“Only take advice from those who have to live with the consequences.”
Serious actors in the modernization landscape propose products to support and/or automate most of the project lifecycle (see Figure below). These products can be a mix of built-in-house solutions or commercial off-the-shelf ones that cover one or many steps of the project. As a customer, you need to know exactly which tools you are going to use or to interact with during the project and measure to what extent this will reduce the effort and cost on your side.
For example, one of the most important tasks as a customer is defining the test scenarios to be used to validate the modernized features.
You are the cornerstone of your modernization project. Start by asking how you will be involved in the project, how your knowledge (functional and technical) of your legacy application will be leveraged, how you can help to make your project successful and meet your KPIs. Although you will invest in a modernization specialist vendor for your modernization project, do not underestimate the importance of your role during the whole process. Whoever your partner is, whatever the level of its expertise and its references, your active participation to the project is not an option.
Actually, you will have three main roles:
In addition to these three pillar roles, your modernization partner should involve you in the whole project lifecycle in order to share with you the intermediate obtained results (for the analysis, the transformation, the project set-up, etc.). Pay attention not to be overwhelmed with tools, emails and reports. You need a simple, intuitive and collaborative way to access and explore all the data during the whole project (and even after to check retrospectively if needed).
Whatever the approach, the vendor, the legacy system and the target modern system, core concepts for successful projects remain the same: Know your system and be part of the modernization process.
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