The Desktop Transformation Assessment (DTA) forms an integral part of the overall Desktop Transformation Model (DTM) by providing clear guidance on how to turn “Wow” into “How.”  During this series of blog posts, I’ve been discussing the seven key phases that make up the DTA.  We’re now onto the sixth step of the series:

  1. Define Business priorities
  2. Application Assessment
  3. User Segmentation
  4. Capabilities Assessment
  5. High-Level Design
  6. Desktop Transformation Roadmap
  7. High-Level Project Plan

After you finish the High-Level Design, you’re going to have a great overview on how everything fits together – including logical architecture plus storage and hardware requirements.  But be warned – don’t make the mistake of jumping straight in and designing/implementing everything in one go!  It’s going to be far more complicated than you expect and it’s important that you don’t tackle more than you can handle.  Instead, treat each user group as a separate project and rank them in order based on their ‘Business Impact’ and ‘Time to Value.’  Here are some thoughts to help you out:

Business Impact. Consider the impact that desktop virtualization will have on each user group and rank them accordingly.  It is important that you double back here, and use the Business Priorities identified in step 1 to make sure that you assign an appropriate ranking.  Don’t just assign ratings based on how highly the business values each user group – focus on which user groups offer the most benefit to the company after virtualization.  It’s a subtle but important difference.

Time to Value. For each user group, estimate how long it will take to implement the chosen FlexCast model based on the findings from the Capabilities Assessment.  For example, you might find that a company already has a XenApp farm that can be leveraged to support those user groups that require a hosted shared desktop resulting in a low time to value.  Alternatively, the business might have no prior experience with XenClient and an aging laptop estate that is not included on the XenClient HCL resulting in a long time to value.  Compare application sets, user requirements and user numbers when differentiating between user groups that have been assigned the same FlexCast model.

One best practice that I use is to fill in the following table during the ranking process to make sure that I capture all of the key information:

The key with creating your Desktop Transformation Roadmap is to prioritize the user groups so that the company gets the maximum benefit from their investment as soon as possible.  The best way to visualize this and to make sure that you have the order right is to plot the user groups on a Time to Vale/Business Impact chart:

In my next post I’ll run through the final step in the Desktop Transformation Assessment – High-Level Project Plan.  This is where we define the key tasks required to implement each user group project and provide some time and scheduling estimates.  That should keep the project manager happy!

Andy Baker – Architect
Worldwide Consulting
Desktop & Apps Team
Virtual Desktop Handbook
Project Accelerator