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1998-04-28 21:50:12


Triage: If You Aren't Going to Meet the Deadline



The word "triage" (TREEawjh) is being used to describe the survival strategy for organizations that did not start soon enough, meaning at least 95% of all those that have started.

What does an ortganization have to get fixed? What can be deferred? What can be replaced?

This is from the MILLENNIUM JOURNAL (Feb.)

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Many organizations will not see Triage as a necessary task early in the project lifecycle, believing it is a waste of time and energy. The unfortunate reality though is that some companies at this time do not have enough time or resources to fix their Year 2000 problems. Each day as we get closer to 2000, more companies fall into this category. Some people neglected to address the Year 2000 issue soon enough because they counted on a "silver bullet" solution, while others simply underestimated the magnitude of the project. Regardless of the reason they procrastinated, the Year 2000 is near, and if you can't finish in time, then alternate plans have to be made. . . .

Preparing for Triage

Before a business can perform Triage, the enterprise must inventory all systems and applications. When a list of all applications and systems in the enterprise is created, the next step, Business Resumption Analysis begins.

The purpose of Business Resumption Analysis is to identify and prioritize key business operations that must continue to function for the enterprise to remain viable. Note that in the analysis you prioritize key business operations; in Triage, you prioritize key systems and applications. The enterprise's systems and applications that support these operations must function correctly for key business operations to continue. When you determine the impact and quantify the risk associated with a business interruption, you can objectively prioritize applications and systems in terms of their significance to the enterprise. . . .

Triage requires that you rank your systems and applications according to their importance and that you categorize them into groups with labels such as critical, deferrable, and insignificant. Ranking systems and applications by importance to the enterprise may cause internal strife. . . .

Category One-Critical Systems and applications in Category One are the most potentially dangerous to the enterprise if they are not fixed before the Event Horizon. You should fix these systems and applications first so that the enterprise can continue operating into the Year 2000.

Applications and systems that are usually in Category One are those that:

Generate revenue

Pay bills

Pay employees

Provide customer services

Control the flow of goods and services. . . .

Category Two-Deferrable

Applications and systems in this category are considered deferrable. Although these systems and applications are important, their functions are not as critical to the operation of the enterprise as those in Category One.

Applications and systems that commonly fall into this category are:

Decision Support Applications–for example, ad hoc management summary reports, or other summary reports created by data access tools

End-User Systems–for example, systems developed with a PC-based database program

Internal Tools–for example, tools specific to the internal software application development staff Test Programs–for example, programs that automate the process of testing enhancements to internally developed systems

Other similar applications–for example, spreadsheet-based or word processor-based systems

Category Three-Insignificant

Applications and systems in this category are relatively insignificant to the Millennium Update Project. However, you should make a separate evaluation for systems or applications scheduled for retirement or replacement. If these systems and applications are not removed before the Event Horizon, they could cause system failures.

Applications and systems often found in Category Three are those that are:

No longer used by the enterprise

Being phased out

Being replaced prior to their Event Horizons. . . .

If there isn't time to fix systems and applications from Category Two, your enterprise will suffer. Although mission-critical systems will probably survive, employees may lose their jobs, customers may become dissatisfied, and morale could become low. . . .

If employees are upset because their systems and applications were not ranked very high in the Triage process, they may leave the company when or before Year 2000 problems arrive. Having qualified people leave the enterprise during a crisis may hinder the enterprise's efforts.


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