An extremely important part of the deployment process is to train both the end users and the support staff ahead...
of time. I have personally seen the consequences of skipping this step. Years ago, I had a boss who was in the habit of setting up new things on the network without telling anyone. One weekend he upgraded a bunch of users from Windows 3.1 to Windows NT. On Monday morning the help desk phones were ringing off the hook, and nobody at the help desk knew how to help the users because none of them had ever seen Windows NT before.
A transition to Windows Vista probably wouldn't be that drastic. Windows Vista is much more mainstream than Windows NT was at that time. However, Windows Vista is quite a bit different from Windows XP, especially from an administrative standpoint, so it is critical to make sure that everyone has the proper training before you deploy it.
How to handle your Vista migration
Step 1: How to handle your Vista migration
Step 2: Plan a pilot deployment program
Step 3: Decide on a deployment mechanism
Step 4: Train the support staff and the end users
Step 5: Assess the results of the pilot deployment program
About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, has received Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional Award four times for his work with Windows Server, IIS and Exchange Server. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities, and was once a network administrator for Fort Knox.