D890 – Acceptance of Start-up Data
Start-up data for live running should be verified and accepted by the responsible user managers.
Data conversion and loading processes will have been conducted. Reports and enquiries will be used to verify the condition of the data.
Responsibilities for validating and accepting the data should have been agreed in advance as part of the System Handover Plan IP. It may also be useful to agree in advance the precise tests and acceptance criteria.
PATH PLANNING GUIDANCE
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
Decision to go live
System Handover Plan IP
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TASKS
The conversion and data load of live data will be carried out in Process D880. Appropriate reports and validation processes are run and the start up position is reviewed. Based on these tasks, the responsible user managers should formally accept the starting position.
Conducting the Tests
In most cases, control totals can be used to compare the existing data on the old system with the new converted data. Total values, record counts, hashed-random counts and sampled records can be tested to make sure they match the old system.
Attention should also be paid to cross-checks, particularly where the data has been constructed without the normal processing and validation of the package. For example, important checks may include:
account balances are in balance,
financial totals in other systems match control totals in the general ledger, eg total stock values, total creditors, total debtors,
Some types of data are difficult to validate completely using control totals. For example, it cannot easily be checked that all employees’ bank account details are correct. In such cases sampling techniques may be used, or, in the case of critical data, a complete manual check can be made.
It may be appropriate to prepare and agree specific tests in advance. These can optionally be defined, agreed, controlled and signed off using the same approaches that are defined for normal system testing.
Conversion is usually undertaken while the old system is frozen and no live business is being conducted. Accordingly it is important to complete the process, verify the data and sign off the start-up data as rapidly as possible. Appropriate arrangements should be made for the required staff and managers to be available. Preparation and prior agreement of the approach and tests can be very useful in achieving a timely acceptance of the data.
Data is rarely 100% accurate. The business risks of some invalid data should be balanced against the costs of obtaining perfect data. It is important that the start up of the new system is not unreasonably delayed by errors that can be resolved after it is live. Note should be taken of any non-critical errors that are detected so that they can be addressed as soon as possible after live start up of the system. If appropriate, the same error notification and resolution procedures can be used as defined for system testing (see Process D800 and test forms 4 and 5).
The responsible users should indicate their acceptance of the starting position. This may be in writing if appropriate. The Test Sign off form may be used.
Signoff should not require a large number of reviewers or a highly formalised process as this might unreasonably delay the cutover process.