For SMS 2003, we created a bunch of planning worksheets and checklists. Have you looked at them? Are they doing what you need them to do? We are thinking about what sorts of planning worksheets you would like us to continue to make for SMSv4 and what planning worksheets we might have missed that you would like to see.
Here are the things I think planning worksheets should do:
- help your work-overloaded brain to plan for things you might have forgotten or not thought about
- give an architect something to hand off to local administrators/implementors to ensure consistency
- provide an archivable record of what you decided and why
What else can you think of that I missed?
The approach we used when we wrote the worksheets for Scenarios and Procedures for SMS 2003 SP2: Planning and Deployment was to figure out all of the information you needed to know to make crucial decisions, and then put those back into planning worksheets so you'd know what you had to have before you started. For the Scenarios and Procedures for SMS 2003: Security, you didn't have as many crucial decisions, so we summarized all the content into a checklist, figuring if you knew a lot about security and about SMS, you could just run through the checklist and know that your site was configured according to our best practices. For the Scenarios and Procedures for SMS 2003: Software Distribution and Patch Management, we tried a few different ideas. We made it sort of like "tax forms" where you had a form that corresponded to the UI and some explanation of why and how you should modify the option. We also provided the same form without annotations so you had all the UI choices in one sheet and could use it to plan your configuration. We also included a sheet you could give to someone requesting a package, to make sure you would have all the information to package the software they wanted distributed via SMS. That worksheet grew out of my own painful field experience.
Did the SMS 2003 worksheets help you? What did we miss? What kinds of things do you want in future worksheets? Do you have any worksheets you would be willing to share with us so we could share them with everyone (with the understanding that you would give them freely to us to incorporate into our content, and we would make that content freely available to all admins, no credit, no remuneration, no warranty express, implied, etc.)?
Most of our future content will be delivered in .chm form and on TechNet. While it is possible to copy and paste content from those form factors, do you need it in some other form? Do you need worksheets in Excel or Word so you can modify them for your environment? We also have Visio flow charts we are making to show admins what tasks to do when. If we gave you those in Visio, as opposed to non-editable graphic format online or in the chm, would you use them to customize your own work flow?
We can't promise to implement all of your suggestions, but we'd sure love to hear them and figure out ways to save you time and frustration in the future.
Windows & Enterprise Management Division -UA