Parallel adoption

Parallel adoption is a method for transferring between a previous ( IT ) system and a system. In order to reduce the risk, the old and new system runs simultaneously for some period of time. The process requires careful planning and control and a significant investment in labor hours.

Overview

This entry focuses on the generic process of parallel adoption; (Real-world) examples are used for a more meaningful interpretation of the process if necessary. In addition, the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the process of designing and implementing the design of the process. Some common characteristics, especially defining an implementation strategy, are for Adoption (software implementation) .

Other kinds of adoption

Besides parallel adoption, three other generic kinds of adoption can be identified. The choice for a specific adoption method depends on the organizational characteristics; More insight on this topic will be provided below. The Adopted Big Bang Adoption (also known as Direct Conversion, slam dunk, or cold-turkey strategy) , Phased adoption and Pilot adoption.

  • Product Adoption: Big Bang Adoption / Plunge Adoption : A big-bang adoption entails transferring the entire organization from the old system to the new system in an instant changeover. This is the cheapest option if the new system fails, the organization is in big trouble. It also opens risks for the system not to be accepted by its users. However, this may be the only approach to take when the two systems can not coexist or activate the new system is an emergency.
  • Phased adoption : In phased adoption, the organization is gradually transferred to a new system in different phases, per module or sub-system. Some systems are incapable of being part of the whole system. Using the phased adoption has the least risks, but causes the most disruptions due to it taking the most time to transfer from the old system to the new.
  • Pilot adoption: The pilot adoption method is used for large organizations that have multiple locations or largely independent departments. The hotel is located in the heart of the city. (Turban, 2002)

There are several instances where viable conversion strategy can not be considered. First consider if the new system contains significant schema changes. Data Corrections and Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Another concern is that of the shelf technology (COTS). If a COTS vendor’s documentation states that more than one application can not share the same database, then parallel conversion is not an option. An example would be Oracle’s Siebel products. Other COTS products may require restriction.

Place in implementation process

There seems to be little agreement regarding the process of parallel adoption. Several sources (eg Turban, 2002, Eason, 1988, Rooijmans, 2003, Brown, 1999), do not use a single process-description name. The term parallel adoption is as follows: parallel conversion, parallel running, shadow-running, parallel cutover and parallel implementation. This is a list of items that should be included in the price list. There are a number of ways in which they can be used. Real-world case scenario or more regatta : adoption method , SIM and PRINCE2 .

In principle, the parallel adoption method is different from the one in the organization. However, there are a number of factors that should be taken into account in determining the best implementation strategy. Moreover, a successful implementation can depend on a large extent on the adoption method. (Lee, 2004)

The process

The parallel adoption process can not be performed without paying attention to the steps before the actual conversion, namely the construction of a conversion scenario and the identification and testing of all the requirements . Therefore the process is explained by going through all the identified processes in Figure 1, while addressing the common activities that are necessary for any of the identified conversion strategies briefly.

Figure 1 gives an overview of the parallel adoption process. The left side depicts the flow of activities that contribute to the process. Activities that run simultaneously are preceded by a thick black line. When the parallel running of activities is over, the activities are joined again in a similar black line. When they are aggregates of a bigger activity above. The activities are divided into four main phases:

  • Define implementation strategy , which deals with the kind of implementation strategy should be executed.
  • Pre-implementation , which has to do with all the aspects and requirements involved in the implementation.
  • Prepare organization The organization should be prepared according to the previous phase.
  • Conversion deals with the actual conversion process; Proceeding with the new system.

The main phases are subdivided into other activities that will be described briefly in tables 1-1 to 1-4.

The right side of the model describes the data involved in the processes. Some of these concepts, depicted as a pair of overlapping open rectangles, can be subdivided into more than one concept. A pair of overlapping closed rectangles, which means that it can be subdivided into more concepts. The diamond shapes figure indicates that the concept is linked to it, serves as an aggregate concept and that this consists of the other concepts. Finally, the arrow represents a super class-subclass relation. The concept is linked with the arrow is the super class of the concepts that are linked to it. This syntax in Figure 1 is based on Unified Modeling Language ( UML ) standards. The concepts in figure 1 are defined in table 2.

