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Scope and Objectives

The first step in planning your pilot is to define what you plan to include and exclude (scope) and what you want to accomplish (objectives). Define the scope and objectives clearly to help you set expectations and identify your success criteria. If possible, use your objectives to develop metrics for evaluating your pilot. You should also specify a duration for the pilot, either in terms of time or in terms of criteria to be met.

Pilot Scope

A pilot extends testing to involve users working on production tasks. Do not expect to test every piece of functionality during your pilot. Focus on functions that have the greatest risk and events that have the greatest probability of occurring.

Define the scope of your pilot by stating what is included and what is excluded. List the services and features you plan to include in the pilot and what you hope to accomplish with them. Describe the areas of functionality that the pilot implementation will affect, to what extent, and in what situations.

List the service and features you plan to exclude from the pilot. If certain aspects of your design cannot be covered by the pilot, describe them. For example, if you plan to upgrade using your existing domain architecture and restructure later, the first pilot might not include the restructure process.

Describe what you expect to happen after the pilot. If you plan to keep some functions in place and dismantle others, set up expectations about what will stay and what will go. If you think you might want to dismantle the pilot instead of keeping it for your production system, set the expectation for backing it out in your pilot plan. For example, if you are redesigning your namespace, you might want the option of changing it after the pilot. Specifying information such as this in your pilot plan sets expectations in the user community ahead of time.

Pilot Objectives

State explicit objectives that your pilot should meet. Use your objectives to identify criteria for measuring the success of your pilot. Many organizations have primary objectives such as the following:

  • Ensure that the system works properly in your environment.

  • Ensure that the design meets your business requirements.

  • Build user support for your Windows 2000 project.

Many organizations have additional objectives such as the following:

  • Test the deployment process.

  • Train the installation team.

  • Create documentation for the full deployment.

  • Train the support and help desk teams.

  • Gather information for estimating future support requirements.

  • Train the administrative teams.

  • Develop and test end-user training materials.

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