Phase 1, October 2009 to September 29, 2011

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“Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you'll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don't have a plan. That's why it's easy to beat most folks.”

– Paul "Bear" Bryant, football coach, University of Alabama's Crimson Tide

Planning is the first stage in the SWIFT Project’s strategy for a successful system implementation, but it continues throughout the project. As information is gathered and decisions are made in other project stages, many deliverables, on topics ranging from application security to final deployment, will be completed.

A charter was adopted at the start of the project and sets forth the mission, vision and goals of the Swift Project. The project plan documents all deliverables, work products and detailed tasks, and their progress is reported upon weekly by the Project team. Included in the Planning Stage are strategies for testing, technical infrastructure, change management, SWIFT Project team and end-user training, communications, knowledge transfer and quality management.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.” – Wayne Gretzky

The Design Stage of the project is where decisions are made and documented regarding the functional configuration of SWIFT. Requirements on procurement, financials, technical features and the SWIFT Data Warehouse are verified by agency Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and the out-of-the box software is compared to the requirements during Fit/Gap sessions.

“Fits,” “gaps” and “partial fits” are documented and form the basis for development of approach papers on business designs. Approach papers identify alternatives for meeting the “gaps” and recommend solutions, which could include changing current business practices or policies or modifying the software. The system design documentation breaks out each business process into key steps with identified organizational roles, development requests, security needs, and other details related to business process flow.

A final step in system design includes a review of the development requests initiated through the Design Stage and associated approach papers including interfaces, conversions, workflows, reports and application enhancements.

The Agency Implementation Calendar is delivered to agencies during this stage to direct them through their preparations for SWIFT. In addition, the Training Analysis, Design and Prototype Plan will be completed, based on an analysis of the Job Task Survey and the system design.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” –Walt Disney

The Development Stage is comprised of tasks needed to implement the system design decisions from the Design Stage. This includes detailed design, development, and unit testing for interfaces, conversions, reports, workflow, and enhancements as well as full configuration of the software application. The SWIFT Project team performs detailed design, construction and testing of the programs that are within the scope of the project proposal, with full participation from the technical team members.

“You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation,” Roger Maris

The Validation Stage includes all the activities necessary to test the SWIFT system designed and developed in stages 2 and 3 to ensure it is ready for production. The team makes sure the end-users are trained and ready, and the infrastructure is in place to support SWIFT.

Included in this stage are the following tests:

  • Integration testing, which verifies that there are no outstanding issues between combined modules due to mismatched versions or incorrect module interfaces.
  • System testing, which validates that the application is properly processing business transactions.
  • Performance testing, which evaluates the compliance of the application with specified performance requirements.
  • Acceptance testing, which involves end-users performing final testing of the application prior to production.

Once the new SWIFT system is accepted for production, the Validation Stage culminates with SWIFT’s conversion as the system of record for its respective tasks.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” – French proverb, late 1100’s

SWIFT is scheduled to be available for use shortly in advance of July 1, 2011, to facilitate work that needs to be initiated before or on that date.

“…To infinity and beyond!” – Buzz Light Year from Toy Story

As with any large system implementation, issues will likely surface following Go-Live, and the SWIFT Project is planning to provide functional and technical resources to address them. Tasks may include: routine maintenance and support, assistance with resolution of issues and problems, revision and communication of procedures to the user community and establishment of helpline support for users.