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Topics: Information Technology, Scheduling, Strategy
Looking for a good framework for a deployment - or rollout - plan
Trying to put together an MS Project document for the rollout of a COTS system. Doesn't need to include all the System Life Cycle stuff (requirements, construction, development, testing, etc.), just the rollout strategy and timeline. Does anybody have any good frameworks for something like this.
Basically are biggest needs are communication to end-users, training, support
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In my personal experience the rollout of COTS system includes all the system life cycle BUT I can agree with you if you say me "it depends of the start point". Just to put this in something that is not new but it becomes a "new buzzword" and I am in charge to implement in my actual work place take a look to DevOps and to put it inside a framework take a look in the framework of SAFe. I am not saying I am proposing SAFe or DevOps just I am directing you to something I am using and it is a new buzzword as I mentioned. But, if you ask me, take a look to IEEE standards where you can find the definition of COTS plus a method/framework to implement it and I have used it and it worked for me no matter it was written time ago.
A rollout of a COTS system can be anything from "unplug Black Box A and plug in Black Box B" to an involved deployment plan. Systems come in all shapes and sizes.

The IEEE standards are a good place to start. Those will cover everything from the most complicated system you can imagine, and then you can pare that down to the specifics of your situation.
If it's true COTS - just turn it on and go (according to the salesperson) - I'm not sure there is a formal framework, but there are some basics that should happen:
- System testing
- System tuning (maybe)
- Training
- if it's a phased implementation, you'll need a rollout schedule
- a communication plan that covers all of the above

Are there application security requirements? Is sign-on through the app, or is it SSO?

Unless it's basically a desktop app that anybody can use, many of the questions apply that you would ask for other software, you're just not worried about doing any development, configuration, data migration, etc...
...
1 reply by Robert Thornton
Feb 17, 2021 10:31 PM
Robert Thornton
...
I think you hit the nail on the head with your last three bullets. Since this system is configured and piloted already, it's time to rollout. So I'm basically looking to build the rollout schedule which will include training and of course a lot of communication. We've already got 400 users in the pilot but it needs to be rolled out to 4,000 more users - all known users and all in my state. So it's a statewide rollout.
Thanks again for your response.
Thank you for those of you who already responded. I think I need to make my query a little clearer. I was hired in the middle of a system deployment. Yes, it's a COTS system but we've already put a year in to modifying and configuring, etc.
We've already tested and completed a successful pilot. This web-based system is tight and ready to be rolled out to the rest of our end-users.
I was hoping to find a framework for that rollout plan or rollout schedule as Aaron Porter mentioned above.
Basically we need to do communication, end-user buy-in, training and have application support put in to place.
I kind of just answered my own question but I'm looking for a project plan that is a good skeleton for that rollout endeavor.
Thanks and look forward to any other responses.
Feb 17, 2021 6:36 PM
Replying to Aaron Porter
...
If it's true COTS - just turn it on and go (according to the salesperson) - I'm not sure there is a formal framework, but there are some basics that should happen:
- System testing
- System tuning (maybe)
- Training
- if it's a phased implementation, you'll need a rollout schedule
- a communication plan that covers all of the above

Are there application security requirements? Is sign-on through the app, or is it SSO?

Unless it's basically a desktop app that anybody can use, many of the questions apply that you would ask for other software, you're just not worried about doing any development, configuration, data migration, etc...
I think you hit the nail on the head with your last three bullets. Since this system is configured and piloted already, it's time to rollout. So I'm basically looking to build the rollout schedule which will include training and of course a lot of communication. We've already got 400 users in the pilot but it needs to be rolled out to 4,000 more users - all known users and all in my state. So it's a statewide rollout.
Thanks again for your response.
...
1 reply by Aaron Porter
Feb 18, 2021 11:30 AM
Aaron Porter
...
It sounds like your schedule is really going to depend upon training and availability of people. Some steps to consider, if not done already:
- Identify key stakeholders in groups you will be rolling out to.
- Send out general communication about the change. Don't get too detailed or lengthy or people may not read/remember details. DO include relevant success stories from the pilot and benefits other groups can expect, but only things you're okay being held accountable for - don't overpromise.
- Ask for key contacts you can coordinate rollouts and training with in each group. Work with the contacts to schedule these activities.
- Work with key stakeholders and contacts to plan training and adoption, then monitor, post rollout. Create a feedback loop for end users, during and post rollout.
Sergio and Keith made good points.
Feb 17, 2021 10:31 PM
Replying to Robert Thornton
...
I think you hit the nail on the head with your last three bullets. Since this system is configured and piloted already, it's time to rollout. So I'm basically looking to build the rollout schedule which will include training and of course a lot of communication. We've already got 400 users in the pilot but it needs to be rolled out to 4,000 more users - all known users and all in my state. So it's a statewide rollout.
Thanks again for your response.
It sounds like your schedule is really going to depend upon training and availability of people. Some steps to consider, if not done already:
- Identify key stakeholders in groups you will be rolling out to.
- Send out general communication about the change. Don't get too detailed or lengthy or people may not read/remember details. DO include relevant success stories from the pilot and benefits other groups can expect, but only things you're okay being held accountable for - don't overpromise.
- Ask for key contacts you can coordinate rollouts and training with in each group. Work with the contacts to schedule these activities.
- Work with key stakeholders and contacts to plan training and adoption, then monitor, post rollout. Create a feedback loop for end users, during and post rollout.
...
1 reply by Robert Thornton
Feb 18, 2021 12:06 PM
Robert Thornton
...
Ah, you bring up a great point/"plan item" in "DO include relevant success stories from the pilot" that's something I was missing from my Scheduling Project Plan. I think I'm almost there with this and your advice has been very helpful!
Thanks!
Feb 18, 2021 11:30 AM
Replying to Aaron Porter
...
It sounds like your schedule is really going to depend upon training and availability of people. Some steps to consider, if not done already:
- Identify key stakeholders in groups you will be rolling out to.
- Send out general communication about the change. Don't get too detailed or lengthy or people may not read/remember details. DO include relevant success stories from the pilot and benefits other groups can expect, but only things you're okay being held accountable for - don't overpromise.
- Ask for key contacts you can coordinate rollouts and training with in each group. Work with the contacts to schedule these activities.
- Work with key stakeholders and contacts to plan training and adoption, then monitor, post rollout. Create a feedback loop for end users, during and post rollout.
Ah, you bring up a great point/"plan item" in "DO include relevant success stories from the pilot" that's something I was missing from my Scheduling Project Plan. I think I'm almost there with this and your advice has been very helpful!
Thanks!

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