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Transforming the operational model of our banking data migration projects

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Aug 7, 2023 | Data Migration Blog

Evaluating the experiences of our recent data migration projects, we plan to make a number of changes in the division of tasks.

Discover the details from our post!

Introduction

The COVID-19 outbreak has transformed our lives in many areas. We have already described how the high prevalence of working from home has
impacted the planning and execution of data migration projects.

In this post, we examine why and in what direction the changes caused by the ‘home office’ inspired us to rethink our data migration processes and work organization methods.

Kamilla Kundrík

Kamilla Kundrík

DELTA Product Manager

Kamilla has more than 15 years of sector-independent system implementation experience. She is is responsible for the business and IT development of MINDSPIRE’s DELTA tool, as well as providing support and quality assurance for the IT tasks of migration projects.

Role of IT organizers in our data migration projects

On our data migration projects typically business analysts work under the guidance of our experienced project managers.

The involvement of our experts providing IT and technical support, namely our colleagues working in the so-called Technical Analyst role, is only required in certain cases and periodically. For data migration activities that normally require a strong IT background and knowledge, this is possible because our flexible and tailored to the task MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool allows us to perform our tasks in most cases with parametrization and minimal modifications or development.

Data migration projects are characterized by the uneven distribution of tasks requiring deeper IT expertise and practice during the execution. Sometimes IT experts have to perform a lot of tasks at a rapid pace, but there are also less intense periods. The pre-COVID-19 on-site, office-based work required the continued presence of IT staff, specifically delegated to specific projects. This has often resulted in lower resource utilization for the staff involved, sometimes due to a significant amount of downtime.

However, since the pandemic, working remotely, which has become standard, has provided an opportunity to rethink how IT support is being delivered to increase efficiency and ensure a more even workload.

DELTA Data Migration Tool screenshot

Rethinking IT support on our banking data migration projects

To start with, with a smaller group we’ve identified the tasks associated with the Technical Analyst role, and we’ve looked at each of the tasks based on the following questions:

  • Timeliness and importance, i.e., when and with what priority should it be executed?
  • Is this a one-time or recurring activity?
  • Is only the Technical Analyst capable of executing it, or can someone else perform it within the team?
  • Does the execution require customer support?
  • If so, what kind of assistance, for instance business or technical assistance?
  • Can it be executed remotely or only on-site?
  • Does the execution require project-specific knowledge, or rather a more general expertise related to the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool?

Then we reviewed the above issues in a workshop with the key actors and experts in our data migration projects. Here we sought answers to the following questions based on the practical experience of the participants:

  • Which tasks can be delegated completely or partially to business analysts, migration managers or key experts within the project team?
  • What are the activities that should continue to be carried out exclusively by Technical Analysts?
  • Can these latter tasks be performed centrally by creating a new organizational unit or by converting an existing one?
  • What kind of project and customer support is required for this?
  • What methodological and MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool development tasks are necessary to execute as a prerequisite for the reorganization?

Introducing the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool

MINDSPIRE Delta Data Migration Tool is a powerful, ready-to-use, parameterizable data transformation and process management engine.

DELTA was built to support our data migration projects in the banking and financial services industry, perfectly complementing our Data Migration Services and proprietary data migration methodology.

The main advantages of using the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool are:
Quick installation and easy to use solution
End-to-end migration support functions
Continuously improved engine
Built-in control and automated report points
Universally applicable solution
Platform and system independent capabilities
Cost-effective, out-of-the-box ETL application

Learn more about the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool.

Planning the efficiency improvements and the reorganization

Two main options have been identified to improve efficiency. One is to centralize the execution of the tasks that will continue to be carried out by the Technical Analyst colleagues, by creating a new, independent organizational unit. The other is to restructure the operation of the existing team developing the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool.

These ideas are based on the operating model common in the development companies. It is well known that there are many companies in the IT market where the sale, implementation and assistance of clients is supported by a central support team.

The main aspects of the restructuring were:

  • If possible, reorganization should not result in significantly more load for the project team members. Clearly, shifting uneven and unpredictable workloads from the IT team to the business team would not be a real solution. Having reviewed our previous projects, we found that many of the tasks were performed on the basis of a similar or fully identical operating model. So, this kind of transformation and reorganization has already taken place at the level of individual projects in several cases, precisely as a means to increase efficiency. Thus, standardizing this operating model seemed to be a good direction.
  • We should not increase the amount of client involvement or delegate more complex or demanding tasks to the client. Therefore, the reorganization of the task execution can only take place within MINDSPIRE’s organization, it should not have any negative impact on our clients.

