Work in my field is divided into industry verticals and design horizontals. My industry vertical is health care providers, or hospitals. My design work encompasses Organizational Strategy, IT Strategy, Application Design, Application Implementation, Database Design, Data Cleansing, and IT Infrastructure Development.
Put another way, we identify business issues, analyze the organization processes, provide remediation roadmaps, perform system selections to support the business processes, design custom applications where the marketplace does not provide an exact fit, clean the existing data for migration to the new systems, implement the application software, test and configure the final product, and provide business, organizational, and training structure to create a sustainable life-cycle.
|OSI Model (1)|
I am very fortunate to have education and experience in both business and technical areas. I have worked as a financial analyst and controller, hospital administrator, health care materials/ logistics/ purchasing manager and as a software engineer. I also have a sub-specialty in database design.
In the model presented on the previous page my work touches each layer. This is a derivation of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model. This model is used to define knowledge areas, and development work requires expertise in each of these subject areas. Typically, my work is concentrated on layer 7, with guidance provided to developers in layers 3 through 6. Generally, the application development environment shields us from layers 1 and 2.
|Turning over Application Design to the Client. Layer 7 screenshots are pasted onto the wall, Data and sequence diagrams are below each screen.|
Over the past decade the software development paradigm has changed. Previously, software developers would create product based on specific needs and would add functionality as it was requested. The result was redundant new code layered on top of old code, Windows is evidence of GUI code being placed on top of DOS. The new paradigm defines the universe of functionality first. This allows development teams identify areas of reusable code, to create a normalized data structure, and to develop base classes, methods and objects that can reused during the version upgrade process.
|Use Case Model (2)|
The process of iteration is core to Rational Unified Process (RUP). Here, business processes are broken down into actors and methods. This forms use cases.
Because I have a background in health care financial, logistics and purchasing business processes, I am able to assist hospitals in identifying all of their use cases. Because I have training in database and software development, I am able to guide our development team initial efforts, and to prioritize capabilities to be added during the upgrade cycle. Having both areas of expertise speeds the development cycle.
|Preparing for the first design session|
At the beginning of the process, we spend a significant amount of time defining the landscape with our client hospitals. We then construct a blueprint of activities, and agree upon a timeline. Projects without such planning will cost more money and time
Technically, the implementation process involves connecting hardware, installing software, converting and migrating data, and then testing. Organizationally, standard operating processes (SOP's) will be modified, job duties will change, and a new organizational structure may be implemented that accurately reflects the desired work flow.
|Welcome to your new home for the next 2 years.|
In general, the implementation timeline for large software packages starts at six months and can last for many years. Where large companies and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages are involved, the process may never end. However, hospitals use smaller and less complicated packages. They also have limited time and personnel, and so many of the more sophisticated technical functions are performed by humans instead of computers.