Table of Contents | Appendix C-17 | Appendix C-19



The Conversion Plan describes the strategies involved in converting data from an existing system to another hardware or software environment. It is appropriate to reexamine the original system's functional requirements for the condition of the system before conversion to determine if the original requirements are still valid. An outline of the Conversion Plan is shown below.


This section provides a brief description of introductory material.

1.1      Purpose and Scope

This section describes the purpose and scope of the Conversion Plan. Reference the information system name and provide identifying information about the system undergoing conversion.

1.2      Points of Contact

This section identifies the System Proponent. Provide the name of the responsible organization and staff (and alternates, if appropriate) who serve as points of contact for the system conversion. Include telephone numbers of key staff and organizations.

1.3      Project References

This section provides a bibliography of key project references and deliverables that have been produced before this point in the project development. These documents may have been produced in a previous development life cycle that resulted in the initial version of the system undergoing conversion or may have been produced in the current conversion effort as appropriate.

1.4      Glossary

This section contains a glossary of all terms and abbreviations used in the plan. If it is several pages in length, it may be placed in an appendix.


This section provides an overview of the aspects of the conversion effort, which are discussed in the subsequent sections.

2.1      System Overview

This section provides an overview of the system undergoing conversion. The general nature or type of system should be described, including a brief overview of the processes the system is intended to support. If the system is a database or an information system, also include a general discussion of the type of data maintained, the operational sources, and the uses of those data.

2.2      System Conversion Overview

This section provides an overview of the planned conversion effort.

2.2.1 Conversion Description

This section provides a description of the system structure and major components. If only selected parts of the system will undergo conversion, identify which components will and will not be converted.

If the conversion process will be organized into discrete phases, this section should identify which components will undergo conversion in each phase. Include hardware, software, and data as appropriate. Charts, diagrams, and graphics may be included as necessary. Develop and continuously update a milestone chart for the conversion process.

2.2.2 Type of Conversion

This section describes the type of conversion effort. The software part of the conversion effort usually falls into one of the following categories:

•      Intralanguage conversion is a conversion between different versions of the same
       computer language or different versions of a software system, such as a
       database management system (DBMS), operating system, or local area
       network (LAN) management system.
•      Interlanguage conversion is the conversion from one computer language to
       another or from one software system to another.
•      Same compiler conversions use the same language and compiler versions.
       Typically, these conversions are performed to make programs conform to
       standards, improve program performance, convert to a new system concept,
       etc. These conversions may require some program redesign and generally
       require some reprogramming.

In addition to the three categories of conversions described above, other types of conversions may be defined as necessary.

2.2.3 Conversion Strategy

This section describes the strategies for conversion of system hardware, software, and data. Hardware Conversion Strategy. This section describes
             the strategy to be used for the conversion of system
             hardware, if any. Describe the new (target) hardware
             environment, if appropriate. Software Conversion Strategy. This section describes
             the conversion strategy to be used for software. Data Conversion Strategy. This section describes the
             data conversion strategy, data quality assurance, and
             the data conversion controls. Data Conversion Approach. This section describes the
             specific data preparation requirements and the data that
             must be available for the system conversion. If data will
             be transported from the original system, provide a detailed
             description of the data handling, conversion, and loading
             procedures. If these data will be transported using machine-
             readable media, describe the characteristics of those media. Interfaces. In the case of a hardware platform
             conversion--such as mainframe to client/server--the
             interfaces to other systems may need reengineering.
             This section describes the affected interfaces and the
             revisions required in each. Data Quality Assurance and Control. This section
             describes the strategy to be used to ensure data quality
             before and after all data conversions. This section also
             describes the approach to data scrubbing and quality
             assessment of data before they are moved to the new or
             converted system. The strategy and approach may be
             described in a formal transition plan or a document if
             more appropriate.

2.2.4 Conversion Risk Factors

This section describes the major risk factors in the conversion effort and strategies for their control or reduction. Descriptions of the risk factors that could affect the conversion feasibility, the technical performance of the converted system, the conversion schedule, or costs should be included. In addition, a review should be made to ensure that the current backup and recovery procedures are adequate as well as operational.

2.3      Conversion Tasks

This section describes the major tasks associated with the conversion, including planning and preconversion tasks.

2.3.1 Conversion Planning.

This section describes planning for the conversion effort. If planning and related issues have been addressed in other life-cycle documents, reference those documents in this section. The following list provides some examples of conversion planning issues that could be addressed:

•      Analysis of the workload projected for the target conversion environment to
       ensure that the projected environment can adequately handle that workload and
       meet performance and capacity requirements

•      Projection of the growth rate of the data processing needs in the target
       environment to ensure that the system can handle the projected near-term
       growth, and that it has the expansion capacity for future needs

•      Analysis to identify missing features in the new (target) hardware and software
       environment that were supported in the original hardware and software and
       used in the original system

•      Development of a strategy for recoding, reprogramming, or redesigning the
       components of the system that used hardware and software features not
       supported in the new (target) hardware and software environment but used in
       the original system

2.3.2 Preconversion Tasks

This section describes all tasks that are logically separate from the conversion effort itself but that must be completed before the initiation, development, or completion of the conversion effort. Examples of such preconversion tasks include:

•      Finalize decisions regarding the type of conversion to be pursued.

