The Data Conversion Cycle

A series of posts, soon to be a Kindle book

The Data Conversion CycleIn response to various requests from colleagues, customers, and project teams for more detailed information, I’ve created a series of blog posts on the data conversion cycle.  By that, I refer to the need to move current and historical production system data in the form of transactions and other records to what will become the new system of record.  In my experience, and from conversations with other project managers and leaders, converting data is nearly always the greatest source of risk and re-work when replacing an aging solution. The series is based on a simple diagram, depicting an iterative cycle.  Each article in the series explains a different part of the cycle. Here is the diagram:

Data Conversion CycleHere are the articles in the series, with links:

The Data Conversion Cycle – an introduction to the diagram and the series.

Defining the Scope of Data Conversion – we start with developing an understanding of the work to be done.

Mapping Records for Data Conversion – an explanation of what needs to be done in order to make records from the current system of records meaningful to the new solution.

Developing Legacy System Data Extraction Processes – tying the mapping and scope exercises together to get data out of the legacy system.

Extracting Records and Loading Them Into the Target System – an explanation of the activities and some best practices for actually moving data records.

Validating Data Conversion – best practices for inspection and gathering lessons learned.

Developing a Data Conversion Plan – considerations for both managing the iterative conversion process and integrating it into the larger implementation project plan.

A Risk Taxonomy for Data Conversion – a list of common data conversion risks historically recognized in past projects, useful in conducting your risk assessment.

Measuring Progress in the Iterative Data Conversion Cycle – considerations for planning to assess data conversion quality, as the team “learns how to move data.”

Book Update

Expect it to be available on the Kindle in February, and in paperback a couple of weeks later.

One thought on “The Data Conversion Cycle

  1. Dave, I don’t have experience in many data conversion projects, but I’d be happy to read your manuscript and give you some feedback if you’d like.

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