At a high level, the steps you perform for a skip-level upgrade are the same as those performed for a regular upgrade. However, some of these steps are enhanced and some steps are repeated for a skip-level upgrade.
The following figure illustrates the skip-level upgrade process.
For planning purposes, the first difference between a regular upgrade and a skip-level upgrade is in how you perform Task 2: Choose the Target Identity Manager Version. When choosing the target Identity Manager version, you must plan your upgrade path.
The next, and biggest, difference between the two upgrade processes is that you must perform Task 6: Upgrade Your Development Environment through Task 9: Perform Functional Testing for each stop in the upgrade path. You must upgrade your Development environment and your application baseline for the Identity Manager product version at each stop in the upgrade path. You probably also want to retest after each stop in the upgrade path, which requires resetting your Test environment and promoting your Identity Manager application to the Test environment after each stop in the upgrade path.
You might think that retesting after each stop on the upgrade path is unnecessary, but testing the upgrade process and testing the Identity Manager application at each stop on the upgrade path minimizes your risk because you can identify problems quickly. Working with a smaller set of changes makes it much easier to isolate the cause of any problems.