•      Install changes to the system hardware, such as a new computer or communications
       hardware, if necessary.

•      Implement changes to the computer operating system or operating system components,
       such as the installation of a new LAN operating system or a new windowing system.

•      Acquire and install other software for the new environment, such a new DBMS or
       document imaging system.

2.3.3 Major Tasks and Procedures

This section addresses the major tasks associated with the conversion and the procedures associated with those tasks. Major Task Name. Provide a name for each major task.
             Provide a brief description of each major task required for
             the conversion of the system, including the tasks required to
             perform the conversion, preparation of data, and testing of
             the system. If some of these tasks are described in other
             life-cycle documents, reference those documents in this
             section. Procedures. This section should describe the procedural
             approach for each major task. Provide as much detail as
             necessary to describe these procedures.

2.4      Conversion Schedule

This section provides a schedule of activities to be accomplished during the conversion. Preconversion tasks and major tasks for all hardware, software, and data conversions described in Section 2.3,Conversion Tasks, should be described here and should show the beginning and end dates of each task. Charts may be used as appropriate.

2.5      Security

If appropriate for the system to be implemented, provide an overview of the system security features and the security during conversion.

2.5.1 System Security Feature

The description of the system security features, if provided, should contain a brief overview and discussion of the security features that will be associated with the system when it is converted. Reference other life-cycle documents as appropriate. Describe the changes in the security features or performance of the system that would result from the conversion.

2.5.2 Security During Conversion

This section addresses security issues specifically related to the conversion effort.


This section describes the support necessary to implement the system. If there are additional support requirements not covered by the categories shown here, add other subsections as needed.

3.1      Hardware

This section lists support equipment, including all hardware to be used for the conversion.

3.2      Software

This section lists the software and databases required to support the conversion. It describes all software tools used to support the conversion effort, including the following types of software tools, if used:

•      Automated conversion tools, such as software translation tools for translating among
       different computer languages or translating within software families (such as, between
       release versions of compilers and DBMSs)

•      Automated data conversion tools for translating among data storage formats associated
       with the different implementations (such as, different DBMSs or operating systems)

•      Quality assurance and validation software for the data conversion that are automated
       testing tools

•      Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools for reverse engineering of the
       existing application

•      CASE tools for capturing system design information and presenting it graphically

•      Documentation tools such as cross-reference lists and data attribute generators

•      Commercial off-the-shelf software and software written specifically for the conversion

3.3      Facilities

This section identifies the physical facilities and accommodations required during the conversion period.

3.4      Materials

This section lists support materials.

3.5      Personnel

This section describes personnel requirements and any known or proposed staffing, if appropriate. Also describe the training, if any, to be provided for the conversion staff.

3.5.1 Personnel Requirements and Staffing

This section describes the number of personnel, length of time needed, types of skills, and skill levels for the staff required during the conversion period.

3.5.2 Training of Conversion Staff

This section addresses the training, if any, necessary to prepare the staff for converting the system. It should provide a training curriculum, which lists the courses to be provided, a course sequence, and a proposed schedule. If appropriate, it should identify by job description which courses should be attended by particular types of staff. Training for users in the operation of the system is not presented in this section, but is normally included in the Training Plan.

Conversion Plan Outline

Cover Page
Table of Contents

1.0       Introduction
1.1       Purpose and Scope
1.2       Points of Contact
1.3       Project References
1.4       Glossary

2.0       Conversion Overview
            2.1       System Overview
            2.2       System Conversion Overview
                        2.2.1       Conversion Description
                        2.2.2       Type of Conversion
                        2.2.3       Conversion Strategy
                                    Hardware Conversion Strategy
                                    Software Conversion Strategy
                                    Data Conversion Strategy
                                    Data Conversion Approach
                                    Data Quality Assurance and Control
                        2.2.4       Conversion Risk Factors
            2.3       Conversion Tasks
                        2.3.1       Conversion Planning
                        2.3.2       Preconversion Tasks
                        2.3.3       Major Tasks and Procedures
                                    Major Task Name
            2.4       Conversion Schedule
            2.5       Security
                        2.5.1       System Security Feature
                        2.5.2       Security During Conversion

3.0       Conversion Support
            3.1       Hardware
            3.2       Software
            3.3       Facilities
            3.4       Materials
            3.5       Personnel
                        3.5.1       Personnel Requirements and Staffing
                        3.5.2       Training of Conversion Staff

Table of Contents | Appendix C-17 | Appendix C-19