C H A P T E R    3 Part 2  Deploying Microsoft Office Microsoft Office Resource Kit
Deployment Guide for Microsoft Office Previous



In This Chapter
Evaluating and Installing Windows
Evaluating Office 97
Assembling the Planning Team and Tools
Specifying the Test Client Configuration
Conducting the Lab Test
Planning the Pilot Rollout
Conducting the Pilot Rollout
Finalizing the Rollout Plan
Rolling Out Office
Maintaining and Supporting Office

See Also

This chapter provides an overview of the significant phases in a typical deployment of Office 97 for Windows. It is written especially for administrators who are responsible for corporate implementation of Office.

   Note   The information in this chapter applies to Office 97 for Windows. For information about deploying Office 98 for the Macintosh, see "Rolling out Office 98 for the Macintosh" in Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office."


Before you can install Office 97 for Windows, you need to install the appropriate operating system: Windows 95 or Windows NT Workstation version 3.51 or later. This section explains how to get started with the Windows deployment and how to use this chapter to plan your Office deployment.

   Tools and Utilities   The Office Resource Kit Tools and Utilities include the Office 97 Deployment Planner, a Microsoft Project template that outlines the deployment phases described in this chapter. For more information about installing the Deployment Planner (or an equivalent Microsoft Excel spreadsheet), see "Office 97 Deployment Planner" in Appendix A, "Microsoft Office Resource Kit Tools and Utilities."

Deploying Microsoft Windows

Typically, one team upgrades your operating system to Windows 95 or Windows NT, while another team upgrades your applications to Office 97. In this scenario, the Office team can skip those phases that involve the evaluation and installation of Windows.

If you are deploying Windows at the same time as Office, however, you should consider how your Office configuration might affect your planning and deployment of Windows. For more information about Windows features that may assist in your deployment of Office 97, see "Choosing Windows Features" later in this chapter.

For more information about how to deploy Windows 95, see the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit, available from Microsoft Press and wherever computer books are sold. For more information about how to deploy the Windows NT operating system, see the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit, also available from Microsoft Press.

Deploying Office 97

Office is designed to make deployment easy in the corporate environment. By understanding how best to plan and automate the installation process, you can reduce the cost of migration.

The deployment process for Office 97 is divided into phases, beginning with an evaluation of the product and ending with a successful installation, usually from a network server. The following are the suggested phases of deployment:

Each phase includes specific tasks that may vary according to your particular organization's structure and needs. For the purpose of this guide, tasks are divided among the following teams, which are made up of employees from your organization.

This deployment team Includes these individuals
Executive Project manager or director of information systems; corporate executives
Planning Project manager; representatives from the support and training teams; representatives form your finance department; installation team members
Installation Technicians responsible for Office 97 installation; a representative from the Windows deployment team
Support Help desk or support staff; representatives from the planning team
Training Staff responsible for employee training


Evaluating and Installing Windows

Before you can deploy Office 97, you need to install Windows on your servers and client systems. As part of the planning process for these installations, you need to consider whether your Office requirements have any effect on the way you configure and install Windows.

Choosing Windows Features

For client systems, several features of Windows may help in the initial Setup of Office, as well as in subsequent maintenance of client systems. These features include:

Windows System Policies

In Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation version 4.0, you can use the Windows System Policy Editor to configure client computers from a central location by creating a single system policy file that resides on a server. When users log on to the network, client computers use this file to modify local copies of the Windows registry. The system policy file can be updated at any time.

System policies define the desktop and network functionality on each client computer, including Office features and capabilities. Using system policies, you can perform functions such as disabling peer­sharing services or preventing access to the command prompt for your entire workgroup. Similarly, if you want everyone in your workgroup to save their files in a specific format, such as Microsoft Word version 6.0 for Windows, system policies allow you to set that default file format from a central location.

