Archive for the 'Projects' Category


Web Content Clean Up – The Big Picture

It was a very intense work week for both my team and the business users with regards to the web content clean-up exercise.  The master list is not keep up-to-date by users, no proper instructions from IT on how and what to do, IT did not inform the business users on the exact clean-up and validation activity; all these reasons are some of those being discussed with the business users as they are angry and uncertain how these activities are impacting the daily operations without being noticed of how IT is going to do it in the first place.

Assumptions were made. No back-up of the codes changes or folder structures that IT has modified that results no roll-back procedures to revert the original code.  This is the first time I heard that my team is not prepared for this activity and this is a high-risk factor for this project’s success.  EVen we argue with business their UAT copy is not the latest/updated copy, the point is that we IT should provide them guidelines how to do it.  With the recent UAT copy, the team should have done the following:

  1. Make a copy of all merchants on the production site by a specific cut-off date.
  2. Compare the UAT copy against the production site.  Take notes if all merchants in the UAT copy are complete and to verify if any missing in the list from Production.
  3. Ensure all merchants in UAT are available and completed in the UAT environment.  Any edit or deletion of merchant to be on-hold.  This is to ensure all active merchants and their offer pages are available and complete in UAT environment.
  4. Compare production list if any missing merchant is missing in UAT after verification from UAT copy.
  5. Compare the UAT copy against production to see if any production merchants are missing from UAT.  Upcoming/new merchants are not supposed to add to the UAT copy or master list at this time.

Forget about all the arguments, finger-pointings.  We need to move on to resolve the issue and get daily operation back on line.


RE: EDI X12 Byte Space limitation – Project On Hold

As we are trying to solve this issue, we got an update from the customer that the project is on hold due to their resources’ priority on their internal system’s upgrade. Further to that, that upgrade is a dependence to this current project and there may be new changes after the completion.

That’s all for this project. I am doing my documentation to close up where we are.


Business Continuity Plan for Warehouse Operations

Few days after we have deployed the new system, major issues raised from the Operations, impacting the overall service performance for the warehouse.
The bar-code scanning system is corrupted.  This results intermittent dispatch issues and has slowed down freight processing at normal speed.  Current backlog has increased by 1.5 days and delays are being experienced in the hub network.   Systematic fixes are in place to clear them by working a 2 -shift operation; 24hrs a day across all warehouses.
Operations have to manually assigning freight to get customer deliveries out the warehouses.  Priority is given to oldest orders, anything with Fixed Delivery Dates, expedited, VIP etc.  Only critical issues are escalated as this point.
For the above case, this is an important lesson to all of us to have a business continuity plan and technical roll-back plans in place.  It is also important that such plans must be implemented and tested with the required parties even before the actual system cutover takes place in Production.  Below are the issues that faced from the unprepared cutover.
Issues to consider for mitigation plans for warehouse operations
  1. Label printing issue – slowness in printing 1 label (should not be more than 20 secs to print a label)
  2. No auto-generation of packing slips, shipping labels etc.
  3. Wrong information on the labels
  4. Bar-code scanning issue – product code  ID is scanned on picking bulk, but shown as none for the actual product
  5. Interface issues with call center and transport management systems – information are not sent on-time or not connected to these 2 systems.
  6. Wrong information shown for required order types
  7. Wrong assignment in carrier logic
  8. Data migration issues – using right  spreadsheets to gather correct information and upload to the systems in the later stage
  9. Resources’ mobilization (if required) to contain the situation

This is a costly lesson we have to learn and improve ourselves going forward.


    Getting Ready for Weekend Deployment

    Finally, we are getting ready to setup the new warehouse management system.  Beside installing the new WMS solution to the new server, we have a few data migration activities to migrate the data from the old system to the new one.