Figure 1. Meta-process-data diagram of parallel adoption
Table 1-1: Pre-implementation
Activity Description
Define implementation strategy The implementation strategy is determined in this early stage. (Brown, Vessey, 1999)
Create master implementation script The first initial requirements are made, consisting of the requirements below. (Venture, 2004)
Construct Time planning A first time-planning of the implementation process is being constructed. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Define Organizational requirements The organizational requirements are defined here (Rooijmans, 2003).
Define IT requirements IT requirements are determined (Rooijmans, 2003)
Table 1-2: Prepare organization
Activity Description
Install requirements In order to prepare the organization, the defined requirements are installed. The organization is being prepared and the IT installed on test-machines. (Rooijmans, 2003, Eason, 1988, Microsoft, 2004)
Test requirements (Rooijmans, 2003). The problem is that,
Redefine master implementation script The master implementation script is refined with the new information gathered in the process with the activities below. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Define criteria In order to test the new system, criteria are being created. (Rooijmans, 2003, Microsoft, 2004)
Formulate workaround / rollback plan Also, a workaround plan with a rollback scenario is made. With these plans, the organization can make the necessary steps to correct the mistakes. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Perform (segmental) Test conversion In very complex organizations it can be beneficial to perform a test conversion, before going “live”. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Table 1-3: Conversion
Activity Description
Make catch ups The conversion process is started, a number of activities run parallel. During this stage, catch ups are being made using the old system. The old system is leading, but the new one runs parallel. All changes in the system, have to be put in the new system. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Control system The system is controlled at all times by the control system. With the defined indicators and system run characteristics, errors and mistakes are tracked down. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Run leading old system The old system is leading; Processing the actual data.
Run new system The new system is running parallel with the old system and is closely monitored. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Translate catch ups in new system If the criteria are met, the catch-ups are translated and transferred in the new system and the conversion process comes in its next stage. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Execute workaround / rollback strategy If the criteria are not met, the workaround strategy or rollback strategy is performed, depending on the nature of the errors. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Make catch ups Catch ups are made for safety purposes, even when the new system is leading. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Run old system The old system runs as a backup, for
Run leading new system (1) The new system is in full operation. All the transactions and changes in the system are being handled here. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Table 1-4: Closing parallel adoption
Activity Description
Run leading new system (2) All catch ups and controls are closed down. The new system is the only system in operation. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)
Disable old system The old system is not necessary anymore and is disabled. (Microsoft, 2004, Rooijmans, 2003)

The concepts from figure 1 are defined in table 2-1 below.

Table 2-1: Concept definition list
Concept Definition
Implementation strategy The strategy that will be chosen to implement the new system. The options are large bang, phased, parallel adoption, pilot conversion or a combination of those four. (Turban, 2002, Rooijmans, 2003)
Implementation script Raw version of the actual conversion scenario. (Venture, 2004, Eason, 1988)
Organizational requirements Requirements within the organization should be present for a successful implementation. They deal with optimizing (changing) the organization for the new system. Issues involved can be: Human resources management, changing organograms and new business structures. (Rooijmans, 2003)
IT requirements The information technology requirements of the software and hardware requirements, platform choices, taking into account budget and existing systems. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Time planning A planning in which activities are assigned a time-period when they should be completed, providing an overall picture of the implementation project with regard to available time. (Eason, 1988)
Requirements
Conformity Conformity is all about meeting requirements. (ISO 9000)
Conversion scenario The redefined implementation script, taking into account the conformity to the requirements. In addition, the scenario consists of a workaround and rollback plan. The conversion scenario is the blueprint of the implementation project. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Workaround strategy A backup plan; Strategy taken on, in the conversion scenario to prevent errors in the conversion process and attempt to work around them, so that the implementation can still be successful. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Criteria indicators Quantifiable and measurable criteria with regard to the requirements, to determine if the implementation process was successful. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Rollback plan Plan that facilitates the reversal of the direction of the replication in order to return to the old system without loss in data or information. (Microsoft, 2004)
Test conversion Segmental test conversion, before the actual conversion, takes place with a goal to be better prepared against uncertainties or problems in the actual conversion process. (Microsoft, 2004)
Old system The old system: when leading = true; The old system handles the system transactions live:The main functioning entities including the product, eg hardware, software. (ISO 9000) , a failure reporting system (ISO 9000)
New system The new system (goal): The new system, when leading = true; The new system handles the system transactions live. The main functioning entities including the product, eg hardware, software. (ISO 9000) , a failure reporting system (ISO 9000)
Control The overall control system includes performance indicators. The control system is very broad and is the central command of the new system during the parallel adoption process. (Rooijmans, 2003, Microsoft, 2004)
Performance Quantifiable assessment of the performance of the control system. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Reliability assessment A quantitative assessment of the reliability of a product, system or portion thereof. Such assessments usually employ mathematical modeling, directly applicable and non-statistical engineering estimates. (ISO 9000)
Catch ups Catch-ups consist of automatically or non-automatically created back-ups of the system using the old system, to be translated in the new system. (Rooijmans, 2003)
Automatic catch ups Automatically created catch ups (Rooijmans, 2003)
Catch up by hand Catch ups created by manual input (Rooijmans, 2003)

Determining the parallel implementation strategy

Figure 2. implementation strategy

The parallel adoption is preceded by the implementation strategy, which is not unique for parallel adoption, but can be seen as part of the change management process. (Lee, 2004). Some factors Involved in Determining year implementation strategy Regarding adoption methods is more Thoroughly Described in Adoption (software implementation) .

