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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

Chapter 4: Knowing What to Get

Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

How Do You Implement the Solution?

How Do You Assemble Your Implementation Team?

How Do You Develop a Project Plan?

What Do You Need to Do to Choose and Prepare a Site?

How Do You Make Sure Your System Works?

How Do You Convert From Old Information Systems?

How Do You Implement the Changeover of Information Systems?

How Do You Arrange for the System Handover?

Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users

Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution
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Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

Conversions are most successful if plans have been made for automating the conversion, testing translators more than once, and operating old and new systems for awhile until the changeover is completed.


How Do You Convert from Old Information Systems?
Conversion is the task of moving information from an existing computer system (or from paper files) to a new software application, such as a student information system. Conversions can open the doors to welcome changes - out with the old, in with the new! But the process of making that transition must be gradual in order to maintain the integrity of the old and build from it. In the case of technology, a conversion of data systems is an opportunity to dispose of unneeded files and records (as long as laws related to maintenance of records are followed) and to establish new and streamlined, efficient systems. Beware, however, that there may be some staff members who are reluctant to abandon the old, reliable, comfortable system for the new one.

Conversion planning requires a detailed effort. In addition to converting data, conversion plans necessitate mapping old to new logic files, detailing needed manual data and sources, and defining conversion (old to new).

Knowing the Process for Conversion
The conversion process must be well planned and implemented to avoid costly delays and loss of productivity. This process is the joint responsibility of developers and users.

  • The developer is responsible for the technical, automated side of the process and computer-related planning.
  • You and your users are concerned about validating the results of conversions, especially where manual information is being computerized for the first time.
Please see these Hints for converting your data.

Avoiding Problems in a Conversion
Organizations typically underestimate the time and resources required for a smooth conversion. Moreover, conversions sometimes fail. A well thought out fallback plan prevents serious business interruptions. However, fallback plans are not always practical due to data synchronization problems.

The following planning errors could bring about a major setback:

  • Extensive manual record conversion.
  • Not enough small scale tests.
  • Insufficient controls or audit trails.
  • Absence of a fall back plan.
Fore warned is fore armed.

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