Modernizing legacy systems can be a daunting task, with mainframe modernization projects taking an average of 32 months to complete. Organizations often face both successes and failures during this process, with code quality issues, scope creep, and inadequate expertise being the top unforeseen challenges. We sat down with Advanced's senior project manager, Jose Figueroa, to get his top three pieces of advice for organizations embarking on a modernization journey.
- Understanding the scope of the project
Jose: “Understanding the scope of a project is crucial, and the assessment process is designed to accomplish just that. However, in my experience, when certain key elements are not in place, such as the necessary systems and processes, clients often struggle to locate all the information they require.
Additionally, there may be instances where the client lacks the appropriate personnel, resulting in delayed discovery of crucial information. This can lead to rework and ultimately slow down the project due to scope creep. What was initially expected to be a straightforward task can quickly become more complex as new requirements arise.
It’s essential to have a comprehensive assessment in place. This assessment should include all the relevant stakeholders and ensure that the right strategies, methods, and resources are identified from the start. By doing so, you can minimize potential challenges and ensure that the project progresses smoothly.”
- Understanding the logic and design behind the code
Jose: “When working with clients, it's important to emphasize that we don't have access to their specific codebase. While we can convert it to a new system, we may not be familiar with the underlying logic and design. Legacy systems may have accumulated technical debt over time, making it difficult to understand and modify the existing codebase.
If there is a lack of understanding or expertise within the client's team due to staff turnover or other reasons, it becomes crucial to have the right individuals available to answer specific questions on a regular basis or as required. This ensures that we can provide the best possible support and overcome any limitations we may encounter. It's essential to identify and involve the appropriate experts early in the project to facilitate a smooth transition and address any challenges effectively.”
- Planning the testing cycle
Jose: “To ensure smooth project execution and avoid unnecessary delays, it's crucial to plan the testing cycle effectively. By proactively arranging testing resources in advance, you can hit the ground running and keep the project on track, preventing any unplanned extensions or increased costs. Properly lining up testing resources ahead of time allows you to make the most of your testing efforts and maintain project momentum.”
Our Automated Assessment solution helps organizations uncover hidden artifacts, identify relationships, and find unused assets in their mainframe environments. It includes an Automated Application Assessment using the ModPaaS platform, along with Operational and Infrastructure Assessments. Optional activities like a Test Strategy Workshop and Application Grouping Review can be added. Contact us to learn more.