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Information Technology Management
ITM 305
Jim Tam

Chapter 13 Installation and Operations Installation and operations This chapter examines the actives needed to install the information system and successfully convert the organization to using it. Introduction  Managing the change to a new system whether it is computerized or not is one of the most difficult tasks in any organization.  One of the earliest models for managing organizational change was developed by Kurt Lewin.  Lewin argued that change is a three step process: unfreeze, move, and refreeze.  Frist, the project team must unfreeze the existing habits and norms so that change is possible. Most of the systems development life cycle SDLC to this point has laid the groundwork for unfreezing  Users are aware of the new system being developed, some have participated in an analysis of the current system, and some have helped design the new system  These activities have helped to unfreeze the current habits and norms.  The Second step is to help the organization move the new system via a migration plan.  The migration plan has two major elements. One is technical, which include how the new system will be installed and how data is the as=is system will be moved into the to-be system. The second component is organizational, which include helping users understand the change and motivating them to adopt it.  The third step is to refreeze the new system as the habitual way of performing the work processes ensuring that the new system successfully becoming the standard way of performing the business function it supports. Conversion  Conversion is the technical process by which the new system replaces the old system  The migration plan specifies what activities will be performed when and by whom and include both technical aspects and organizational aspects  Conversion refers to the technical aspects of the migration plan  There are three major steps  The first step in the conversion plan is to buy and install any needed hardware  Nothing can stop a conversion plan in its tracks as easily as the failure of a vendor to deliver needed equipment.  The second step is to install the software  The third step is to convert the data from the as is system to the to be system  Conversion can be thought of along three dimensions: the systole by which the conversion is done, what locations or work groups are converted at what time, and what modules of the system are converted at what time. 1 Chapter 13 Installation and Operations Direct conversion  With direct conversion, the new system is instantly replaces the old system.  The new system is turned on and the old system is immediately turned off.  Direct conversion is the simplest and most straightforward.  However, it is the most risky, because any problems with the new system that have escaped detection during testing may seriously disrupt the organization Parallel conversion  With parallel conversion the new system is operated side by side with the old system; both systems are used simultaneously.  After some time period of parallel operation and intense comparison between the two systems, the old system is turned off and the organization continues using the new system.  This approach is more likely to catch any major bugs in the new system and prevent the organization from suffering major problems.  The problem with this approach is the added expense of operating two systems that perform the same function. Conversion location  There are at least 3 fundamentally different approaches to selecting the way in which different organization locations are converted: pilot conversion, phased conversion, and simultaneous conversion Pilot conversion  One or more locations or units/work groups within a location are selected to be converted first as part of a pilot test.  The locations participating in the pilot test are converted.  The advantage of providing an addition level of testing before the system is widely deployed thought the organization, so that any problems with the system affect only the pilot locations  Require more time before the system installed at all organizational locations.  Also, it means that different organizational units are using different versions of the system and business processes, which may make it difficult for them to exchange data. Phased conversion  The system is installed sequentially at different locations.  A first set of locations are converted, then a second set, then a third set, and so on till all locations are converted  Sometimes there is a deliberate delay between the different sets, so that any problems with the system are detected before too much of the organization is affected. 2 Chapter 13 Installation and Operations Simultaneous conversion  Means that all locations are converted at the same time.  The new system install is made ready at all locations, and at a present time, all users begin using the new system.  Simultaneous conversion eliminates problems with having different organizational units using different systems and processes. The organization must have sufficient staff to perform the conversion and train the users at all location simultaneously. Whole System conversion  In which the entire system install at one time, is the most common. Modular conversion  When the modules within a system are separate and distinct, organizations sometime choose to convert the new system one module at a time.  Each module either must be written to work with both the old and new system or object wrappers must be used to encapsulate the old system from the new  Modular conversion reduces the amount of training required to begin using the new system.  Users need training in only the new module being implemented  However, modular conversion does take longer and has more steps than does the whole-system process. Risk  Parallel conversion is less risky than is direct conversion because it has a greater change of detecting bugs that have gone undiscovered in testing.  Pilot conversion is less risky than is phased conversion or simultaneous conversion because it bugs do occur, they occur in pilot test locations.  Likewise, converting a few modules at a time lowers the probability of a bug because there is more likely to be a bug in the whole system than in any given module  Extensive methodical testing, including alpha and beta testing, the probability of undetected bugs is lower than if the testing was less rigorous. Cost  Parallel conversion is more expensive than direct conversion because it requires that two systems be operated at the same time.  Parallel conversion also requires the results of the two systems to be completely cross checked to make sure there are no differences between the two.  Pilot conversion and phased conversion have somewhat similar costs.  Simultaneous conversion has higher costs because more staff is required to support all the locations as they simultaneously switch from the old to the new system. 3 Chapter 13 Installation and Operations Time  Direct conversion is the fastest because it is immediate.  Parallel conversion takes longer because the full advantages of the new system do not become available until the old system is turned off.  Simultaneous conversion is fastest because all locations are converted at the same time.  Phased conversion usually takes longer than pilot conversion because usually once the pilot is test is complete all remaining locations are simultaneously converted.  Phased conversion proceeds in waves, often requiring several months before all locations are converted.  Likewise, modular conversion takes longer than whole system conversion because the models are introduced one after another. Change Management  The process of helping people to adopt and adapt to the to-be system and its accompanying work processes without undue stress.  There are three key roles in any major organizational change.  First, is the sponsor of the change the person who wants the change to occur.  Second role is
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