The One where Our Deadline Is Reached

We have reached a milestone today. At the beginning of last year we set out to replace our old monolithic business application with new applications within a year. Today was the day that had been announce as the day the old application would be deactivated.1

And we did it. We didn’t actually shut it down but it’s now read-only. Users will have some time to still access the data in it so we can see what kind of information is still missing in our new systems and they still have a way of getting information they need for their daily work.

It was a struggle. I was not happy with what we were doing for a long time. I knew that we would not be able to provide everyone with enough features so the switch wouldn’t be painful for them and I hated this. I have now come to accept the fact that you will never be able to switch to a new system (be it a software system or just some kind of work process) without any struggles. Sometimes those struggles are even good to know what is really needed and what people just felt they would still need because they were used to a different way of working. I have also realised that we did manage to make some work easier for them, so not all is bad. And (I knew this before but I think I underestimated the value) a fresh start can be just so helpful for deciding which way to go for the future because no one is stuck in their old way of thinking anymore.

I’m happy we arrived without any really blocking issues (so far, haha, let’s see what the day/week brings). I’m excited for what the future brings. There are still some must-haves that we need to implement before the end of this month and afterwards we will be trying to do real product development work. Greenfield, kind of.

And I’m excited to see what this day brings. There are some applications that were solely connected to the old system that are just not needed anymore. I have never shut down an application that I am one of the people responsible for. Let’s destroy some things!!!

  1. The term “deadline” is a bit misleading, I guess. We often talked about how this is not really a deadline in terms of “this application needs to have x amount of features by this date when we will release it”. The new applications have already been in use for quite a while. We release our first application in May, connected to the old system. In October we released the new starting point in our new systems’ work flow, along with applications that covered parts of the whole process. Users could test the software with real work, they just could not do ALL their work with it. We have now brought the new system so far that there are no restrictions anymore, but some workarounds will still be there. It did feel a bit like a deadline though, in terms of cutting features that were not (anymore) seen as must haves before the old application is deactivated. [return]