Implementation method. Parallel conversion
Parallel conversion, also known as parallel adoption or parallel running, is a system implementation method in which both the old and new systems run simultaneously for a certain period. This method allows an organization to compare the outputs of the new system against the old one to ensure the new system is functioning correctly before the old system is decommissioned.
- Dual processing. Both systems operate at the same time, performing the same tasks to ensure that they produce the same results.
- Validation tool. It's a way to validate the new system's results against the old, proven system.
- Safety net. The old system acts as a fallback in case issues are found with the new system.
- Reduced risk. If the new system fails or a critical error is discovered, the organization can continue to use the old system without any operational disruption.
- Confidence building. Successfully running the systems in parallel can build confidence among stakeholders in the reliability of the new system.
- Training opportunity. The period of parallel operation can be used as an additional training opportunity for users to become familiar with the new system.
- Resource intensive. Requires more resources, as the organization must support the operation of two systems at once, including hardware, software, and personnel.
- Complexity. It can be complicated to keep two systems synchronized, especially for data-intensive processes.
- Extended effort. Users may find it demanding to work on two systems and ensure all data is entered and processed in both.
- Critical operations. Particularly suitable for mission-critical systems where errors could lead to significant harm or financial loss.
- Complex data migration. Beneficial when complex data migration is involved, and there's a need to ensure data integrity.
- Highly regulated industries. Useful in regulated industries where compliance and record accuracy are paramount.
- Planning. A detailed plan must be made to ensure that the parallel run is well-coordinated and that the conditions for fully switching to the new system are clearly defined.
- Resource allocation. Adequate resources must be allocated for potentially doubling the workload, especially in areas such as data entry and system maintenance.
- Data management. Care must be taken to manage and synchronize data across both systems.
Parallel conversion is a conservative approach that prioritizes stability and risk aversion. It is often used when the costs of system failure are high, and the organization needs to ensure that new systems are fully functional and reliable before making a full switch.