Choosing a Deployment Planning Framework
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Deploying a large-scale IT project, such as Windows Server 2003, can be a daunting prospect. In fact, many IT deployment projects are not completed on time and within budget, and often the deployment does not include all of the features initially specified.
The failure of an IT deployment to meet its goals generally can be attributed to one or more of the following problems:
Disparity between goal and function. Often, IT projects are viewed by an organization exclusively in terms of the functions and features they provide, not in terms of the business goals that those functions and features can help the organization achieve.
Lack of a common language between business and technical groups. An IT group must understand the organization’s business problems and needs in order to assess how a proposed solution can solve those problems and meet those needs. Establishing good communication between business and IT groups ensures that the deployment meets the organization’s needs.
Inflexible processes. In large, complex projects, changes are inevitable. Rigid rules and practices prevent a team from responding when circumstances change.
Complexity in the technical environment. Increased reliance on servers and Web-distributed applications demands greater collaboration and cooperation within the IT department to assure interoperability and reliable operations. Within highly structured organizations, creative problem-solving is both challenging and vital.
Resource constraints. Staffing a deployment team can be difficult because the demand for highly qualified IT personnel is always high. Often, budgets for new project development are constrained.
To avoid or mitigate these pitfalls, your organization can employ an IT deployment planning methodology. If your organization already uses a deployment methodology, you can use it to deploy Windows Server 2003. If you have not used a deployment planning methodology, you might want to consider using the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), upon which the deployment of Windows Server 2003 has been based, as described in this kit.
MSF is an IT deployment planning methodology that was developed by Microsoft Consulting Services in conjunction with Microsoft business groups, Microsoft partners, and other industry sources. MSF provides the principles, models, and disciplines for managing the people, processes, and technology elements of an IT deployment, such as the deployment of Windows Server 2003.
Two business models form the foundation of MSF:
The MSF team model, which ensures that all project goals are met by linking each team role, or area of expertise, with a major project responsibility
The MSF process model, which organizes the process of creating and deploying an IT project by dividing it into distinct phases marked by milestones