Astadia has been migrating clients’ mainframe workloads for over 30 years. Our staff has between 500 and 1000 years of experience doing this complex work. Having spoken with our team and analyzed our projects I have determined how to achieve the perfect project. The secret to a perfect projects starts with locating a Unicorn and a Yeti. Assuming you cannot locate these two mythical creatures, let’s acknowledge there is no such thing as a perfect project.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi figured it out when he said “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” To be clear, Astadia is always in pursuit of perfection and our people care intensely about each project being executed as ideally as possible. The fact is that issues always arise regardless of the good intentions we and our clients have. The reason for this reality is that a perfect project requires:

  • Perfect information
  • No technical or process surprises
  • No changes in the business environment
  • Flawless execution by all parties

The above criteria are virtually impossible to achieve in any large, complex project. This is especially true when working with applications and systems which have been evolving for as many as four decades.  And those systems and applications have been managed and maintained by many different people where documentation may not be consistent or complete.

Migrating legacy workloads is part science and part art. Acknowledging that perfection is not realistic is a great first step in planning a project of this complexity. This realization assists in planning, budgeting, project management, and setting expectations. This acknowledgement is also critical in selecting a partner to make the journey with you. If you were hiring a Sherpa to accompany you on a trip up Mount Everest you would look for one who has been successful in the past but had to overcome a variety of issues. The reason being that you know full well that issues will occur and you want to deal with them as efficiently as possible.

I have held a variety of CIO roles over the past 24 years. During those years there have been a few core beliefs that have helped me and my organizations be successful. One of those beliefs is that true partners care more about their client’s success than their own; and when bumps occur they are out in front identifying the issue and helping think through how to get past it.

With our years of experience we have seen a great diversity of issues. This serves us to identify some challenges before they occur and to help clients deal with others when they do occur. So until someone figures out how to achieve the mythical perfect project, we will continue to partner with our clients to pursue perfection while dealing with reality.

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