Change Management

Our client is an internationally renowned company in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in apparel, home, accessories and fragrances for more than 44 years.
Situation: 
  • Two DCs, each on their own iSeries Server
  • Many program variances across the two systems
  • No change management system or methodology
  • Upgrade being planned
SOLID CHANGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE IS ESSENTIAL TO ANY MODERN BUSINESS

A major distributor of designer clothing realized that their lack of synchronization of the software was going to cause them major problems when they would upgrade their WMS. Base fixes and custom modifications were applied inconsistently across their two distribution centers, as required by each DC independently. Because each DC was operating on it’s own iSeries server, the problem was quite rampant. This is a fairly common problem often referred to as “Code Versioning”. With limited time, resources, and expertise, they turned to Initechs to help them sort out the mess.

INITECHS’ CONSULTANTS UTILIZED DECADES OF EXPERIENCE TO APPLY A SIMPLE, YET EFFECTIVE SOLUTION

Initechs stepped into the project and immediately began analyzing the source codes in order to determine which programs had variances. With this list in place, our consultants worked with the software vendor to gain a full understanding of the modified programs in order to determine which code was inherently unique to a particular facility, and therefore could not be part of the common system.

We then helped our client understand and implement a simple, yet effective three-tiered in-house change management approach. This approach, which serves to minimize the impact of custom code on the production environment, is still being utilized several years later. Some features of their new change management approach included:

  • A well-established methodology for testing and deployment
  • Proper testing and accountability at each level of code promotion
  • Increased visibility for all program changes made on either system
  • Easily refreshable data-sets for each promotion tier of each system

We also created detailed test scripts to aid the implementation of new code to either system, paying special attention to areas likely to be affected by the code changes.

UPGRADES CAN BE A BREEZE!

In the end, we assisted with promotion of all the common software into the production environment without incurring any negative impact. Most importantly, we gave them the knowledge and tools to handle code changes for years to come.

Results: 
  • Synchronized all of the code across the two systems
  • Implemented a change management methodology allowing better testing, visibility, and accountability of future code changes
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