An OS migration can be such an overwhelmingly complex and huge project that it can become easy to lose sight of what happens when the migration is done. How will you gain end-user sign-off or train them on the new functionality? How will you deal with issues that arise as users power up their machines for the first time?
As crucial as these questions are to the outcome of your entire project, they are often ignored until the very end.
Today, we want to show you seven clever ways how you can use IT automation to not only manage, but also streamline your entire rollout, hand-over, and sign-off process using Access AGENT.
1) Positive First Impression Increases Adoption
In psychology, the term "first impression" is defined as the event when a person meets another and immediately forms a mental image of that person. While the accuracy of these impressions can greatly vary based on the perceptiveness of the observer as well as other circumstances, one thing is clear: First impressions matter greatly as they often set the tone for future encounters.
The same goes for "meeting" a new operating system for the first time. Most end users are less than excited to have IT mess with their device — some are even outright standoffish or avoid the upgrade until the last possible second.
If you were to hand over their freshly migrated computer and wish them luck, they would likely continue to have a negative attitude, which can impact the success of your project! To avoid that, you should make sure this first impression is a positive one by walking them through an automated training and sign-off process the second they power on their upgraded device for the first time.
2) Indirectly Train Your Users
If you roll out your Windows 10 machines with Access AGENT pre-installed, you can configure AGENT to pop up a wizard the first time the newly migrated device gets switched on.
This wizard walks the user through all the necessary steps to get him or her familiar with all relevant changes as well as ensure that everything works as expected. By walking your users through all relevant features, your end users are indirectly trained on how to use them.
For example, with the new Windows 10 Creators Update, devices can automatically adjust the amount of blue light emitted at night to improve sleep quality. Also, with Edge improvements, users can preview tabs without leaving the page, or save and restore whole sets of tabs. If these are important features that you want your users to know about, then you can ask them to try them out as part of this process.
This will make them aware of new features or features they might not have previously used and show them more efficient ways (e.g., keystroke shortcuts to switch between applications) to get their work done. This way, you ensure that your users are getting the most out of the new Windows 10 version and that this new platform, in fact, increases productivity.
3) Get Project Sign-Off From End Users
In addition to training, the sign-off is an important step in this automated process. As your users have tried out and verified that all relevant things are working just fine, they can confirm this by formally signing off.
For example, AGENT can prompt your users to verify that their profiles are migrated properly and all their personalized settings and favorites are there and working properly. This way, you can not only verify that the migration has been successful, but also show the user that his or her device is set up properly.
4) Proactive Approach To Resolving Potential Issues
Most of your users will complete the wizard and sign off within a few minutes, but sometimes they can run into issues. If it is a known issue, AGENT can suggest tips, tricks, and fixes to remediate the issue before the user has to open an IT helpdesk ticket. However, if the problem could not be resolved right away, the user has the option to open a ticket right away — without having to open up a new app or switch user interfaces.
Your team can chat with the user to get more details, deploy a fix, or ask the user to take a certain action. Should any issues affect multiple users, your team can push a patch or a fix to all affected devices immediately, which allows you to ring-fence an issue before it turns into a larger problem. This will not only proactively keep the number of created IT help desk tickets down, but will also lead to a better user experience.
5) Allow End Users To Take Ownership
By giving your users the tools they need to fix minor issues themselves and boost the performance of their devices, you allow them to take ownership in the process. The automated sign-off process creates evidence of a successful migration outcome and increased transparency between end users and IT.
This not only improves the relationship between both, but also eliminates the need for finger-pointing and blame-shifting. Once the user has confirmed a successful migration, he or she can't come back a week later complaining that something isn't working right because of the Windows 10 migration.
In addition to fixing issues during the handover process, AGENT allows even non-technical employees to improve the health, performance, and speed of their PCs over time by providing each user with individual health scores and recommendations.
6) Improve Platform & Accelerate Deployment Rings
AGENT's ability to detect, track and fix IT problems allows you to do something else that goes far beyond your current project: You can improve the overall Windows 10 platform by proactively, and in small iterations, making significant improvements.
It also gives you a tactical solution to accelerate your Windows 10 Deployment Rings! Should you find a problem during one of the earlier deployment rings, you can quickly and effectively apply a fix so all subsequent rings won’t run into the same issue.
7) Accurate Reporting & Project Wrap-Up
Last but not least, this process gives you a way to wrap up your project more effectively.
Once your users have signed off, you as the IT Project Manager, can report back to executive management and other stakeholders (e.g., business unit managers) that XX% of users have signed off within X days successfully. You don't have to guestimate anymore, and you have a track record to show for it.
In addition to successful sign-offs, you can also include lessons learned and most common IT issues into the project wrap up to ensure you won't run into the same issues the next time.
It goes without saying that your end users should have an overwhelmingly positive experience when you hand over their newly upgraded devices as this greatly affects your adoption rates and the perceived success of your migration project. However, many experienced IT Project Managers tend to ignore (and therefore fail to properly plan for) the end-user engagement step until the very end.
By implementing this easy-to-set up and fully automated process, you not only ensure that this rollout becomes a success, but you, in fact, improve user productivity, enable them to take ownership of the health of their device, and make them a partner rather than a passive participant. In addition, AGENT also gives IT the option to deploy fixes and patches when needed or even use it to roll out new Windows 10 versions to devices automatically.