As a production DBA for over seven years with a large-ish financial services company, I've seen more than my share of upgrades. Over the years I've added and modified my upgrade/migration checklists. The latest version, for SQL Server 2014, is available here:

 

Upgrading to SQL Server 2014: A Dozen Things to Check

 

The post covers a variety of topics:

  1. Hardware
  2. Compatibility checks
  3. Data integrity
  4. Upgrade versus migration
  5. Ensuring reliable performance

 

Have a look and let me know if there is something you have on your checklist that you feel should be on mine.