Risk versus costs

The reason for the adoption of a new model is that it can be used as a basis for the adoption of a common law. (Andersson, Hanson, 2003). Parallel adoption of the most expensive adoption method (Chng, Vathanopas, 2002, Microsoft, 2004, Anderson et al., 2003). Running two systems simultaneously means that an investment in human resources has to be made. Besides a good preparation of the (extra) personal , that has to go through a stressful period of parallel running or procedures cross each other. (Rooijmans, 2003, Eason, 1988) Efforts should be placed on data-consistency and preventing data corruption between the two systems. (Chng et al 2002, Yusuf, 2004) Not only for the conversion process itself, but also in training for the new system.

When it is necessary for the new system to be implemented following a big bang approach, the risk of failure is high (Lee, 2004). When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004).

This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis. But also in training them for handling the new system. When it is necessary for the new system to be implemented following a big bang approach, the risk of failure is high (Lee, 2004). When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis. But also in training them for handling the new system. When it is necessary for the new system to be implemented following a big bang approach, the risk of failure is high (Lee, 2004). When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis. When it is necessary for the new system to be implemented following a big bang approach, the risk of failure is high (Lee, 2004). When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis. When it is necessary for the new system to be implemented following a big bang approach, the risk of failure is high (Lee, 2004). When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change managementanalysis. When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis. When the organization demands heaviness, the trade-off between extra costs for a less risky parallel approach, should be in favor of those extra costs (Lee, 2004), despite this, we see That ERP adoption follows a big bang adoption in most cases (Microsoft, 2004, Yusuf, 2004). This means clustering That year organization shoulds think about Clearly Their implementation strategy and integrate this decision In Their Risk Management or Change management analysis.

Developing an implementation script

Figure 3. Pre-implementation

IT-requirements

To prepare the requirements for the organization of the project, More information on requirements analysis and change management can be found elsewhere. For parallel adoption, the most important IT requirement (if applicable) is attention for running the two systems simultaneously. In the conversion phase it is a timeslot, where the old system is the leading system. In order to transfer the data from the old system to the new system, there is a transition module (Microsoft, 2004). Other implementation methods do not directly have this requirement. More information about IT requirements can be found in Software Engineering .

Organizational requirements

Besides the IT-requirements, the organizational requirements require Human Resource Management issues like, the training of staff , deal with has Perhaps changing organizational structure , organic organization gold Mechanistic organizational characteristics of the organization (Daft, 1998) and MOST importantly: Top Management Support (Brown, Vessey, 1999). Brown et al. (1999) identify two distinct roles top management can initiate: the so-called sponsor and champion roles:

  • “A project sponsor is responsible for budgetary support and who’s key business representatives play a role on the project team.”
  • “The project champion may or may not be a formal member of the project team, but can play a key role in changing management efforts”

A parallel adoption process is very stressful and requires well-prepared employees that can be dealt with without the conservatively eager to the old system. (Eason, 1988)

Time planning

It is very important to have a detailed plan of conducting the new system in an organization (Lee, 2004, Eason, 1988). The most important thing about time planning for a parallel conversion is not to rush things and not be afraid of possible delays in the actual conversion phase. (Lee, 2004). (Rooijmans, 2003), similar to the PRINCE2 method. More information on time schedule can be found in Planning and Strategic planning .

Preparing the organization

Figure 4. Preparing the organization

Requirements evaluation

The requirements evaluation involves redefining the implementation script. The IT and (if possible) organizational requirements have been made should be tested. Some tests can be performed where the organizational responsibilities can be evaluated (Rooijmans, 2003) as well as IT-requirements. Here it is equally important to have top-management support and involvement (Eason, 1988). If They Do not make resources available to evaluate-, the implementation can be unsuccessful as a live accordingly. After this evaluation the implementation script is redefined into a more explicit conversion scenario.

Conversion scenario

The conversion scenario is a blueprint for the organizational change in all aspects. However, there are two topics that do not deserve the attention they deserve in the parallel adoption scope.

  • Workaround strategy / Rollback plan: Being distinct from the other adoption scenarios, also integrated in the conversion scenario is the workaround or contingency strategy with a rollback plan. The workaround strategy is defined in the following table: A backup plan; Strategy taken on, in the conversion scenario to prevent errors in the conversion process and attempt to work around them, so that the implementation can still be successful. (Microsoft, 2004). The rollback plan, as being one possible workaround strategy, is initiated if something goes wrong in the phase conversion. Since the two systems run simultaneously, in a parallel adoption, (Microsoft, 2004). In the case of the United States, it is important to note that, In fact the parallel adoption Provides per this definition rollback plane due to icts kind of a leading system and a (non-leading) backup system.
  • Criteria indicators: Since the conversion scenario is a blueprint of executing the transfer of the two systems, is also entails quantifiable criteria. The redefined IT and organizational requirements are bound into measurable components. When the criteria are not being met in the test conversion, the workaround strategy should be deployed.

