegates.
#4: You Need A Self-Service Portal To Improve User Satisfaction
Many end users are very resistant to change. Even though they might want to have a computer at work that runs Windows 10 (since they just migrated their laptops at home), they are still hesitant, especially if something is done to them that they feel they have no say in. By involving your users early on and giving them a part in the migration process, not only can you eliminate this problem, but you can also speed up your project.
In order to be able to involve your users into the migration, you need a centralized, self-service portal that allows the user to log on, answer a few questions and correct a few critical data points. It also allows you to show them a list of business applications that you are planning to consolidate or retire all together. One Dashworks client with 45,000 seats was able to use the self-service portal to eliminate 25% of their business applications that were no longer required. This not only results in significant cost savings, but also in less application packaging and migration work for you!
Conclusion: Your IT Migration Project Needs Command & Control
Successful IT migration projects are managed by people that understand the need for centralized information. Without a project data warehouse, teams can be left rudderless, focussing on non-essential tasks, and passing around out of date information. By ensuring that your project has efficiency built in through data warehousing and project support technology, you can manage, track, ready and schedule with much greater accuracy and confidence.
To start your Windows 10 migration plan on the right foot, download our fully customizable project plan template that will guide you through all eight stages of the migration process.