For More Information   about the types of restrictions available and how to implement system policies, see the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit or the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit. For more information about customizing Office with system policies, see "Using Windows System Policies to Customize Office" in Chapter 7, "Customizing and Optimizing Microsoft Office."

Windows User Profiles

In Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0, user profiles allow individual users or entire workgroups to maintain consistent desktop and environment settings. User profiles display customized desktop settings each time users log on. Multiple users sharing a single computer can customize their individual desktops. Or a single user can move between computers and use the same profile by storing the profile on the server.

An administrator can also take advantage of user profiles to require that a particular desktop configuration be loaded each time a user logs on, or to prevent changes to existing profile settings.

For More Information   about how to manage user profiles, see the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit or the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit.

Note   User profiles are not necessary when only one person uses the computer or when a custom desktop adds no value. Without user profiles, the logon process is shortened slightly; the system does not need to locate and load the profile.

Installing Windows

Before you can install Office 97, you need to install Windows 95 or the Windows NT operating system on your server and client systems. The steps for installing Windows 95 or the Windows NT operating system are listed in the following table and described in the following sections.

Acquire the Windows 95 or the Windows NT Resource Kits

The Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit and the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit are technical supplements to the Windows product documentation. These manuals are written to assist administrators in installing, supporting, and managing Windows on corporate networks. For more information about these and other Microsoft Press books, see "Microsoft Press Titles" in Appendix E, "Other Support Resources."

Install Windows 95 or the Windows NT Operating System

Using the appropriate resource kit, the team responsible for deploying Windows installs Windows on each client and server system that will be running Office 97, or on the system from which you plan to run the Office Setup program.

Task Team Start week Duration
Acquire the appropriate Windows resource kit. Executive, Planning Week 1 1 day
Install Windows 95 or Windows NT operating system. Executive, Planning Week 1 Varies, depending on the version of Windows. See the appropriate documentation.

Evaluating Office 97

The first step in planning the rollout process is to evaluate the new and enhanced features in Office. The steps for evaluating Office 97 resources are listed in the following table and described in the following sections.

Review the New Features

For a summary of the many new features of Office 97, read Chapter 2, "What's New in Microsoft Office." For more details, you can review the Microsoft Office 97 Product Enhancements Guide, which provides an overview of Office features and is a guide to evaluating Office in terms of your company's productivity. For a copy of the Microsoft Office 97 Product Enhancements Guide, contact Microsoft Customer Service.

Read the Office Resource Kit

This book, the Office Resource Kit, is a technical supplement to other Office product documentation. It is written to assist administrators in installing, supporting, and managing Office on corporate networks. Each planning and installation team member should obtain a copy for use during the deployment process.

Task Team Start week Duration
Review the new features of Office 97. Executive, Planning Week 1 3 days
Read the Office Resource Kit. Planning Week 2 3 days

Assembling the Planning Team and Tools

After the assigned teams complete their review and have a general understanding of Office features and benefits, you are ready to assemble the people and tools needed to plan the Office implementation.

The tasks for assembling these resources are listed in the following table and described in the following sections.

Assign a Project Manager and Other Team Members

The deployment project manager participates in the executive team and leads the planning team. This individual is usually the head of your information systems department; however, the executive committee may select another individual, depending on the needs of your organization.

When setting up the planning team, it is important to include representatives from the other groups involved in the deployment process. These include people from corporate support and employee training departments, the corporate standards committee, and selected installation team members. Once the deployment process is underway, individuals from the finance group should also take part in planning and evaluation.

Inventory Client and Server Hardware and Software Configurations

You need to survey a representative sample of your network to compile an inventory of hardware and software used on client and server computers. When this inventory is complete, you can accurately simulate the organizational environment in the lab. Such a simulation helps you make decisions about your organization's computing infrastructure, such as the default desktop configuration.

Software management tools can be used to query computers on the network for their hardware and software configurations. For example, the Microsoft System Information tool (installed with the Office 4.x and 95) can run a report describing a computer's hardware and settings and save the output in a text file.

