On the first day of the week, we were met by the head of IT department in the customer site.. Suddenly he made a request that is awesome and bad at the same time.. He wanted to deliver 1500 users to the help-desk by the end of the week… So this was awesome because it means that we can deliver users faster, but it was bad at the same time because it meant that we need to setup more VM instances to be used for the migration work and we need to order more licenses for each user, and they have multiple domains, so it meant we needed to order multiple licenses for each domain to cover the amount of users…
We received the list of the 1500 users and I sorted them out based on the domain… This was a great opportunity also to show the customer how good and fast was Google Sheets in processing the data and making good report out of it.
I prepared 10 more machines and it took me 1 day to do that, once I got the machines ready, I only needed to get the licenses.
Once the licenses arrived, I setup the migration on groups of domains, starting out with the domains having the bulk of users so we can deliver much of the users before we even get close to the end of the week.
This process from getting the request until actually starting the migration took form us about 2 days, once we were in the middle of the migration things became just about monitoring the progress and starting another batch once the previous one is complete.
My notes and lessons learned
Obviously things were working fine on this day. We had no problems at all and did not do any configuration change.. However I became aware of an important aspect of projects management which is in certain situations ‘quantity’ can have different sides or faces that each person sees his version from… We (as the IT consultants) saw quantity where the majority of the data is, we only cared about those few hundreds of users who have more than 50% of the organization’s data in their mailboxes and put the other 2000 users in a different group. That was a valid point because if we are running out of time for the Office 365 subscription, we wanted to secure the most of the data (in term of size).
The customer’s view of the quantity came down on the actual number of users delivered to help-desk team to create their new G Suite profiles.. So the customer cared about the number of his users that have actually migrated to G Suite not the size of his data… And considering the situation, his view was more valid than ours.
Luckily we were able to keep going with both tracks, we kept working on the users with the large amount of data, and we were able to setup another group of VMs to work on the remaining users to achieve the customer’s goal of delivering 1500 users by end of the week.
I also knew the importance of fast and decisive decision making, because we agreed on going with the customer’s approach, we had to make a significant change to our migration plans, however the customer’s IT manager approved an urgent budget to setup the extra VMs and start the new migration as soon as we can.
One more important aspect is the importance of periodic progress and status follow up meetings for both project teams (customer and consultant), any problem or new requirement or show stopper must be brought into the meeting and should be agreed on. The meeting should finish with every new item on the discussion list has either a solution, a plan to deal with it, or a report sent, or a document and closure procedure.
I would say that this was one of the great days and most professional days I have seen in terms of communications and decision making.