Jun 28, 2008

Setting the Scene - Part 3 - The System/s

Prior to the merger, we were four organizations with four individual business systems. We now need to be one unified organization with one unified business system. Sounds logical.

The business systems we are interested in for this project are the ones used to perform critical civic duties such as:
  • Manage property details
  • Collect taxes
  • Issue infringements
  • Manage permits
  • Take payments and issue receipts

Our cause is helped a little by the fact that City of Atlantis and New Coast County used the
same system. Green Fields County and Red Mount County also used the same system bringing the source data structures down to only two.

The other positive is that the system selected to be used by the new Atlantis Regional County
is the one that was used by the old City of Atlantis and New Coast County. So our destination system is the same as one of the sources.

One might think that this is starting to look reasonably straight forward. Once you look under the hood of each of the systems however, it is soon apparent that the configuration of the systems is different in a many, many ways. This is even true for the two source data sets using different instances same business system. The systems themselves have been configured and enhanced around the differing business processes used by the original organizations.

Not a problem, all data migrations have some element conversion involved otherwise your not
migrating, your just copying. All we need to know is what the data structure needs to look
like in the destination system and we're on our way...

"So, business, what do you want this new system to look like?"

... and the silence is deafening ...

Project Impacts:

Project Planning
The project now needs to drive the business through designing the new system, the project is no longer a straight data migration. The differing data sets may require consultant resources from the vendors to assist with getting it right.

(In many organizations, this may be handled as a separate project on which the data migration project depends. Our organization doesn't quite see it that way... Advantage is that this is now within the control of the project team. Disadvantage is that it has at least tripled the effort required for the project).

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