For more detailed information about a large number of computers on a network, you can use system management programs, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server, to conduct the inventory. In addition, Systems Management Server allows you to query the inventory database and quickly get information about which equipment is capable of running Office and which equipment might need upgrading.

For More Information   about Microsoft Systems Management Server, contact Microsoft Customer Service.

Set Up a Testing Lab with Equipment and Software

To effectively evaluate and test the Office installation process, you need to set aside enough physical space and assemble a sufficient number of computers to test everything from server­based Setup to unique options for the local computer. Choose test computer models that are typical of those used in your organization. Then install the appropriate networking software to simulate your network environment.

Before installing Office, make sure that basic operating system functions are working. These functions include:

  • Booting
  • Connecting to a server
  • Printing

It is important that you comprehensively test and implement Office features in the lab with all of your business­specific applications before moving on to the pilot installation. If you have created custom solutions in Office, test those as well.

Note   When upgrading, note that 32­bit applications cannot call 16­bit DLLs or make calls to the 16­bit Windows API. If your applications call DLLs that you created, or if they make Windows 3.x API calls, you may need to update these calls. For more information, see "Porting Your 16-bit Office-Based Solutions to 32-bit Office" in Chapter 10, "Upgrading from Previous Versions of Microsoft Office."

Provide Additional Training

Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs) and Authorized Academic Training Programs (AATPs) offer official Microsoft curriculum delivered by Microsoft­certified trainers. These courses help to educate computer professionals about Microsoft technology, including Office 97.

For More Information   about planning and implementing a training program, see Chapter 8, "Training and Support Programs for Microsoft Office."

Task Team Start week Duration
Assign a project manager, and select planning and installation team members. Planning Week 1 5 days
Inventory client and server hardware and software configurations. Planning Week 2 5 days
Set up a testing lab with equipment and software. Planning, Installation Week 2 12 days
If needed, provide team members with additional training. Installation, Support, Training Week 3 3 days

Specifying the Test Client Configuration

With the planning team assembled and informed about Office capabilities, the next step is to specify the preferred configuration to use when setting up the test client computers. (For the purpose of this discussion, client computer refers to any computer running Office.)

The steps for specifying the client computer configuration are listed in the following table and described in the following sections.

Although you can use other methods to determine the preferred client configuration, Microsoft recommends that you start from the complete configuration — which includes all of the most powerful features of Office — and then work back to the configuration that best fits your organization's needs. The selected configuration and any modifications should be rigorously tested in your lab before you implement them companywide.

Research Server and Client Configurations

To successfully deploy Office 97, you need to catalog your current hardware and software configurations. Your deployment plan is dictated by your current system environments.

Hardware Configuration

Researching the current hardware configurations in your organization helps you make the necessary preparations and choose the best method for deploying Office. Specifically, you need to check the following hardware elements:

  • Minimum hardware requirements

    Review current hardware configurations to see if any computers need to be upgraded to meet minimum hardware requirements for Office 97.

  • Laptops and desktop computers

    Laptop and desktop users have different configurations, including disk space and access to the network. You must select installation options that work for each type of computer.

  • Network access

    Users without network access need to install Office locally from the Office CD. Users with network access can install Office from a network or run Office over the network.

For More Information   about minimum hardware requirements for Office 97, see Chapter 5, "System Requirements for Microsoft Office."

Network Topology

The network can be used in two ways when deploying Office 97: files can be installed on client computers from a network server, or Office applications can be run over the network from a server. You may need different configurations for different levels of network connectivity within your organization. Network considerations include:

  • Wide area network (WAN) connections

    For client computers connected over a slow­link network, it may not be practical to install or run Office remotely over the network. In this case, you may need to distribute CDs for these users to install Office.

  • Network operating systems

    Consider how your particular network operating system (NOS) affects your plans for deploying Office. NOS issues include server file­sharing methods and client­server permission schemes.

