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Call Manager Migration 7.1.5 to 9.1 / Trunking : ICT vs. SIP

Hello All,

     Currently studying for CCNA Voice and have been asked by my current employer to upgrade CUCM 7.1.5 to 9.1.1. There has been a time frame put on the deployment however I want to dig pretty deep into the deployment to learn as much as possible. I am going to start by configuring a trunk between the 2 call manager clusters. from there I will add users to the new call manager and try to convert slowly to the new call manager instead of one big cutover. I will place a route pattern over the trunk so that cucm 9.1 will route through cucm 7.1 while I slowly convert users to the new system. I will then deploy directory numbers in a Staging partition that is not associated with any CSS. Once I have all users and phones configured on the new 9.1 call manager I want to use the bulk admin tool to change the staging partition to the working internal_PT production partition. The users will be imported from LDAP.  My questions are, does this sound like a feasible plan?  Is there any other difference between a SIP trunk and ICT besides the SIP and H.323 protocol? ( I prefer SIP from what I have read) and will having the same users on both boxes interfere with call processing, if these users and phones are not active yet?