With ageing technical infrastructure, disjointed and incomplete information, and data spanning multiple non‑integrated systems, Tasmania Police requested the assistance of partner organisations to implement a modern police records system. Some of the key requirements were:
- Replacement of 1980’s legacy systems with a contemporary, integrated system
- Enhanced search capabilities for front-line officers
- Reduced reliance on locally managed technical infrastructure
- Ability to implement solution progressively, and easily scale-up functionality over multiple releases
- Increased data security
- Cleansing of existing data records
- Improved data exchange with national systems
bdna was engaged by Tasmania Police to ensure a smooth and successful implementation of the NicheRMS™ solution.
By forming a collaborative partnership with Tasmania Police and the application vendor, Niche Technology, we established a highly effective ‘One Team’ approach between all project partners. The NicheRMS™ solution and a new ‘Compass’ integrated search capability were configured, integrated, tested and implemented on time and on budget without significant operational inconvenience or risk to the public or workforce.
Strategic planning and project management
With a wealth of experience in digital transformation projects, bdna provided advice, guidance and project delivery resources to Tasmania Police during the implementation of their configured NicheRMSTM solution: Atlas.
Recognising that organisational change is about people, not systems, the Project Unify partners took a collaborative ‘One Team’ approach to shaping management structures, project delivery plans and standards of team interaction.
The demanding nature of transformational projects requires high performance teams that are equipped for resilience. So while bringing together the right combination of experts in policing, vendor software and system implementation was the first step, it was equally important to foster an environment that provided a sense of support for the team as they worked through challenging stages. The right governance and project documentation procedures were put in place, with project oversight ingrained in collaboration and encouragement. Achievements were celebrated by the whole team, as was a culture of mateship, supporting one another and having fun at work.
As a result, the entire team maintained an aligned vision and focus, communicating effectively throughout the project to successfully deliver Atlas on budget and on time.
As systems integration partner, bdna took the lead on navigating Tasmania Police’s 30 separate legacy systems, and how data would flow through that ecosystem as Atlas was initially introduced and then progressively expanded in functionality over time. Through architecture, analysis, development and delivery, we helped produce not just a modern integration platform, but a development culture and practice that could be used within the department to serve additional development needs.
During analysis, we realised that front-line officers needed a powerful and expanded search functionality that provided simple access to data from many sources. So we built the Compass search application on top of the integration framework, providing a modern, robust tool to consolidate information into a single user interface.
Unit and integration testing, templated infrastructure, continuous delivery and cloud architecture allowed us to deliver the high quality required within the budget and short time-frame available.
The integration systems we delivered were the end result of careful analysis ofthe information architecture across the multiple source systems, best practice development of interfaces, and rigorous technical and usability testing schemes that ensured system and data integrity.
Data migration and management
The initial implementation of Atlas – the founding phase of Project Unify – relied on bdna’s data expertise to migrate existing records into the new software. Tasmania Police’s legacy systems contained a combined total of over 128 million records, in six separate systems, housed in databases over thirty years old. This magnified potential for migrated data to contain duplicates, conflicting records and expired information. To combat this, bdna’s data specialists devised targeted data cleansing scripts that verified and merged records as they were processed into the system, removing duplicates and flagging anomalies for review.
A large contributing factor to successful digital transformation is determined by workforce preparation and adoption. So by definition, organisational change must be led by subject matter experts within the business operating environment.
Having been involved in many digital transformation projects, bdna assisted in an advisory capacity, sharing expertise to enable Tasmania Police in formulating change management plans and providing support when required. We worked closely with them to understand their current workflow and re‐align it to the new software, coaching a team of trainers and change agents, and supplying a technical writer to assist in the preparation of online help content.
Implementing brand new software into a complex and already strained digital environment creates a possibility of failures that multiplies exponentially in relation to each layer of complexity.
The Project Unify partners were acutely aware of the challenges and meticulously planned every detail of the implementation, developing contingency strategies for every conceivable outcome.
Preparation commenced twelve weeks prior to go live, with a specialised team formed to complete final cut‐over activities including readiness checklists, testing, backups and governance compliance.
On the day of go live, we followed a planned sequence of activities with over four hundred individual activities timed down to the minute. However, even with the most diligent planning, situations can occur that are outside of the team’s control!
We encountered two major obstacles during the Atlas implementation: a critical slowdown of the network, and a legacy system server crash. This significantly disrupted the go live, with activities pushed behind schedule.
Confronted with the setbacks, we drew on our technical expertise to identify the underlying cause, then made the necessary corrections to resolve the issue. Our preparedness meant we were able to recover time, ultimately bringing the system live less than five minutes behind schedule.
Department of Police,Fire and Emergency Management (Tasmania)