Project Management - iSeries Application Development

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Project Overview & Requirements

We start with a solid understanding of the project scope by understanding the mission goals of the system. Working closely with our client, we gather functional requirements information on the system’s actual operations/events as well as requirement information relating to the performance of the project.

Analysis and Architecture

Using the scoping information gathered from the overview and requirements step we develop a conceptual model of how the system will be built. We also consider how to best leverage new and legacy components to meet functional and operational system requirements.

Functional and Technical Design

The functional design determines how the modification will function in the user community. We design visual mockups of each function of the system at the point of interaction with the user to ensure pertinence of information and clear communication style. Mockups of items such as screen shots and invoices provide a point of approval prior to programming.

The technical design determines how the modification will function within the technical scope of the project. We design databases, create new programs, modify existing programs, and design conversion programs. Where appropriate, we perform a system impact analysis to ensure the performance of the new system on existing or proposed hardware configurations. (i.e., do they need more processor power on the iSeries to run the application)

Prototypes of the final application can be planned during this phase to ensure the final design meets the business requirements.

Implementation

Applying the architecture model and incorporating the functional and technical design elements, we implement the system. This entails crafting a test plan, constructing the system, and testing the modification against the plan for client approval.

The detailed test plan is created to document the ‘criteria for success.’ We create test environments and scripts for each module and/or function that serve as performance checklists. To construct the application, code is developed using the appropriate tools and middleware - typically Java, JavaScript, RPG, and WebSphere. As each module/function is constructed, it is bench tested against the test plan criteria verifying that it successfully executes the programming logic. A system wide regression test is also undertaken (generally in close cooperation with client resources) to ensure the entire system functions as specified.

A demonstration of the modification is presented to the client for approval prior to deployment and launch.

Training

Prior to deployment, First Option works with the client and their implementation team to train them on the modification in a train-the-trainer type environment. This includes reviewing the functional and technical documents created through out the process and a hands-on walk through of the modification with the ‘super user’/stake holder.

Deployment & Launch

On the deployment date when the modification is moved into production, First Option physically deploys the modification either on the iSeries server, AS/400 server, or secure hosted subscription based server.

First Option also administrates the application implementation throughout the client’s business unit. This includes setting the actual implementation date, coordinating training, communicating details of the event to appropriate stakeholders, and successfully transitioning users to the new application.

Post Deployment Support

Following the deployment and launch of the application, First Option provides ongoing technical and managerial support.

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