  • Network bandwidth

    Consider your network capacity, as well as the performance expectations of your users. Installing Office over the network or executing Office applications over the network places different demands on network bandwidth, both in response time and connection time.

Conversion of Existing Configurations

Whether your current users run Office applications or competitive applications, planning for migrating these users is critical. Determine in advance whether you need to convert existing files, macros, and custom programs, and how you will train new Office 97 users.

In many large organizations, users run Office on a variety of operating systems. Microsoft has worked to make this as seamless as possible. Because operating systems are different, however, and because Office 97 includes new features, it is important to understand any differences between operating systems.

For More Information   about using Office in a setting with more than one operating system, see Chapter 22, "Supporting Multiple Versions of Microsoft Office."

Planning the deployment of Windows and Office 97 also provides a good opportunity to review department policies concerning centralized system configuration control and individual user control.

For More Information   about using batch and push installations to standardize client installations, see Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations." For more information about using Windows system policies to configure client computers from a central location, see "Using Windows System Policies to Customize Office" in Chapter 7, "Customizing and Optimizing Microsoft Office."

Select Office Features

By reviewing the Office feature set, you can determine how best to configure your client computers for the needs of your users. Because you can choose which components of Office to install, you have flexibility in tailoring client installations to include the most effective set of features for your users, while reducing use of disk space.

Some Office features affect the productivity of individual users, and you can select these features based on how your users work. These features include such productivity enhancements as the Office Assistant, wizards, and tools such as Microsoft Photo Editor or Microsoft Organization Chart.

Other Office features are designed to enhance the productivity of users in a workgroup, so consider how your users work together and communicate with each other when you are reviewing Office. These workgroup features include communicating through electronic mail, group scheduling, creating an intranet, collaborating on group documents, using presentation conferencing, and managing multiuser databases.

In each case, the features you select may affect how you configure your client installations. For example, the workgroup features you select may require additional software, such as Microsoft Exchange Server.

For More Information   about new Office features, see Chapter 2, "What's New in Microsoft Office" or see the Microsoft Office 97 Product Enhancements Guide. For more information about Exchange Server, see the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit or consult your Microsoft Exchange Server documentation.

Choose Configuration and Installation Options

Once you understand the variables in your organization and how they affect your deployment of Office, you can choose the configuration for the test client. You make decisions in the following four areas:

  • Where Office program files are located

    You can store Office files on the user's computer or on a network server.

  • Which Office Setup installation to choose

    You can install all Office features; you can save disk space by selecting on the features you need; or you can choose to run Office from the network or the Office CD.

  • Which media to use to install Office

    You can install Office from a network server or using the Office CD.

  • Which method to use to install Office

    You can let users run Setup interactively, provide a Setup batch file, or execute installation from a central location on a network.

For More Information   about installing and customizing Office, see Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office" and Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations."

Task Team Start week Duration
Research current server and client configurations. Planning Week 3 2 days
Select Office features. Planning Week 3 1 day
Choose configuration and installation options. Planning, Installation Week 3 1 day

Conducting the Lab Test

Using the client configuration that you have developed on paper, the planning team installs this configuration in the lab for testing and evaluation. You should install Office on your test system in the same way that you plan to install Office on your users' systems. In most cases, this means setting up the network installation location on the server, and then installing Office on the test client system from the server.

Depending on how the test installation proceeds, it may be necessary to modify the configuration by adding or removing selected features. If you are considering more than one configuration, evaluate them side by side to determine which one works best.

The tasks to install and test the client configuration are listed in the following table and described in the following sections.

For More Information   about installing Office and selecting features, see Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office," and Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations."

Install Office on the Test Server

For client systems to install Office over the network, you must first create a network installation server share by performing an administrative Setup of Office from the Office CD. You can modify the files on this share to customize the client installations, including whether clients run Office locally or from the network. Be sure to document how you customize the installation.

For More Information   about creating and customizing a network installation location, see Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office," and Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations."

