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32 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 3-14. Step 12. Step 12: Maintain the Systems Figure 3-14 indicates the level of effort of the stakeholders for this step. After the system is in production, there will be issues that should be addressed regularly, as well as periodic changes that are desired. A plan should be instituted to address the maintenance and to ensure that any changes to the system are correct and appropriate. Although small changes probably can be made with a minor review process, big changes to the system probably will require their own integration projects to follow each of the steps identified in this chapter. Case Study Step 12 After the system was firmly in place, the data owners met monthly with the IT team member in charge of maintaining the system. Throughout the first year the system was in use, they made minor changes to some of the business rules based on feedback from various departments. At the end of the first year, they recom- mended to the CFO and CEO that the second phase of the integration project be funded based on the success of the first phase. Setting Milestones Milestones for the long-range integration plan will be specific to a particular airport and proj- ect. Completing the preceding steps in this chapter can be considered a milestone, or even one of the steps alone can be a milestone. Some organizations set milestones specific to the project, such as finance or resource allocation milestones. An airport should begin to develop these mile- stones as early as possible. First, define the vision for the airport, and set realistic goals to achieve the long-range vision and the short-range vision. This might mean prioritizing the goals after an airport has reviewed the stakeholder availability. Consider the availability and schedules of managers and personnel chosen to support man- agement through the integration plan. The scheduling and timing of resources should reflect the airport's overall objectives and the airport's schedule for other projects. Airport personnel need to understand from the beginning how the integration will affect daily operations. Set critical training deadlines and incorporate these dates in the overall resource planning schedule. Defin- ing the stakeholder involvement early can assist in refining and prioritizing the short- and long- range vision and its success. After the resource allocation plan has been delineated, it is a good time to review the system integration challenges and plan appropriately to meet those challenges. Closed-architected sys-
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Best Practices for Integration 33 tems may not allow for the business-critical data to be retrieved from one system to another, or such systems can require third-party vendors to assist in extracting data in a usable format. Part of resolving such challenges can involve updating a system or maybe even replacing a system, depending on the importance of the business-critical data and key metrics that the system pro- duces. It is at this point that airport personnel may need to regroup and refine the business- critical data and key metrics. Reviewing who, what, and why specific business-critical information is important and how such information shapes the overarching goals for integration and prioritizing the key metrics can facilitate such decisions. Identify the benefits and key outcomes of the integration project. When setting milestones, review the current infrastructure of the airport. Consider a timeline of acquisition requirements that includes systems, network infrastructure, IT outsourcing for complex integration projects, construction such as facility changes, external consultants, and timing of such for this integration project. If other integration projects are in progress at the airport, especially if simultaneously, under- stand the effects and how to resolve them early. Understanding the requirements specifications and setting realistic goals for accomplishing those requirements can set a clear path to a success- ful integration project.