Organisations and their employees are becoming more and more dependent on operating systems such as Windows 10 to perform essential business-critical tasks. Upgrading to Windows 10 certainly has its benefits – with brilliant new features and added security - but the task itself is no easy feat. When you have thousands (or sometimes hundreds of thousands) of users relying on a seamless transition so that they can continue to perform their basic daily functions, this becomes highly complex and risky. ROQ have worked with several of our clients on Windows 10 upgrades and the subsequent updates and releases, and having learnt from our experience, we’d like to share with you our thoughts on what ingredients might help you succeed.
Define a clear scope and prioritise
When embarking on a Windows 10 upgrade you need to establish which applications are in scope. For large organisations, there may be thousands of applications deployed but which of these are key to the business and therefore represent significant risk when upgrading? Unfortunately, given the timescales available and the complexities involved, it is impossible to test everything - you need to agree clear priorities with the key stakeholders across the applications.
The types of testing in scope must also be agreed, including considerations such as the role of business users/UAT and how to make best use of automation.
Ensure performance tests are ‘built in’
Performance degradation can be a serious risk when deploying upgrades and new builds.
Any poor response times for key applications including the MS Office tools and add-ons, are likely to have a negative impact on productivity and irritate key users - any delay or glitch could be very costly. You need to establish an efficient, repeatable method of assessing key transaction timings that can form part of your testing process, alongside the functional verification.
Align to the release/delivery schedule
The initial Windows 10 upgrade and subsequent build releases are unlikely to be completed in isolation. There will almost certainly be other projects looking to deploy new/upgraded applications as well as the frequent security/bug fix patches. Your platform build testing must have an awareness of these and work with all Project managers and SME’s to ensure a cohesive release schedule is in place.
Always consider the user experience
You should also test the deployment method to truly reflect how the upgrade will be received from the end-user viewpoint. When planning the timing and frequency of platform upgrades/updates, you should consider the impact on the wider user community and minimise disruption as much as possible.
As testers we should always represent the business users and champion these considerations.
Agree the Defect management process upfront
Establishing how the defects are to be progressed through a clear workflow is absolutely vital. If there isn’t an established defect management process in place which can be adopted and customised, then one must be defined and agreed in advance. More importantly, you must establish which teams/individuals will be responsible for the ownership of defects and issues for each of the key applications/solutions identified. Beyond that initial ownership, discussing how these might be escalated to product and solution providers is also a key part of the puzzle.
With these 5 key considerations/pillars in place we believe that your chances of a successful upgrade will increase exponentially!