Spreadsheet It!

The other key way to prepare for a project is to engage with the customer or users and help them to design what the project delivery will look like. Following the migration of the Knowledge Warehouse data several other data sets for the same airline were also migrated to S1000D. These migrations were many times easier to perform thanks to the lessons learned from the original project. Perhaps the single most important way that these migrations were different is that the decision making was completely handed over to the customer. Rather than the implementation team taking the source data and trying to reproduce it in S1000D, the customer decided exactly what the S1000D would like when the migration was complete. To facilitate this a list of documents to be migrated was made and placed in a spreadsheet. The customer then decided what publication, chapter and section the document would appear in when migrated. They also decided what the technical name and information name of each document would be, what the SNS number would be, what model identification and system difference codes would be used. So that ultimately they knew exactly what to expect when the content was migrated. This also allowed the implementation team to highlight any potential problem areas before the migration started. Using this approach was extremely successful, to the extent that the customer knew exactly what to expect. In fact when viewing the content post-migration it appeared so exactly to match their expectation that they had to be persuaded to conduct thorough acceptance testing! “What’s the point?” they said “it looks perfect!”. In fact, of course, it wasn’t perfect and a few changed did need to be made but nothing compared to the restructuring that had to be done for Knowledge Warehouse post-migration.