Conversion

Figure 5. Conversion

The actual conversion phase is now in place. During this process, the organism is in a stressful period (Eason, 1988, Rooijmans, 2003). The two systems run parallel according to the conversion scenario and the new system is being monitored closely. When the criteria for the new system are met, the old system will be the leading system and the new system takes over. The catch-ups that are part of the workaround strategy are the back-ups of the old system and provide the means for reliability engineering and data recovery . There are two ways to make catch-ups: automatic catch ups and catch ups by hand. (Rooijmans, 2003). If applicable, a remote backup service may be deployed as well.

Control system

  • Automatic catch-ups: Catch-ups that are being transferred by an automated system, created in the preparing the organization phase. This system automatically transfers the data or information to the new system when the conversion goes from the old leading system to the new leading system. The benefit of this service is that it is fast and accurate. The disadvantage is that it takes time to produce a transfer system in an earlier stage.
  • Catch ups by hand: When the actual conversion is a small amount of time, or the complexity of the information, the organization can be transferred to the catch ups manually. The advantage of this procedure is that it is not necessary for a system to transfer the information and the possible problems. The trade-off is accuracy and time. It takes a very large amount of extra time to transfer the catch ups and it is more vulnerable for small human errors (Rooijmans, 2003). Moreover, the additional investment in labor is already high; A manual catch up system even more pressure on the staff.

Evaluation / Practical relevance

The Nevada DMV system case, described by Lee (2004), learns that an implementation process can also be a political involvement. When the system is changed, there are some pressures that influence the organization. In this case, the concepts of a company or a company may be changed. It is the most commonly used medication in the world.

A series of lessons learned from a number of real-world scenarios, by a business-consultancy firm (Venture, 2004) show some interesting lessons learned from the field. They seem to fit perfectly with the issues for a generic parallel adoption process, based on a combination of scientific work. To summarize:

  • Risk assessment and contingency (workaround) planning is very important
  • Assign project team roles
  • Construct specific milestones (like PRINCE2 )
  • Identify potential risks and execute your contingency plan
  • Communicate project status
  • Changes should be appropriately authorized
  • The Conversion Strategy
  • New and changed data should be tested against validation rules
  • Construct a thorough rollback plan
  • When possible, negotiate a pilot conversion

There are also at least two difficulties with parallel conversion which may make its use impractical in the 21st century, though it was a staple of industry practice. These are:

1. It is impractical to expect end users, be they customers, production line workers or almost anyone else, to enter every transaction twice via different interfaces.

2. Timing differences between two multi-user interactive systems can properly produce different results even when both systems are operating properly, are internally consistent, and could be used successfully by themselves.

As a result, parallel conversion is restricted to a few specific situations today, such as accounting systems where absolute verifiability of the results is mandatory, where users are all to the organization and understand this requirement, and where the order of activities can not be allowed to Affect the output. In practice, the pilot and phased conversion methods are more relevant today.

See also

  • Product Software Adoption: Big Bang Adoption
  • Phased adoption
  • Adoption (software implementation)
  • Regatta: adoption method
  • Change management
  • Reliability engineering
  • Rollback (data management)
  • Risk Management
  • Software Engineering
  • Implementation

References

Articles

  • Andersson I. Hanson, K. (2003). Technology Transfer , University of Goteborg
  • Brown, CV & Vessey, I. (1999). ERP Implementation Approaches: Toward a Contingency Framework, Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Information Systems , Charlotte, NC, December 13-15, 411-416.
  • Chng, S., & Vathanophas V. (2002). Towards an Inter-Organizational Enterprise System: A Focus Group Study. The 6th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2002). Tokyo, Japan. September 2-4, 2002.
  • Lee, O. (2004). A Case Study of Nevada DMV System, Journal of the Academy of Business and Economics , Volume 3
  • Ribbers, P. & Schoo, KC (2002). Designing Complex Software Implementation Programs, 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS’02) , Volume 8
  • Yusuf, Y. & Gunasekaran, A. & Abthorpe MS (2004). Enterprise systems project implementation: A case study of ERP in Rolls Royce. International Journal of Production Economics , 87, 251-266.

Books

  • Daft, RL (1998). Organizational theory and design. West: International Thomson
  • Eason, K. (1988). “Chapter 9, Implementation and Support,” in: Information Technology and Organizational Change. London: Taylor & Francis
  • Turban, E. & Mclean, E. & Wetherbe, J. (2002), ” Information Technology for Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Rooimans, R., Theye, M. de, & Koop, R. (2003). Regatta: ICT-implementaties als uitdaging voor een vier-met-stuurman. The Hague: Ten Hagen in Stam Uitgevers.

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