Compile the plans to upgrade your ThingWorx instances into one project plan.
Before you begin, complete these steps:
This step has 7 tasks:
Evaluate each of your ThingWorx instances for unique activities within the application and at the potential instances. Each instance handles different types of remote assets like machines, vehicles, or refrigerators/AC. Once the organization determines a particular asset type, further instance activities could differ by:
Instance activities can also differ by the type of work environment and functionalities, such as:
Once you have gained important insights on each instance's uniqueness and differences, you need to note the issues that could arise and their effects like potential downtimes & outages, end-user impacts during upgrades, and finally, the backup plans and how to maneuver around ThingWorx. It would help if you planned out these factors and share them across teams.
If your instances include integration with other enterprise data sources such as IoT, CRM, and MES systems, or any third-party apps, consider how those assets may cause or be affected by downtime. Ensure your organization continues operating efficiently in case of outages, and business is not affected.
You can also gain essential insights on each instance by talking with mid-level and frontline staff who frequently use the app. They understand the current process and problems and can anticipate those well. They can also help you be sensitive to cultural norms at their location around communication, hierarchy, language, and change. For your app to deliver expected value, users need to understand and embrace technology and process changes.
With a clear view of the unique activities with each of your ThingWorx instances identified, begin to plan the upgrade activities, order, and schedule. To decide on the best approach, have detailed conversations with those who have a deep understanding of the specific data and systems you need to connect. This might include IT partners, system admins/integrators, stakeholders, and developers. If possible, involve someone with extensive ThingWorx knowledge.
Start with the instances that take the minimal amount of effort to upgrade and work from there. The order in which activities are to be performed might vary for each instance. Focus on an upgrade schedule that will get each of your ThingWorx instances upgraded quickly and efficiently. Determine whether each of your instances need to be upgraded around the same time or can have some relaxation around times between upgrading the instances.
Your schedule should include:
Your Upgrade schedule should be decided and shall account for the below factors:
As you build out the timeline, ask your project team for input. Do not forget to include change management tasks such as training and communications for each instance. Inform your adoption team of the changes as early as possible, so the training materials, documentation, and communications will be updated and ready for go-live. While preparing the upgrade schedule, check out project team members' availability in instance upgrades projects and get approvals from respective managers if needed. As part of organizational change management, you'll create a plan to communicate with the new users and the rest of your organization as well.
Update, finalize, and document the application support process.
Verify with the support organization, the process is still valid, and everyone agrees to process and is ready to execute. Plan checkpoints throughout the year to ensure the process is working and improve it if necessary.
Ensure your end-users know how to get help with the ThingWorx upgrade, should issues arise. Plan accordingly, and communicate effectively. Internally, specify which teams are responsible for various aspects of the application and how they triage issues.
The support organization needs specific details about how the application has changed to promptly resolve issues, fix bugs, and promptly perform system maintenance. Whether you're using internal employees or an external resource for the upgrades, you must document the delivered solution for ease of knowledge transfer and future reference.
The project team will transfer ownership back to your designated support organization. Ensure your support organization receives training on the upgraded solution before the project wraps up. All support teams should also receive basic ThingWorx training to ensure they have a sound understanding of the core ThingWorx Platform.
Apply the upgrade schedule to each of your instances of ThingWorx. Plan how you will approach the upgrade uniquely. The order of the activities might vary for each instance.
Determine and document the order you would like to proceed with events for each instance like first moving remote things/assets, migration of code & data files, Network -proxies and firewalls, security files, moving extensions, and customizations.
Confirm the go-live date with the project manager for each instance and accordingly plan for availability of resources, schedule training, assigning roles and responsibilities with the plan of actions, access to documentation, and communications.
Once the upgrade for each instance is performed, do evaluate licensing or contact your PTC sales representative.
Also, ensure a robust feedback mechanism. Plan feedback mechanism for each instance, voice concerns, and share opportunities you may not know or want to know. While it's essential to communicate, it's also imperative to listen. Establish channels for soliciting and responding to feedback across your organization—and ensure stakeholders, end-users know how to get answers.
Create a list of the groups who need documentation to upgrade, support, and use the app. For example:
Once the plan is finalized with a detailed view of each instance documented, it should be sent for reviews and approvals from all critical stakeholders/members. Once completed, the plan is handed over to the team responsible for executing actions and is shared widely.
You need to document how and when you will execute the upgrade. No task is too small and should be included. Everything from backups to launch tasks to training and communication plans is vital for the project plan.
This plan should include:
PTC recommends scheduling training for various members of your Upgrade project team. Determine training needs based on the roles on your team and your chosen use case(s). If you're unsure which option is right for your organization, contact your PTC sales representative to learn more.
PTC recommends that application configuration be consistent across Instances. The configuration should be maintained through a dedicated, central application management team after deployment. This team is responsible for:
As your organization launches additional applications to support multiple use cases, PTC recommends staffing:
Use your change management to execute your upgrade rollout plan.
Change management process:
Document your change management plan and share it accordingly. PTC offers change management support services to help your organization navigate change and achieve your goals faster. Contact your PTC sales representative to learn more.
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