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IT Application Upgrade Checklist /
IT Application Migration Checklist


Upgrading an application isn't a simple project at all, especially if a data migration is required, server and operating system are upgraded at the same time as the upgrade of the application software.
  • Customizations on top of the vendor's standard software and
  • interfaces to other applications
can result in a real complex project.
Purpose of this document is to support
  • The decision making process of "should we upgrade now or later or not at all?"
  • The impact analysis identification of all internal and external dependencies.
  • The gathering of requirements for the upgrade.
  • The selection of the best upgrade approach ("In-Place Upgrade" or "New Installation").
  • Providing input required for the Upgrade Planning.
To achieve the purpose,
the first Chapter "Initiation Should we upgrade? - If yes, when?" evaluates 15 arguments to decide if the effort for an upgrade can be justified and 5 arguments to decide whether to upgrade as soon or as late as possible.
If the evaluation of those 20 arguments results in sufficient arguments (Business Case) for an upgrade, then the next chapter "Feasibility Study / Detailed Impact Analysis" will help to determine if the upgrade will be feasible and to get a first rough idea about the effort.
The detailed questions in the 11 page chapter "Feasibility Study / Detailed Impact Analysis" help significantly to reduce complications and delay in the Upgrade Project because of "unforeseen dependencies".
The section "Resources" lists a broad range of technical and human resources which might be required in a (complex) upgrade project.
This document helps Project managers managing the first time a larger upgrade project to avoid under-estimation as they will quickly identify that significant effort will be required.
Experienced project managers who never had time to write down such a checklist will like this document, as it saves much time, avoids forgetting of details and provides sufficient evidence of a careful analysis and requirements gathering phase .
The completed, filled-in checklist helps to explain and justify the (often unexpected high) revised estimation of effort and costs to the project sponsor and steering committee.
Finally the 4 page / 19 item chapter "Risk Assessment" helps to document that usual risks are either not likely or have been properly addressed.

In Scope

The Upgrading or Migrating of server based Application Software
(e.g. Client/Server, Multi-Tier Architecture)

Out of Scope

1) PC-based software
2) Following topics are closely related to an Upgrade of Application Software and are covered by following specialized documents:
Related TopicsRecommended Documents
Upgrading or migration of servers
(Operating System and
Hardware CPU , Memory, Storage ....)
Server Upgrade / Server Migration
Data Migration required by upgrade Checklist for Data Migration
Application Cloning Checklist for Application Cloning
This checklist is just being developed.
Planning of the Outage
for the Production Cut-Over
Checklist and Template for Outage Planning
"End of Operations" / "Decommissioning"
of an obsolete application or old version of an upgraded.
Application Retirement
This checklist targets medium to complex upgrades of server based applications with at least 50 person days effort.
Smaller projects still can benefit from this checklist, just the majority of items might be not relevant.