Prepare the Test Site

When you prepare the test site, make sure that all test computers are ready for Office to be installed. Make sure that each computer on which you plan to install Office has enough disk space, random access memory (RAM), and processing speed to run Office.

At the physical site, make sure that you have the appropriate network connection hardware. You may need power supplies and surge protectors for your computers, depending on the number of computers you use for testing. Also, research and eliminate potential problems related to overheating or frequency distortion from the location.

For More Information   about hardware requirements for Office, see Chapter 5, "System Requirements for Microsoft Office."

In addition, run virus detection, disk scanning, and defragmentation programs on each computer to prevent any later problems. Although your machines may appear to be operating properly, software upgrades often uncover hardware or software problems because of the way they read and write data to the hard disk. Checking computers before installing Office helps you stay focused on issues related to the installation process.

Note   Be sure to back up critical data and configuration files for the system, in case the installation fails or you need to revert to the old system. If you need to automate the restoration, consider using a commercial backup program instead of copying the files manually.

Finally, when the system hardware is ready, verify that the existing network is fully operational.

Install Office on the Test Client Computers

Install and configure Office, either manually or using an automated installation. Take note of which options you want to predefine in the Setup batch script.

For More Information   about automating the installation process using batch scripts, see Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations."

Test the Installation

After you have set up Office on the test computers, you need to verify that it runs correctly and that you can still perform all of your usual tasks. You can run your own set of tests, or you can perform the following recommended tasks:

  • Open, run, and close Office applications.
  • Test common Office tasks, such as opening, modifying, saving, and printing documents.
  • Open existing Office files in the new Office 97 applications.
  • Use shared tools, such as the spelling checker, from the network.
  • If the client is running Windows from the server, test standard Windows functions, such as printing.
  • Shut down completely.

In addition to ensuring that the preferred client configuration works as expected, you may also want to conduct additional testing of optional software features and components. This can help you determine whether you are running Office in the most efficient way. For this kind of testing, conduct side­by­side evaluations on two computers, changing individual features on each one, to determine the following:

  • Performance of the hard disk and network
  • Ease­of­use for performing common tasks
  • Stability of the two computers under stress
  • Compatibility with applications and hardware

Test the Uninstall Process

Having thoroughly tested the preferred network client, completely remove Office from one of the test computers to restore the previous client configuration and document the process. Remove Office files by rerunning Setup and clicking the Remove All button.

Task Team Start week Duration
Install Office on the test server. Installation Week 4 0.5 day
Prepare the test site. Installation Week 4 3 days
Install Office on the test client computers. Planning, Installation Week 4 2 days
Test the installation. Planning, Installation Week 4 5 days (longer if required)
Test the uninstall process. Installation Week 5 2 days

Planning the Pilot Rollout

The goal of the pilot or trial rollout is to create and test your automated installation in everyday use among a limited group of users (for example, between 15 and 50). In the previous phase, you determined the best client configuration for Office. In this phase, appointed teams determine the best methods for automatically installing the specified configuration for a pilot rollout. Planning for this pilot program involves creating the automated installation process, determining the logistics of testing, and preparing a training plan for users.

Automating installation is an important step in reducing the cost of migration. By creating a batch script with answers for installation questions, the installation process can run from start to finish without user intervention. It is also possible to push the installation from the server, so that you can install Office throughout an organization without touching individual computers. This automation work is done in the lab, prior to conducting the pilot rollout.

The steps for the planning process are outlined in the following table and described in the following sections.

Install Office on the Pilot Server

The first step in the pilot rollout is to designate a network server to use as the source for installing Office over the network. Then you run an administrative Setup to install Office source files on the server.

Customize your installation based on your client configuration. For example, decide whether client computers will run Office from the server or locally.

Note   Be sure to document any changes you make to the standard installation procedure described in Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office." You may need to duplicate or change your custom installation later.

