Thursday, 24 May 2012

Marion live today

The fourth of our libraries - Marion - commenced live operations today.

If you go here you can find Marion's very interesting Enterprise site. Marion has used the functionality of the site to great effect to provide detailed information about the library & many of its services including a link through to their online PC booking system. They have also linked out to existing parts of their Council website as well as providing access to a range of other online resources etc.

For the project team Marion is of particular significance as it is the 1st library that is migrating from a non-SirsiDynix LMS. Marion has been running on Libero. So doing a data conversion from a 3rd party LMS was one additional layer of complexity that the Marion, PLS and SirsiDynix teams have had to manage. The fact that it has been successful is good news, and augers well for the group of libraries in August which include both Bookmark and Amlib LMS conversions.

However this installation has been the most difficult to date.  Loading the Marion data yesterday had some unforeseen consequences for the libraries already on the system.  While the SirsiDynix tam worked overnight to fix the data errors we still have some legacy tidy up work to do. 

As scheduled, we now have a three week window to work on a few issues that have arisen while we have been loading these first four libraries. This has come at exactly the right time, as we now have a greater understanding of what the risks and issues are.  At this early stage we are considering a change to the methodology that SirsiDynix has been using to reduce the levels of "last minute" issues that each new load seems to create.  While we have solved a number of matters as they have appeared, we want to have an implementation approach which minimises the "fixing on the fly" approach. Having this window was always designed for this purpose.

And we're on track to then commence another 4 intense weeks with Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Playford and Port Adelaide Enfield coming on board weekly, commencing from 14 June. It is probably worth saying that while the libraries are going live each Thursday, work continues on data testing etc right up until the Friday before going live. Libraries then switch over to the Symphony "offline" module on the Monday or Tuesday and capture all of their circulation this way for the few days before they go live. On the Thursday there is a need to upload all of of the offline circulation data before live circulation can commence on the new system. So as you can see, while the go-live date is what the public sees, there is lots of activity behind the scenes leading up to this event.

The other part of the project that people don't see is is the long lead time before we get to this stage. The SWAP network - which is due to go live in September - is already meeting with a PLS assigned project manager, doing work on their rules, cleaning up their data and their training dates are already assigned. And we had a project commencement/ familiarisation meeting with Adelaide libraries on Tuesday because they are due to go live in November.

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