The Guide to Windows 2000 Wisdom: A Phased Approach

For a successful Win2K implementation, brush up on your project management skills.

At a recent MCP TechMentor conference where I spoke, I asked attendees, “How many of you have taken steps to install Windows 2000 Server and, in fact, have a few servers up and running?” Surprisingly, most of the attendees raised their hands. Hmmm.

I then asked this question: “How many of you have completely updated your network so that all of the domain controllers are running Win2K?” The number diminished significantly. “OK, that being the case, how many of you have flipped the native-mode switch?” About four attendees raised their hands.

One last question: “How many of you have gotten some project management training?” About a third of the group acknowledged this feat.

Win2K should be approached from a phase-oriented project management architecture. Phase one is the discovery or information-gathering period in which you decide what you need to do and who will help you do it. Phase two involves the process by which you describe how the work will be done. Phase three is the pre-implementation time when you do a proof-of-concept test. Next comes four, the implementation phase. Phase five is test, and phase six is user acceptance. There’s a seventh phase — back out — that’s reserved for you in the event you need to roll back. In larger projects there may be many more phases, but this is a bare-bones example of how you should be thinking about a Win2K deployment.

Win2K — tens of millions of lines of code, 4,000 programmers, two years in the making, dozens of project managers. Does Microsoft know anything about project management? The answer is an emphatic yes! Learn from the company. Read every white paper on the Web site, especially the project management papers. Think out your project plan. Write it down. Get others to look at it. Make sure it’s solid. Then implement.

While you’re at it, get some training, too. Don’t rely on books. Join newsgroups. Talk to other admins. And stop drinking so much Mountain Dew, for crying out loud! It’ll ruin your teeth!

About the Author

Bill Heldman is an instructor at Warren Tech, a career and technical education high-school in Lakewood, Colorado. He is a contributor to Redmond, MCP Magazine and several other Windows magazines, plus several books for Sybex, including CompTIA IT Project+ Study Guide.

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