Cracking the code to successful conversions: Facilitated session and follow-up interviews


Don't be shy!  Interviewing people BEFORE or AFTER a facilitated session just takes a bit of confidence, and good preparation.

Building your confidence gets easier and easier the more you participate in interviews.  The objective is to prepare and not waste anyone’s valuable time.  I like to prepare notes based on conversations and notes gathered from the facilitated session.  If the interview is before the facilitated session, I usually consider it an information gather session. 

For example, every conversion has data, application(s), and usually reports that all need converted.  Base your preparation around the data that will be converted to the new application.  Ask question about the decommissioning of those source systems (if applicable for this conversion).

For example:

  1. Will the source systems be used for parallel testing?  (Might be a good idea)
  2. How soon after you are in production can the source application/system be decommissioned?  What are the procedures for decommissioning an application/system?
  3. Are all the current reports REALLY needed on the newly converted system?  If so, we need to analyze all those reports and make sure we have time allocated for development on the project plan.

Other questions you may want to ask in the interview:

  1. What if some requirement (or requirements) is/are not implemented?  How does that decision affect a specific group?
  2. What are the company goals?  Understand the company goals, and how this conversion affects those goals.  For example, will this conversion eliminate or reduce maintenance support costs.

About Author

Joyce Norris-Montanari

President of DBTech Solutions, Inc

Joyce Norris-Montanari, CBIP-CDMP, is president of DBTech Solutions, Inc. Joyce advises clients on all aspects of architectural integration, business intelligence and data management. Joyce advises clients about technology, including tools like ETL, profiling, database, quality and metadata. Joyce speaks frequently at data warehouse conferences and is a contributor to several trade publications. She co-authored Data Warehousing and E-Business (Wiley & Sons) with William H. Inmon and others. Joyce has managed and implemented data integrations, data warehouses and operational data stores in industries like education, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, government, health care, financial, oil and gas, insurance, research and development and retail. She can be reached at

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