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IT Application Retirement - Checklist and Template


IT Organizations at maturity levels between 1 and 3, with highest benefit for those on level 2 striving to achieve level 3
Organizations on maturity level 3 are expected to have this process already defined, but those can use this document to cross-check the completeness of their process descriptions.
Organizations on maturity level 4 will have limited benefit just the single page listing a few performance indicators (PI's) related to application retirement might be of interest.


The summary page and the page containing performance indicators (PI's) provides arguments why budget and staff should be allocated. In case of replacement / upgrade / migration projects the CIO might decide that the total costs for the complete decommissioning including all associated activities need to be included in the project for the new application. He might also decide the rule that the project is not finished with launch of the new application / version, but only after the complete decommissioning of the old / replaced application.

Project Office

In case that decommissioning of old application needs to be included in upgrade / migration / replacement projects, the Project Office will require and check the project plan and project budget for those activities and budget positions. The Project Office will also take care that the project is not closed after successful launch of the new application (version), but only after all the decommissioning activities were completed.

Project Manager

The Chapter "Retirement Planning" will help the Project Manager to identify the resources required and to estimate the required effort and total duration for the project. Although the decommissioning activities will very likely not impact the time line for "going live" with the new application / version, but it will indeed increase the total duration of the project.

Operations Manager, Change Manager, QA Manager, Revenue Assurance

Using this document they can review for individual application retirement the documents written by Application Support Staff containing plan, instruction and final checks.

Application Support Staff

This document supports the Application Support Staff to create the detailed, application specific plan and instructions and final checks for the retirement of a specific application (or group of applications).

License Manager / Procurement

For the case that their lists are not 100% up-to-date the detailed, application specific retirement document is expected to contain details about all components (exclusive or shared) used by the application to be retired. This information can help to identify areas where licenses and support contracts can be cancelled, re-used for other projects or reduced, and which components can be sold (gaining money), reused or for which components (e.g. CRT monitors) special disposal needs to be procured.