How to successfully launch a new system

For those in charge of IT projects, the moment a new system is commissioned is always exciting. In this blog post, Manfred Rothfusz, Technical Consultant at Login Consultants, explains how to guarantee the performance and continuity of your new system in advance.

Waiting on feedback

When a new system is commissioned, the main test is how users experience the changes and whether the performance meets their expectations. Of course you’ve tested the system, but regardless of how many functional administrators and key users you involve in the pilot, the real test is when the key user group starts using the new environment. Mistakes can lead to considerable criticism and reputational damage, among users and in the media.

Identifying and resolving bottlenecks

Having large groups of simulated employees carry out scripted activities can help you gain insight into their perceived response time. By analysing this response time, bottlenecks in your IT infrastructure can be identified and solutions can be developed.

No reputational damage

We recently saved a major government institution from reputational damage. Before commissioning their new environment, we tested it with thousands of simulated employees. During the first test, it became clear that the environment was so slow that roughly thirty per cent of these employees were unable to work. Had the employees been migrated in small groups, as was the original plan, the performance would have been affected. In this case, we would have needed to stop the migration to identify the problem, which would probably have taken months. By testing the environment in advance using simulated employees, we managed to identify and resolve the issue before the launch. After expanding the hardware capacity, we retested the system with thousands of simulated employees and managed to launch it with no problems.

New electronic patient record

Another example was the launch of a new electronic patient record (EPR) by two university hospitals. It’s not possible to use a new EPR with an existing one, which meant that big bang migration was inevitable. By creating a thousand simulated doctors, two thousand simulated outpatient employees, and two thousand simulated nurses and having them consult with 25,000 simulated patients in a two-hour timeframe (much more than they would ever see in practice), we were able to determine that the performance and continuity of the environment could be guaranteed. This prompted the IT organization to immediately green-light the EPR migration.

Better safe than sorry

My motto is ‘better safe than sorry’. In practice, this always turns out to be the best bet. By testing the environment in advance with simulated employees, we can accurately identify the performance and continuity. This approach is not only useful with new environments, but also with Microsoft updates, new versions of a transaction system, and critical business applications. By identifying what could happen in the future, IT organizations minimize the risk of problems and show their users they’re in control.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

If you’d like to learn more about the possibilities and opportunities of these simulations, contact us. We would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

 

By Manfred Rothfusz, Technical Consultant