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New Post 7/2/2017 12:45 PM
User is offline deadduck
1 posts
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The Kobayashi Maru Data Project 

Hi,

I have a scenario, this actually happened to me, and It can't be completely uncommon, although the overall problem is, probably, pretty extreme.  Anyways, the scenario,

You arrive at a new job.  You are assigned a data conversion pulling data from system A and putting it into system B.

1.  You are unfamiliar with the business domain.
2.  You are given access to system A's database.  There is no dictionary and you can't access the front end of system A.  You've also never used the software.
3.  For the new system, your access is also limited.  You do have format's and explanations, more or less, some access to the front end of the system but it's almost useless because things often don't work.  You are also unfamiliar with this system.
4.  There is no discovery process and your access to the "business experts" is limited almost to the point of non-existence.
5.  The only tool you get to validate your data are some reports.  Roughly a 1/3 run.  The rest either error or are built against saved files that aren't current.

And the last gem, your boss has OCD, and flips out over any inaccurate data.

Besides failing, how do you get this done?  I'm particularly interested in how you would validate the data.  For example, this wasn't a sales project, but if you had to pull sales commissions from a system and weren't given access to the commission structure how could you make an educated best guess that you had it right?

I really did have to do something like this, it really was this awful and the manager actually kept a count of every pass I made.  I asked him how to verify the data, if he had any techniques, reports or ideas, his answer was "be more careful".  Okey dokey!

 
New Post 7/14/2017 3:05 AM
User is offline Kimbo
435 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: The Kobayashi Maru Data Project 

Hi

Looks like you've been set up to fail. Given what you've said, it will be virtually impossible to succeed as it stands.

 

Umm, what I'd do is insist on access to the data directly on both sides so you can map it. Are there people who can help you? Developers with access to tools? Do you know SQL or a database enquiry tool like SQL Server Manager, TOAD? can you run your own queries and work out the data structure somehow?

 

If you don't get access, think I'd write an email as a CYA exercise. Try escalating above the manager's head. He's your enemy anyway so no worries annoying him. If all else fails quit and move on.

 

Kimbo

 
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