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Post: Improving IBM Cognos Upgrades

IBM regularly releases new versions of its business intelligence software platform, IBM Cognos. Companies must upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Cognos in order to reap the benefits of the new features. Upgrading Cognos, however, is not always a simple or smooth process. There are many documents available that outline the Cognos upgrade steps, but the potential for uncertainties during and after an upgrade still exists. Therefore, it’s important to have a methodology and tools in place that help reduce these unknown variables and improve the management of the upgrade project.

The following is a condensed excerpt from our white paper that provides a methodology and discusses tools that improve the IBM Cognos upgrade process.

The Methodology

Motio’s upgrade methodology contains five steps:

1. Prepare technically: Plan the appropriate scope and expectations
2. Assess impact: Define the scope and determine workload
3. Analyze impact: Assess the impact of the upgrade
4. Repair: Repair all problems and assure they stay repaired
5. Upgrade and go live: Execute a secured “go live”
Cognos Analytics Upgrade Methodology

During all five upgrade steps, project management is in control and proficient in managing project changes and progress. These steps are part of the bigger picture of leveraging capabilities, and educating and delivering business value.

1.  Prepare Technically: Set appropriate scope and expectations

Key questions that must be answered in this phase to assess the current production environment are:

  • How many reports are there?
  • How many reports are valid and will run?
  • How many reports have not been recently used?
  • How many reports are just copies of each other?

2.  Assess Impact: Narrow the scope and determine workload

To understand the possible impact of the upgrade and assess the risk and amount of work, you need to gather intelligence about the Cognos BI environment and structure the content. To structure the content, you need to make several test projects. This gives you have the ability to break the project up into manageable pieces. You will need to test in order to assure value stability, formatting stability, and performance stability.

3.  Analyze Impact: Assess the impact of the upgrade  

During this step you will run your baseline and determine the expected workload. When all test cases have run, you have created your baseline. During this process, some test cases may fail. The reasons for failures must be evaluated and can be classified as “out of scope.” Based on this assessment, you can adjust project assumptions and improve timelines.

Once you have your Cognos baseline, you can upgrade your sandbox by following the standard IBM Cognos upgrade process as explained in IBM’s Cognos Upgrade Central and Proven Practice documents. 

 After you have upgraded IBM Cognos, you will run your test cases again. MotioCI captures all relevant information and instantly shows the results of the migration. This will provide several indicators of the workload.

To read the rest of the Cognos upgrade methodology, along with a more comprehensive explaination of all five steps, click here for the white paper

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