Create and Test an Automated Pilot Installation

To automate Office installation, write a batch script so that the users do not need to respond to any prompts while Setup is running. You can create a batch script for client installations by modifying the Setup script that is built for you when you run administrative Setup to install Office files on the server. When this script is built, you can specify whether the Office source files on the server are used to set up Office to run locally from a single computer or to run a shared copy from the server.

You can modify the default script to install Office for clients with customized configurations. You can also add other files to the shared folder on the server, such as custom templates or forms, so that client computers are fully configured when Office is installed.

In a push installation, the installation process is initiated from the server and runs on a client computer with no intervention by the user. You use a batch installation script to automatically configure the client computer to your specifications.

You can initiate a push installation by modifying user logon scripts to run Setup automatically the next time each user logs on to the network. Or, if you use Microsoft Outlook or Exchange Client, you can send e­mail to your users with a link to Setup — when the user double­clicks the link, Setup runs with your batch script. You can also use system management software, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server, to start and control installations from a central location.

For More Information   about automating the installation process, see Chapter 6, "Customizing Client Installations."

Plan the Pilot Installation Process

Part of the planning for a pilot installation includes determining the timing and the logistics, choosing the pilot user group, and communicating to the group about the pilot rollout.

Even though you are only testing the installation process, the first pilot sets a precedent for the final rollout, so it is important that you are completely prepared for all aspects of the rollout. You need to determine:

  • How much time it takes to install Office.
  • Which personnel you need for the pilot rollout.
  • What tools you need to facilitate the process.
  • What the overall schedule should be.
  • What your training plan should be.

Estimates for the total installation time are based on the installation time for an individual computer; be sure to schedule the computer downtime for each user. Also, in obtaining tools for the pilot rollout, you may want to include management or debugging software that can help automate the installation.

It is important to choose a pilot user group that is interested in and capable of being the first test case. For example, choosing a pilot group that is not close to a deadline on a project or a group that is traditionally quick to adapt to new technology is likely to increase the chances for a successful pilot installation.

Another step is informing users about the pilot rollout plan. You can use a videotape presentation, an interoffice memo, or a company meeting as the means for communicating with users about the pilot rollout. Regardless of the form used, the message must explain the benefits to users of moving to Office, and describe the overall plan and process by which each group or department will make the move. This makes it easier for your users to plan for and accommodate the migration to Office in their schedules.

Develop a Support Plan

Similar to the training plan, the support plan must be in place the day you begin performing Office installations. The quality of support available during the pilot rollout is an indicator of the quality of the rollout as a whole.

Staff the support team for your pilot rollout with some of your best technicians dedicated solely to the pilot group for the first few weeks. The assigned technicians should carry pagers or be available by phone at all times to give immediate assistance to users.

Track the volume of support calls during the pilot rollout to gauge what effect rolling out Office 97 has on your support staff. You may want to plan for additional staffing during the official rollout, or use this information to determine the rollout schedule.

Develop a User Training Program

With the exception of the new Outlook application, the interface for Office 97 applications has not changed appreciably since Office version 4.x. In addition, new Office 97 online Help features make it easier for a user to learn the product without formal training. So, depending on the applications and features you install, you may not need to schedule formal training classes for users of Office 4.x or Office 95.

For users who do not have experience with Office 4.x or Office 95, the first steps in developing a training plan are to acquire a training lab, set up computers in the lab, and appoint a team member as instructor. The instructor is responsible for creating and testing the training program. If in­house resources are not available, use a vendor to develop and conduct the training.

There are numerous ways to approach training and a variety of tools you can use. After creating and testing the program, schedule training sessions to occur immediately before the installation date. This ensures that users retain most of what they learn by putting it to use immediately. It is also important that they are trained before they actually must use the software. You may want to conduct this training while user computers are being upgraded.

For More Information   about planning and implementing a training program, see Chapter 8, "Training and Support Programs for Microsoft Office."

