Lesson 2: Project Planning Documents

Once you've established the migration project's goals, the deliverables, and the scope, you need to begin creating documents that will define the project in greater detail. This lesson examines the chain of documents that you should use to drive a successful migration.

After this lesson, you will be able to

  • Identify objectives and deliverables that should form part of the functional specification.
  • Identify documents that you should produce as a migration project proceeds.

Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes

Functional Specification

The functional specification establishes what the migration team aims to deliver to the organization. It describes at a high level the technical functionality the migration effort should achieve. Although the functional specification is not a complete description of the design, it should be sufficiently detailed for designs to be validated against it.

You can produce the functional specification by refining the goals and deliverables that have been identified and then mapping them onto system functions. For example, the business goal might be "the ability for line managers to administer user accounts of staff in their departments." In functional terms, this could be "the development of OUs within the network that will delegate the responsibilities of a Windows NT 4.0 account manager to line managers." Further detail would provide the precise range of administrative responsibilities the line manager would have.

You might need to use a pilot system to identify the best way to provide the functionality that meets the migration objectives. Delivering the required set of functions will involve prioritization and perhaps some degree of compromise between all involved parties.


The strongest skill you can have with a project of this significance isn't technical, it's a good grounding in communication. Helping people in your organization to see how your implementation of Windows 2000 can help them achieve their business goals will minimize potential political disruptions.

Once you've established the required functionality, you can consider the project planning documents described in the following sections: administrative documents and deployment documents.

Administrative Documents

Administrative documents help you determine your goals and objectives. They define the scope and vision of the project, along with the timeline, budget, and staffing details. As the name implies, these documents are concerned with the establishment and administration of the project. They contain elements such as those described in the following sections.

Objectives and Scope

The project plan should clearly state the scope and objectives, along with the methods by which they are to be measured. You will refine and condense the scope and objectives into the functional specification as the project proceeds.


The project plan must include a schedule by which deliverables will be produced. You should break it down into phases with milestones at regular points, and monitor it as the project continues. Note that you should produce a timetable even (or especially) if you have little confidence in its accuracy. Setting unrealistic deadlines is bad, but having no deadlines at all (over and above the final one for the project) is even worse. Managing milestones should feed directly into risk assessment and management.

Business and Migration Continuity

You should consider risk at all phases of the project. Obvious risks exist, such as failing to meet a deadline, but less obvious ones also exist, such as the impact on the project if a competitor hires the lead deployment engineer away. Everyone in the project should identify risk and assess its impact so that it can be appropriately handled.


The project will have a budget associated with it, which you must divide among the various activities to be undertaken. You'll need to monitor costs so that you can identify any unexpected expenses and seek additional resources in good time.


Before assigning staff to the migration project, you will need to have an assessment program in place to determine staff skill levels and which set of migration responsibilities each staff member would be ideally suited for. You should also determine the number of people required (staffing levels), create reporting and review mechanisms, build an appropriate management structure for communication, and determine which elements of the migration each employee will be responsible for. The design of this aspect of the project will almost certainly involve the existing human resource staff, who should be involved from the start.


The size of the project might require a wide range of additional facilities, such as office space, secretarial support, and computer support. These resources must be considered at the start of the project and budgeted and planned for. Lack of resources at any stage of the migration could hinder the speed of migration and should be monitored as an ongoing risk. For example, lack of e-mail, telephone, or secretarial support could all slow the migration.


In addition to informing employees of the reasons and benefits of the migration, they should also be told of and prepared for any potential interruptions to their services. Information will be required at other levels. Higher-level management will want a broad overview and details of progress toward the deliverables, while users will need to know the changes to their working practices. Note that the communication should be a two-way process: those affected by the project should be able to contact the migration team.

Deployment Documents

Deployment documents are used within the project by those performing the migration and should include the following:

  • Current environment summary. This document describes the current network infrastructure, both physically and logically. It includes details of the user management and security regime in use.
  • Migration strategy. This document identifies the individuals involved and describes a plan for the migration of systems at all levels.
  • Gap analysis. This document shows the steps to be taken to bridge the gap between the current environment and the desired one. Bear in mind that additional system resources might be required during the migration to provide fault tolerance as systems are upgraded.
  • Capacity plan. This document considers the capacity of the systems, in network and hardware terms, to ensure that the resulting Windows 2000 deployment works to expectation.
  • Risk plan. This document identifies and prioritizes the risks inherent in the project. It sets out contingency plans for mission-critical issues. The risk plan should be reviewed at each phase of the project.
  • Problem escalation. This document provides a well-defined way to prioritize problems so that they can be delegated to appropriate members of the team.
  • Testing and deployment. This document outlines the test and reference facilities available and schedules the testing of applications, performance planning, and deployment methodologies. You must create a well-defined method to test systems before deployment.
  • Pilot plan. This document is where you create a test deployment of systems at all levels and prove that what you're going to do will actually work. The initial phases of the pilot will be based on the calibrating performed in the test lab; however, feedback will help to refine the final deployment and help with training issues.
  • Documentation plan. This document keeps track of documents at several levels, from internal documents used to drive the project to external information made available to those affected by the migration. The documentation plan will outline the documents to be produced and their target audiences.

Although it's not always necessary to have a specific document for each of these items, each issue must be covered at some point.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you learned about the set of documents that define the information to be used both to set up and drive the migration project (administrative documents), and those used within it (deployment documents). The importance of documenting all the given aspects of the project was emphasized. You can use these documents as a basis to ensure that each aspect of the migration is carried out.

MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222. Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4. 0 to Microsoft Windows 2000)
MCSE Training Kit (Exam 70-222): Migrating from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to Microsoft Windows 2000 (MCSE Training Kits)
ISBN: 0735612390
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2001
Pages: 126

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