Defining Project Constraints and Risks

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Identify the project constraints and risks in order to help your team define the parameters of the application deployment project and develop the project plan.

Defining Project Constraints

To prioritize and define the scope of the application deployment project, gather information about the constraints of your project. Constraints often include:

  • Resources. Identify the equipment, software, staff, and space that are available for the project.

  • Time. Identify the date by which the application deployment project must be completed, and how the application testing process fits into the larger deployment project.

  • Organizational issues. If the project will not involve the entire organization, identify which groups in your organization will be affected by it. Additionally, determine if a particular group in the organization needs the new operating system sooner than others. If so, you might decide to perform a staged rollout.

  • Access to developers. Identify applications that were developed in-house or especially for your organization. Access to the developers of these applications is critical during the testing and issue resolution phases of the project. Such access also can be an invaluable aid with retail applications.

Identifying Risk Factors

By identifying risk factors, you can identify the potential barriers to a successful deployment and assess the cost of failure for each potential blocking issue. With this information in hand, you can create contingency plans to help mitigate or avoid blocking issues. For application compatibility testing, it is important to think about the project risks early in the project rather than later, during the test planning phase.

The main risk for any application testing and deployment project is the business impact of application failure. For business-critical applications, a failure in deployment could have severe financial repercussions for the organization, whereas the failure to properly deploy an application that is used infrequently by a few users might have very little effect. Assess the financial impact that could be caused by a failure at any time during the deployment project.

For information about assessing constraints and risks, see the Microsoft Solutions Framework link on the Web Resources page at