I think a proof of concept is a very good way to check if a new version of software is doing what you want it to do and to see if you should migrate. Having said that from technical point of view, management might think differently because of time, effort and costs. If you work in a large scale organization you know that it can take some time before the company decides to migrates to the new version of System Center 2012 and before you know it you are a year further and you are still waiting for the new goodies that come with the new version. A proof of concept could bridge the gap, if you can convince your managers that they should go for it. I recently ran in to this discussion to do a POC or not and I had to write a document to motivate starting a POC. So how should you approach this? In short I will try to give some tips on what you have to add to you motivation document.

If you start your document think of the people that read it and have to decide, mostly decision makers that do not have the same technical background or interests that you have. Your motivation and arguments are probably different then theirs. So write in language that they understand.

Make a clear plan that states what you want to proof, what the risks are, what the costs are, what the deliverables are and what the benefits for your company will be. If you talk about cost you have to mention hours, hardware needs and resources. Also think of the fact that if you spend time on the POC you cannot spend it on your regular tasks and you might need to think of a solution for that. What are positive things that you can get out of a POC? I will write a couple of things, but I am sure there a many more.

  • Explore the opportunities that the new software offers
  • Check your current procedures and processes
  • Get knowledge of the new version
  • Reflect on your current environment, good and bad things
  • Get other people enthusiastic to join in and discuss things
  • Less time needed for implementing in production environment
  • Etc. etc.

One thing is important and that is to make clear that a POC is worth the time and money you invest. Write a document that has a positive feeling to it. Get people enthusiastic. If money is no issue you can think of a third party to help you, preferably a Microsoft Gold Partner for System Center.

Good luck writing!