    Perform data validation against system and physical inventory

    1. Open orders (merge/pull) list
    2. Open ASN (advance shipment notice) list
    3. Physical Inventory count (PI Count) as of last Friday’s operation
    4. Open/closed inventory list
    5. Receipt list
    6. Despatch list

    Data Migration Activities

  1. Pull Part Master and Deviation Files from system
  2. Customer send Part Master and Deviation files in “SOFT COPY” to vendor
  3. Validate Part Master is fully loaded and in sync with both systems
  4. Send “Open Order” list to Customer for validation
  5. Validate open orders list provided by Customer
  6. Send “In-transit” order/inventory list to Customer for later action
  7. Send PI count to Customer
  8. Customer to convert inventory based upon report from existing to new system requirements (if required)
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    Air Freight – Origin Processes

    The following topic covers the current RFP (Request for Proposal) that I was working to cover the transportation of Products by 3PL (third-party logistic provider) from China’s ODMs to our Business Partner’s designated locations, through specific lanes defined by the carriers.

    This is what happen at the Origin before the 3PL is to perform export custom clearance at Origin.

    1. Booking:  3PL will provide the one (1) day ahead shipping plan with ODM and process the booking to 3PL at  a specific time (local time) on the same day of pick up.
    2. Loading: 3PL agrees with the ODM on packing the pallets according to our business partner’s  packaging requirements per platform. 3PL will inspect and reject any cargo which does not meet the packing standards.
    3. Pick Up: 3PL pick ups the Products at the designated site designated and  provide a trailer with available capacity at our Business Partner’s specified facility for the pickup of Product.
    4. Export Custom Clearance: 3PL uses the ODM’s export documentation for the export customs clearance at origin. Business partner provides resale invoice for customs clearance at destination.  Upon receipt of Business Partner’s commercial documentation, 3PL, through it’s designated broker obtains customs clearance while the transport aircraft is airborne, and prior to arrival in destination airport.
    5. Custom Clearance at Destination Hub: 3PL picks up the shipments in China, and delivers the Custom Cleared cargo to the destination in-country hubs.  3PL uses the commercial invoice for customs clearance and also to ensure the correct Importer of Record (IOR) is declared in custom form basing on the commercial invoice. 3PL files the Bill of Entry, sent to Business Partner for approval, before finalizationas to ensure the Business Partner pays the correct customs duty
    6. Delivery: 3PL delivers the Products to designated facilities.

    Database Server Upgrade Implementation

    We have a project to upgrade the existing MS SQL Server 2000 to MS SQL Server 2005.  As this project activity is running in parallel with the change requests for August deployment we need to ensure the servers required for the deployment does not impact the tight timelines for the deliverable.

    The implementation strategy for August deployment are:

    1. Database server upgrade and migration to test environment.  This is to be done before deploying new codes to the test environment for user acceptance testing.
    2. System Integration Testing – Data Integrity Testing
    3. Deployment the new codes to test server for IT and User acceptance testing.
    4. User Acceptance Testing – Functionality testing.
    5. Database server upgrade and migration to Production environment.  This is done after obtaining the user sign-off from the UAT that the application and newly upgrade database server are working as business as usual (BAU).
    6. Update the user guides and training for the end users.

    In this way, we have worked out the dependencies and outline the implementations that both activites run in parallet and minimize any project schedule’s timelines.


    Preparation for Project Post-Mortem Review

    Before I am going away for my well-deserved 1.5 week’s vacation, I had an performance/objectives assessments for Year 2009 with my Manager.  One of the objective is to prepare a post-mortem review for the recent project that went live early this month.

    To think about the template and contents to cover for this review, this is like a session on the lessons learnt from the teams’ experiences, what we have done right and share with others, what we have done wrong and how we should improve from it.  In most projects’ post-mortem reviews, most people do not like to bring the things that they had done badly partly due to the no one is ready to accept the facts.  The typical topics are usually on improper scope control management,  mis-communications on the project team members’ roles and responsibilities, improper risk management and escalations process for stakeholder’s decision-makings.

    This is what I have in mind for the post-mortem report:

    1. Project Summary
    2. What we have done right and how to improve further
    3. What we have done wrong and how to improve further
    4. Outstanding Issues to review for project closure
    5. Action Plans for moving forward

    April 2018
    M T W T F S S
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