Slide 1: According to Paul Robertson, “A legacy system is an in-place structure that is neither optimal for modern needs nor modifiable for project purposes.” In any government system, a legacy system exists. It’s similar to the NPO from our first exam that still had a card file system with a spread sheet. At the GR water department, major components of our system are still from the 1970s and 80s.
Slide 2: As discussed in class, technology budgets are virtually nonexistent. Also, tech money is usually billed under other titles in accounting so it is hard to track. Government can be thought of as the same. Government sectors rely on legacy systems due to the specialized nature of their operations.
Slide 3:What does the Water System really mean?The Lake Michigan Filtration Plant treats lake water and sends it to the system through to transmission mains. The North line is 46” in diameter. The South line, added in the 1990s, is 60” in diameter.Water for the Greater Grand Rapids area, minus Wyoming and half of Kentwood, is supplied by GR. Multiple booster stations are controlled remotely from Coldbrook Operations Center. Field Operations handles maintenance and repair of mains.Meter Maintenance handles installation, repair and maintenance of meters for both business and residential customers. This includes scheduling of all appointments.Customer Service handles anything to do with billing including, but not limited to, billing, payment arrangements, start/stop/transfer service.
Slide 4:The problems listed are taken from class discussions, including the call with Gavin Clabaugh. Many experts attribute two-thirds of a legacy system’s life cycle cost to maintenance activities (Schach, 1990).“new reports may need to be generated from the existing legacy system.” RobertsonAn example of government avoiding costs is pictured. Our boiler was replaced before I worked for the Water department and the old one is next to it. Cheaper to keep it.
Slide 5: According to a study by the US Air Force, System design is the largest problem with legacy systems. Since a legacy system develops over a long period of time as and when the need is identified, issues with the design creep into the system. The next major issue is the vendor going out of business. In class, we discussed making sure a company is stable before purchasing any products from it.
Slide 6:Cost comparison over timeInclude training and general introduction in integration. People need to become familiar with a product or program before they will be comfortable using it. Sometimes, this will need to be forced. During a class lecture, Gavin Clabaugh gave us the 3 choices available when dealing with tech discomfort.a. Enlightend selfishness – give them something they want. Make it worth their while. BEST CHOICE. Your job in managing change is either to make it not hurt or make their lives easier.b. Go around them – isolated island behind you.c. Go through them.Gavin Clabaugh… class talk 3/15/20103. Make clear options for assistance. In some cases, this may require 24 hour support for 24 operations.4. During the bidding process and afterward, make sure you can contact the manufacture and they have a knowledgeable representative available, to assist with any questions including necessary reports and documentation. 5. Lessons Learned… “Lesson learned is a specific experience and knowledge gained from an analysis of a project’s failure or mistakes with intent to apply the lesson to future projects. Applying LL to other projects can minimize the chance of repeating the exact same or similar mistake, which impacts schedule and the cost of the project. Identify frequently occurring maintenance issues with legacy systems. According to the Study conducted by the Air Force, Lessons Learned can help prevent similar problems from holding up projects. Additionally, that study found that more problems arose when the person who knew the system retired. By keeping track of all problems and solutions as well as updates, this can be avoided. 6. 6. BPI: Buisness Process Integration: takes data silos and connects with systems. One web form picks out which points to send where.7. Replacement advantages: modern systems are easier to use, have more features, can be used across more hardware products and tend not to face the imminent risk of withdrawn support. Additionally, because much IT architecture comes from fixing problems rather than an overall plan, without a LL system, it may be easier to start over with a plan in place.
Slide 7: According to the Air Force study, it is best to perform upgrades on a regular basis, have a disciplined Software Engineering process, develop and manage a clear system design, and document a clear design. The Study found Lessons Learned to be a good system to solve the major problems with legacy systems.
Slide 8: Each panel represents a booster station and/or high tank. Readouts display suction and discharge pressures. Operators determine when to turn pumps on and off by pressures in each region. The City runs three different types of pressure districts. High for fire protection and medium and low for industrial/commerical/residential use.
Slide 9: This panel is Burton Booster Station. It is currently not in use due to low demand. It is only run in summer. The picture on the right is the back side of the panel.
Slide 10: Left: oldest in our main operations centerRight what we’re converting to now.RADIO TELEMETRY UNITS
Slide 11: These are the two versions of scada we use currently. On the right is an old version. On the left is a less old version. Our system is still hooked to a dot matrix printer. We also have another that prints all our reports automatically. The DEQ requires us to keep hard copy records for ten years. (according to my boss)SUPERVISORY CONTROL AND DATA ACQUISITION
Slide 12: This is a slightly newer version of Scada at a treatment plant.
Slide 13: Even when provided with updated technology, training may not be included. If this is an additional cost on the budget, it may not be permitted.For example,Lake Plant has new software but our budget doesn’t allow for the moneyto train personnel at the operations center.Hidden costs are a problem of any business, but when the process is open to the scrutiny of voters/citizens, the ability to add to costs is much less likely.However, this does not apply in all instances. For example, Street Lighting and Traffic Signals frequently correct contractor mistakes without any penalty to the contractor. In the case of training for the new software, our current system is working fine so the boss doesn’t think he should pay more. Or, as my dad says, If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
Legacy Systems<br />A Necessary Evil<br />
General Info<br />NPOs in general have little to no tech budget.<br />Government is the same.<br />Specialized Operations<br />
GR Water<br />LMFP<br />CB<br />Boosters<br />Field Ops<br />Meters<br />Customer Service<br />Take a tour of water: http://www.grcity.us/departments/water/CD/water-system-tap-back-1.html<br />
Keeping the Legacy Alive<br />Cost<br />Resistance to Change<br />Fear of future problems<br />
How to Combat Problems<br />Cost comparison <br />Integration over time, bribery<br />Available support<br />http://antfarm/department.pl?dept=DOIT<br />Manufacturer resources <br />Lessons Learned<br />BPI<br />Advantages of Replacement<br />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca0hyf6tM2U</li></li></ul><li>1.Chiasson, Michel. “Should Legacy Systems Stay or Should They Go?” National Underwriter. Life and Health. Sep 4, 2006. ABI/INFORM global pg. 50.<br />2. Clabaugh, Gavin. Class interview/presentation 3/15/2010.<br />Kulonda, Dennis, University of Central Florida, Mohammed Arif, Carthage College, & Captain Jennifer Luce, United States Air Force. Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, December 2003 Legacy Systems: Must History Repeat Itself? http://www.tlainc.com/articl59.htm<br />3. Kavanagh, John. “Moving Ahead with the Best of the Old.” Computer Weekly. Sutton: Apr 12, 2005. pg 36-7.<br />4. McIntyre, Ken. Electrician II for City of Grand Rapids Water Systems. Multiple interviews and discussions during the semester.<br />5.Robertson, Paul. “Integrating Legacy Systems with Modern Corporate Applications.” Communications of the ACM. May 1197. Vol. 40, No. 5. pg 39.<br />6. Schach, S.R., (1990), “Software Engineering”, Irwin, Homewood, IL.<br />Sources<br />
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