Preparatory tasks triggered by the conversion of the operational model

In parallel with restructuring the task types, we summarized our duties generated by the reorganization, with respect to our methodology, and the development and organizational development tasks in connection with the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool along the following points:

  • How and at which points should our data migration methodology be altered?
  • To what extent will the change affect our processes, the roles involved in our data migration projects and the range of tools we use?
  • We have identified which new functions can be used to simplify the execution of IT tasks and make them available to the relevant roles in the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool.
  • We examined what kinds of professional trainings might be required for the project staff.
  • We have identified which methodological documents should be modified or newly written.
Banking data migration projects

We have also examined which of the above optimization possibilities are the fastest methods to achieve the efficiency improvements, and what prerequisites are required for their execution. Subsequently, the information collected was prioritized, and a high-level action plan was developed to execute the restructuring and to implement and operate the new process.

During the workshop and its evaluation, we found that the centralization of the Technical Analyst role can be carried out with great certainty without increasing the delivery risks of data migration projects, the level of assistance provided by our clients, or the task volume to be performed by the entire project team.

Creating balance between different IT roles

In addition, we have also mapped the relationship between the tasks of the current team developing the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool and the tasks that can be reorganized into the headquarters and whether there is any overlap between them. After all, this team is responsible not only for the continuous development of the application, but also for its low-level support, whether it is dealing with project-specific errors, creating a customized environment, investigating related problems, or optimization.

In parallel, on the projects the Technical Analysts will perform the operation and individual customization tasks of the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool, and in case of a stalling will involve the development team in the solution process.

By comparing the tasks of the two teams, it became clear that there were many similarities between them and that they differed only to a minimal extent. For this reason, we decided that it was unnecessary to create a completely new organizational unit at the headquarters to carry out the IT tasks to be reorganized.

These activities can be handed over to the team developing the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool, which should be complemented, if necessary, with the missing competencies in order to carry out any new tasks requested.

Allocating the tasks of the data migration projects following the reorganization

After the reorganization the tasks of the development team will be the following:

  • The continuous development of the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool will continue to be one of their most important tasks, as the constantly changing market requirements are essential to ensure the high-quality services our clients are accustomed to.
Allocating the tasks of the data migration projects
  • Development tasks will continue to be defined in the same way:
    • Analyzing the requirements of current data migration projects may lead to general developments to the tool.
    • Functionality that cannot or should not be standardized will continue to be implemented only on the given project, through a unique customization that provides for the needs of the given project.
    • We identify the internal, larger-scale developments by examining market trends and analyzing expected customer requirements.
  • In addition, the tasks of the team developing the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool will be significantly expanded by making them responsible for project-specific developments, and also for asset operation and IT support tasks on the projects:
    • We have identified the kind of tasks that a dedicated developer will perform during the execution of a project. The designated colleague will not be delegated for the entire duration of the project and to all its IT tasks, but will be responsible for the development of one of the more complex and prominent data sets of the project and for its change monitoring. These tend to be individual developments requiring project-specific knowledge. By assigning dedicated tasks to a colleague throughout the project, the project risk from the reorganization can be almost eliminated, and the experts working on the project do not have to spend any time on knowledge transfer.
    • In addition, we have identified general operational tasks that any Technical Analyst or developer trained to use the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool can perform flexibly without project-specific knowledge.
  • In addition to the above responsibilities, the development team will provide technical and IT support to the project teams executing the data migration. As our business analysts may be faced with tasks that they have not performed before, they will also receive IT trainings and training to use the MINDSPIRE DELTA Data Migration Tool, and will be supported by key project experts in the practical use of the acquired knowledge in order to operate effectively.

Regarding the prerequisites to be provided by the clients for each task, we found that we do not need more support from them than has already been provided in our bank data migration projects.

Planning the Developer Team

As the first step of the organizational transformation, based on the information available to us, in relation to the development team we have defined the following at a high level:

  • The composition of the team, i.e. exactly how many colleagues and what competencies will be needed to serve the parallel projects flexibly and efficiently.
  • The team’s operating model, i.e. which processes will they follow during their work and which participants will be needed on the client’s and project team’s side.
  • What channels of communication and other tools are necessary for effective work.

Executing the restructuring into practice

We will start to develop the above high-level plan in detail soon, we will proceed with the execution according to our previously defined action plan, so that we can start and carry out our next data migration project according to a new operational model, and in order to obtain practical experience of organizational change as soon as possible.

Finally, once we have implemented our new operations, we will have to continuously monitor them, namely to answer the following questions:

  • Did the reorganization really bring the expected results? Has the execution of Technical Analyst tasks become more effective and more even? Have idle periods and periods of excessive load really disappeared?
  • Has the assignment and executability of tasks become optimal? Are all tasks completed on time and in adequate quality? Is it necessary to transform the assignment of tasks either generally or only at the individual level of the projects?
  • Do the development team’s processes, communication channels and tools meet expectations and are they sufficient for the execution?
  • Has the delivery quality of the projects changed? Have the risks increased or decreased due to the reorganization?
  • Last but not least, did the clients’ and project teams’ satisfaction change? If so, in what direction?

Summary of our experience so far

In summary, we see that with the planned organizational and operational transformations, we will move towards a very productive model, which will mean a positive change for our clients, our internal operations and our colleagues, and the MINDSPIRE DELTA data migration tool will continue to provide high-quality technical support for our company’s data migration services.

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