to evolve data maintenance requirements for an information management
requirements specification and want practical timesaving suggestions?
Production support requirements for an information management project
might be different from online transaction processing applications
Why are they
Generally, when a project is completed, all software is released to
production and the support team assumes ownership for operating and
maintaining the system.
The system may require ongoing changes, such as parameter changes and
other minor enhancements needed, to ensure optimal operation and; the
support team can usually handle these with limited training.
However, there is a bit more to an information management project than
just code changes. Suppose we have a change request to delete a source
system interface and replace it with a new one. It is agreed to
consider this an enhancement instead of a new project. This might
- Logical data model, although hopefully not;
- Physical data model;
- Data movement model;
- Interface specifications;
- Design specifications;
- Test data;
- Test cases and scripts;
- ETL Code; and
- Business intelligence design specifications and
It’s critical to understand the anticipated scope of operational
support so that training and other requirements can be identified as
part of the non-functional requirements.
- Is the operational support team expected to
- If so, do they have the training?
- Do they have access to the data-modeling tool?
- Do they have business intelligence
- Does training requirements analysis for production
maintenance staff indicate additional training?
Changes to production systems need to be tested in a separate
environment before they are certified ready for production. Consider...
- What environments are required? e.g.
database, ETL, business intelligence reporting;
- How environments will be synchronized with
- Test data maintenance; and
- Release procedures.
QA testing sometimes uses existing processes as part of the test plan.
Execution of these production scripts in a QA environment might require
production support staff. Consider….
- How much support is required?
- Staff availability?
- Any planned operational initiatives that might
impact testing e.g. major software upgrades; and
- Who will provide technical direction, as the QA
process may be different from production processes?
Business intelligence users sometimes have “how to” questions
concerning the data and/or tools. These are not really problem reports
or production tickets, however, they must be resolved to ensure user
- Will these types of questions be handled by the
IT help desk?
- If so, what training is required e.g. does the
help desk need to understand the data structures to help create queries?
- If not, what is required to provide this kind
Information management projects require specialized data maintenance
and production support
staff. This may be required pre-production, to help with QA testing,
and post production, to handle daily
operational support activities. It is important that training
and other resource requirements be identified early in the project to
ensure adequate planning.