Task Team Start week Duration
Install Office on the pilot server. Planning, Installation Week 6 2 days
Create and test an automated pilot installation. Planning, Installation Week 6 5 days
Plan the pilot installation process. Planning, Installation Week 6 7 days
Develop a support plan. Planning, Support Week 7 3 days
Develop a user training program. Planning, Support, Training Week 5 15 days

Conducting the Pilot Rollout

The pilot rollout helps you identify problems that may impede or delay the deployment process, and helps you determine what resources you need for the final, company­wide rollout. A successful pilot rollout also helps other installations run smoothly.

The steps for the pilot rollout process are outlined in the following table and described in the following sections.

Select and Train a Pilot User Group

Select a user group that is willing to participate in the pilot Office installation process. They must have the time available and should represent a reasonable cross­section of your total user community.

Install Office on the Pilot Client Computers

Before you begin the pilot installation, back up all computers that have document files. Then perform the installation on the pilot computers in the same manner that you expect to install Office throughout the company.

The schedule for the pilot rollout should simulate — on a smaller scale — the schedule of the final rollout. As you conduct the pilot rollout, you may find that certain tasks take more or less time than expected, that some tasks need to be added, or that some tasks can be eliminated. Modify the pilot rollout schedule to account for such changes, and use the revised pilot schedule for projecting the final rollout timetable.

Test Office 97 Performance and Capabilities on Pilot Computers

In addition to the technicians responsible for conducting the pilot installation, extra technicians should be assigned to measure, observe, and test the installation. By tracking the time per installation, handling problems that arise, and identifying areas for improvement or automation, these individuals help ensure the success of both the pilot and final rollouts.

After Office is installed, these technicians also test system capabilities, such as remote administration, for proper operation. They should monitor the client computers for performance, stability, and functionality, highlighting any inconsistencies with the lab configuration. They should also document areas in which the installation, training, or support can be improved.

Survey and Adjust Based on User Feedback

The final part of the pilot rollout involves surveying users to measure their satisfaction and proficiency with the new installation and to evaluate the level of training and support provided. Test users' proficiency by having them perform a few common tasks or use several of the new features in Office. For example, have these users register their survey comments in a Microsoft Access database on the server.

Based on this initial user feedback, record changes that will increase the satisfaction level and the effectiveness of the installation process. Then continue to monitor the pilot installation for a week or more to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

If the pilot program did not run smoothly or if user feedback was negative, conduct additional pilot installations until the process works well.

Task Team Start week Duration
Select and train a pilot user group. Planning Week 6 5 days
Install Office on the pilot client computers. Installation Week 8 2 days (push installation) or 15 days (manual installation on 50 machines)
Test Office 97 performance and capabilities on pilot computers. Support Week 8 10 days
Survey and adjust based on user feedback. Planning Week 9 8 days

Finalizing the Rollout Plan

The results of the pilot installation provide the basis for developing a final plan for rollout. Using the actual time and resource requirements from the smaller­scale pilot rollout, teams make projections for time and resources needed for the company­wide final rollout. If additional resources are required, these should be identified and acquired at this time. In addition, company policies and standards regarding computer and network use should be updated in accordance with the Office implementation.

The steps for the final rollout planning process are outlined in the following table and described in the following sections.

Set Goals and Budget

As you prepare for final rollout, determine your goals for the rollout, including the number of computers on which to install Office and the time expected for completion. Also plan for all tools needed to complete the process within the stated time frame. If necessary, propose a formal budget for the company­wide implementation and present it to management for approval. Your budget should include the costs for personnel and additional resources, such as systems management software.

Obtain Approvals and Resources

After obtaining approval (if necessary), purchase any additional equipment or software you need to facilitate the installation. If you need additional staff, be sure to hire experienced and qualified individuals for the team, and train them completely before starting the project.

Complete your plans for training, communication, and staffing for the final rollout at this time.

Update the Policies and Practices Guidelines

Before beginning the final rollout, update all company policies regarding the use of the network and computers by employees. In addition, update the corporate standards lists for software usage so that you can bring all computers up to compliance during the installation process. Changes in policies should be communicated to employees.

