This Old House magazine closes every edition with a featured house in dire need of renovation. Typically, the homes are of historical relevance and have existed firmly in place for 100+ years. For those who can visualize how to transform the house beyond its former glory, the opportunity may seem like a dream come true. However, for those who have experienced the less glamorous side of restoration — such as upgrading the systems that drive the house including electrical, mechanical, heating and plumbing — the opportunity to transition can be overwhelming.
To date, the focus of the POINT transition has revolved around the replacement system and its features — how it looks and what it can do. It may be easy to visualize a positive end-result while walking through a vendor demo. Similar to walking through a house with a real-estate agent — the ideas and opportunities are rapidly flowing throughout the demonstration.
However, on the other side of that, lurks the transition from a technical standpoint. As tearing down walls in an old house can have impact on electrical and heating systems, replacing POINT can have a serious impact to upstream and downstream systems.
For POINT, as it exists today at your firm, there are likely multiple work-arounds in place that have potentially been forgotten about. Historic blueprints that once contained the information are long lost, but old workaround designs are bound to surface once again during implementation. Waiting to address these challenges can burden the organization with unnecessary financial costs and resource constraints. There are several preventative measures a firm can take, that involve reviewing the workflow process:
- Identify which upstream and downstream systems will be impacted by the POINT transition.
- Map out what kind of data flows in and out of the systems and how. The use of workflow diagrams can be extremely helpful.
- Document workarounds and/or ad hoc patches and differentiate whether they were created as a “quick fix” because there were features of the up/down stream systems that were not compatible with POINT or whether they were designed as enhancements to simplify workflows.
Documenting the above mentioned in a SIPOC (supplies, inputs, process, outputs, customers) diagram can visually assist in identifying where the gaps exist. From there, the project team members can gather the remaining requirements before project kickoff.
For restoring an old home, time may be on your side. However, given the strict 18-month timeline for POINT’s transition, this is an exercise that should not be delayed. Internal or external IT development may be necessary, and is often the cause of go-live date extensions. Unfortunately, in the case of POINT, the flexibility to push that date beyond 18 months does not exist.