Friday, September 10, 2004

Are Software Upgrades The Only Way?

Organizations don't seem to think twice about upgrading from one version of a software to the next. Partly because the vendor/supplier leaves no choice what with the claim that 'old' bugs that were paining us to death are now themselves dead and that there are plenty of new and fascinating features that must be leveraged upon. Anyways, now that the org. is bound to the product, what's with spending a few extra bucks and going up the product ladder? Is it all so simple?

We recently decided to upgrade from ABC 1.0 to ABC 2.0. And wow, the difficulties that we face is better not elaborated upon! To be honest, part of the problem lies in the process and the people, but well, the product itself cannot have thrown more suprises at us! Notwithstanding the fact that the product is from one of the most popular companies ever. The problems take us back to one block behind Square 1 - Square 0.

It goes a long way to prove that we can't really take software upgrades for granted. We need to evaluate every feature, check out if all the old features are still intact (forget betterment), do some regression thinking and checking, see if the new product fits into our existing processes - that were built around the old product, see if the new features are really what we need and whether we can live without them, get an exclusive expert responsible for the detailed evaluation Vis a Vis the old system, prototype it, pilot it in a few projects and them go for the final implementation! One thing that strikes me really hard is why did we not think of piloting? We went for the big bang implementation right away. It's not that we are dead now (along with some of the old bugs) but we could have avoided so many of those relationship-killing and demotivating incidents that arose because of the inefficiency in the processes and the product....! Lesson Learned!

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