New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson can't make the reception on a pass from Tom Brady during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Timing is everything. Just like in football, if you are off by even a half-step, the results can be detrimental. This goes for upgrading your computer to the new Windows 10 operating system as well. First and foremost, it is not recommended to upgrade a business computer without first consulting with the IT professional in your organization. The IT professional will have a plan for successfully completing the upgrade.

Here are some best practices for an upgrade plan:

  1. Determine the critical business applications and users who can be part of a pilot group for the upgrade. The pilot group will operate in the upgraded environment to verify that the business applications are working as designed. They will also provide insight into the required training and communication for other users within the organization.
  1. Your IT professional will research the business applications to makes sure they are compatible with the Windows 10 upgrade. In addition to the business applications, research will be completed to verify that the hardware devices, drivers, and peripheral equipment are compatible.
  1. Create a recoverable backup environment. A recoverable backup is completed at a minimum for the initial test systems so that the systems can be restored if problems arise in validating the upgrade.
  1. Perform the upgrade on the pilot groups hardware devices within the organization.
  1. Communicate the results of the upgrade testing performed by the pilot group. It is recommended to have the pilot group work in the upgraded Windows 10 environment for a few weeks to ensure a though understanding of the impact.
  1. Adjust the plan based on the pilot group findings and perform the Windows 10 upgrade.

Just like you shouldn’t run down the field without knowing the play. Don’t upgrade to Windows 10 without knowing that your IT professional has a well-defined plan.