Create and Post the Registration Template

A registration template is used to create a central database for monitoring the progress of the rollout and documenting any areas that require action. As you prepare for the final rollout, create the template using appropriate database management software; include configuration information for every computer and user in the company, and place the template on the server.

As Office is installed during the final rollout, the installation team adds specific information in the template for each computer and user, indicating whether any additional upgrades are needed. The team can then use the template to track open items following the rollout and to measure actual progress against original objectives.

Task Team Start week Duration
Set goals and budget. Planning, Executive Week 11 2 days
Obtain approvals and needed resources. Executive, Planning Week 11 7 days
Update policies and practices guidelines. Planning Week 11 5 days
Create and post the registration template. Installation Week 12 2 days

Rolling Out Office

After the extensive research, planning, testing, and analysis performed in the previous phases, the final step in the deployment process is rolling out the Office installation to your entire organization.

The steps for the final rollout process are outlined in the following table and described in the following sections.

Prepare Installation Servers for the Final Rollout

If you are installing Office from network servers, run an administrative Setup to place Office files on these servers. Customize the installation by modifying the Setup script and by adding or removing files. Create Windows system policy files to define system policies for users.

Inform Users About the Rollout Process

Before the installation process begins, inform users about the process. Distribute preliminary instructions, including preparations users need to make. For those users who need training for Office 97, schedule training sessions to occur before Office is installed.

Prepare Client Computers for the Final Rollout

As needed, upgrade the hardware on client computers and remove any software that does not comply with company policies. Backup critical data and configuration files on the client computers and defragment the client hard disks. Ensure that each client computer is fully operational before proceeding with the Office installation.

Tip   Make sure your technicians have proper network access to the client computers so that logon scripts operate correctly.

These tasks can be performed manually by your technicians or by the users themselves (with instructions you provide); or they can be completed from a central location with the assistance of system management software, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server.

Install Office Throughout Your Organization

Once the client computers are prepared, install Office using the methods and tools developed during the pilot run. This may involve editing user logon scripts, sending a setup batch file through e­mail, or using system management software. Monitor client computers throughout the process to make sure everything is running smoothly.

For More Information   about the steps involved in installing Office, see Chapter 4, "Installing Microsoft Office."

Task Team Start week Duration
Prepare installation servers for the final rollout. Installation Week 12 5 days
Inform users about the rollout process. Planning Week 12 As required
Prepare client computers for the final rollout. Installation Week 13 As required
Install Office throughout your organization. Installation Week 14 As required

Maintaining and Supporting Office

Now that you have rolled out Office 97, you must continue to maintain, update, and support your users. For more information about keeping your users productive with Office, see the resources listed in the following tables.

For more information about See these sections in the Office Resource Kit
Using Windows system policies to configure client computers "Using Windows System Policies to Customize Office" in Chapter 7, "Customizing and Optimizing Microsoft Office."
Upgrading from previous versions of Office or Office applications Part 3, "Upgrading to Microsoft Office."
Switching to Office from other applications. Part 4, "Switching from Other Applications."
Taking full advantage of Office workgroup features Part 5, "Using Microsoft Office Throughout Your Organization."
Supporting multiple versions of Office Chapter 22, "Supporting Multiple Versions of Microsoft Office."
Providing training for your users. Chapter 8, "Training and Support Programs for Microsoft Office."
Obtaining useful resources for continuing support to Office users. Appendix E, "Other Support Resources."

In addition to the Office Resource Kit, the following Microsoft publications may be useful.

For more information about See these Microsoft publications
Office 97 features Microsoft Office 97 Product Enhancements Guide. Available through Microsoft Customer Service at (800) 426­9400.
How to deploy Windows 95 Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit. Available from Microsoft Press and wherever computer books are sold.
How to deploy the Windows NT operating system Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit and Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit. Available from Microsoft Press and wherever computer books are sold.
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