Migrating from a legacy system to PeopleSoft can be challenging, especially when you are unfamiliar with PeopleSoft applications.
There are a number of technical and functional issues to address, including requirements definition, resource allocation, data validation, data mapping and project management.
CDS PeopleSoft Data Conversion Process
When converting data from a legacy system to a package like PeopleSoft or Lawson Software, we use a phased approach that involves: Legacy Evaluation, Data Mapping and Conversion. Keep in mind that data conversion is an iterative process. Often you will find that data did not convert properly and you will then need to investigate the reason, correct the data map and rerun the process. Detail to accuracy and patience are key factors when converting data, something we accomplish in our phased approach:
Phase I – Legacy Data Evaluation & Mapping
We start with data analysis and mapping. Most packaged software products have processes available for bulk loading of data and a step-by-step load process. Therefore, data mapping typically consists of mapping to the batch load process format. Analyzing the data consists of the following:
Verify that each field contains valid and accurate information.
If the data contains coded information, verify that the code is in the correct format and contains valid data (e.g. department where the employee works).
Identify the target field to where the data will migrate.
Define conversion rules for the field. For example, the hire date in the source system may not have the same format in the target system.
Phase II – Preparation for Data Conversion
Once the conversion mapping is complete, it is time to convert the data to the load-process format. We create programs to convert the data to the vendor-defined batch load format. The batch load process migrates data in the legacy system into the format required by the vendor’s load process. When converting the data, it is important that all of the data is validated and converted into the format to be used in the target system.
Phase III – Execute the Conversion Process
Now that the data is in load-process format, it is time to execute the steps required to convert the data. Most package software vendors provide a step-by-step process for converting data to ensure validation of data format and content. Typically, the first step is to convert tables used for validation (e.g. company departments and valid job codes). The second step is to begin converting the application data (e.g. in a Human Resources system, to load employee data). Each step of the conversion process will generate a conversion report that will include a section showing conversion errors that need to be corrected before the next step is run.
Phase IV – Validate the Conversion Process
Even if the conversion process completes successfully, it is important for you to validate the data. This can be accomplished by executing reports that can be compared to the existing system. For example, in a resource management system, department employee lists or counts can be validated, along with payroll registers and other reports. In a financials application, executing and validating reports such as profit & loss statements, payables register, receivables reports and fixed asset depreciation reports will pass validation if the data is converted properly.