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CIO  September 2007

CIO September 2007

Subject:

Re: Try Software First, Fix it later

From:

"Hall, Carol" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Sep 2007 08:58:27 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

I would concur that there needs to be a testing in a test environment to
eliminate as many risks as possible.  But there is a point where the CIO
has to make a decision to move to a production status knowing that life
will not be perfect.  I think you have to make sure you budget and plan
for testing time and for support time following the implementation and
hope you planned the transition point appropriately.  I think foisting
an untested system on users will backfire in an already highly flammable
relationship situation and it will be more difficult in the future to
move projects ahead with the needed user trust to ensure success.  From
a text I use to teach graduate MIS overviews, "70% of a good project is
spent in planning and testing to mitigate the risk of implementation."
Laudon, 2006.

Carol Hall
Director, Information Technology Services
Kahl Building
Eastern Iowa Community College District
326 West Third Street Suite 811
Davenport, IA  52801-1221
563-336-5240 phone
[log in to unmask]
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Chad McDonald [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 7:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CIO] Try Software First, Fix it later

Dr. Paterson, 
I have less concerns about your implementation process than ASU's.  From
what I have seen ASU went straight to production.  No test environment,
no user acceptance testing, just flip the switch and start running.  As
a security guy, this approach scares the heck out of me.  I think a lot
of questions regarding system availability, stability, and data
integrity need to be resolved before any product of this scale moves
into a production environment.

Chad McDonald, CISSP, CISA 
Chief Information Security Officer
Georgia College & State University
Phone   478.445.4473
Cell    478.454.8250
Fax     478.445.1202
Email   [log in to unmask]

>We have actually been using this technique for a couple of year, we put
>the software up in a pre-production/semi-test environment and let the
>functional users at it to find flaws and identify thing they want and
>don't want. We did this most recently, pretty successfully, with a set
>of online student services. It helps get the functional users focused
on
>what vanilla is, we have a bit more leverage in keeping changes to a
>minimum. At this point I think our functional folks like the concept...
>May only work on certain type of apps. Best, Rob
>
>Dr. Robert Paterson
>Chief Information Officer
>Salem State College
>Salem MA 01970
>[log in to unmask]
>978-542-6446
>
>>>> Dwight Fischer <[log in to unmask]> 9/26/2007 7:19 AM >>>
>The WSJ had a provocative article in Tuesday's paper. For anyone who's
ever
>implemented an ERP, it's worth a read. Arizona State University
implemented
>Oracle's ERP and the strategy was a shift in paradigm: Get it in first,
>assume there will be problems and fix them as you go with the help of
users.
>In their situation, payroll was an issue for 3000 employees. Many were
>under- or unpaid. "The IT department.decided it would be more effective
to
>stick to rigid deadlines, releasing the software on schedule even if
all the
>kinks hadn't been worked out-- and try to fix problems on the fly." The
>notion that trying to make it perfect before rolling it out causes
costly
>project overruns.
>
> 
>
>That's quite a paradigm shift. The software industry loves the
approach.
>It's akin to releasing a beta version and addressing issues after the
fact.
>Needless to say, however, ASU employees are less than enamored with the
>concept. I wonder what else they ran into. The thought of rolling out
an ERP
>that didn't perfect financial aid, or provide regulatory reporting, or
>deliver comprehensible student bills is rather novel. And yet one of
the key
>points is that many of us for years have sought perfection first,
probably
>delaying our project schedules, and costing us in additional
resources--and
>still we ran into problems. ASU simply accepted that as normal and
changed
>the paradigm. 
>
> 
>
>Still, it seems unlikely that our institutions would ever agree to this
up
>front. There are expectations that we ensure all current functions are
met,
>and we do it on time and on budget. This new approach, while pragmatic
and
>maybe more realistic, is the sort that gets CIOs run outa town.
>
> 
>
>Dwight Fischer, CIO
>
>Plymouth State University
>
>
>**********
>Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
Constituent
>Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
>**********
>Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
Constituent
>Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

**********
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent
Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

**********
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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