Upgrade Checklist – Prepare to Soar

Paul ParkerPerforming a successful Guidewire upgrade is much like a successful fighter mission, each takes careful planning and execution. There are similarities in the processes and mindset required to complete. It all starts with a preflight checklist. Let’s take a look.

Preflight Checklist

Pilots go through an extensive preflight checklist before every mission with attention to detail for each step. Each part of the aircraft; flight systems, weapon systems, navigation systems, and radios are thoroughly checked. This process ensures the aircraft is ready to perform its mission. These preflight checklists have evolved over time based on collective experiences and take into account lessons learned. This rigorous process can be applied to Guidewire upgrade assessments. Following a comprehensive upgrade assessment checklist can prepare an organization for a Guidewire upgrade, ensuring that all the components are ready.

Upgrade Checklist Basics:

  • Current business processes
    • Are they up to date?
    • Are there plans to align with the Guidewire Out of the Box (OOTB) processes?
  • Are the future state processes well understood and documented?
  • Were there customer enhancements to the Guidewire application(s) that are now OOTB?
    • Are there plans to align to the OOTB features in the new release?
  • Have the new features been reviewed with the business?
    • Have new features been identified as candidates for further configuration?
    • Has a prioritized list of features been created?
  • Are there planned or ongoing projects for other systems/applications that would impact the upgrade?
  • What are the current production release schedules?
    • Is there an impact to the upgrade?
  • Were Guidewire best practices for development followed in the implementation and subsequent releases?
    • Were code quality checks used throughout the process?
    • Were proper naming conventions followed?
  • What is the volume and quality of the data to be migrated (updated)?
    • Are database consistency checks actively being addressed and not just running  on a regular basis?
  • Are there planned changes to the architecture?
  • Have vendors been notified and aligned with the upgrade project?
  • Have the reporting or data warehouse needs changed?
  • Are all stakeholders identified?
    • Are all stakeholders aligned with all projects involved?

Following a comprehensive upgrade checklist is just one step in a successful upgrade.It is lays the foundation for building the plan, and understanding the scope of the project.  It all starts with the Guidewire Upgrade Guide, the Guidewire Platform Support Matrix, and an upgrade assessment. So break out that checklist, perform your preflight procedures, strap in, and enjoy your ride.