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The Other Side of Midnight, 2000

An Executive Guide to the Year 2000 "Problem"

spike bullet Introduction - from the book

Suppose you wake up one morning to find the radio and television stations are all off the air. You go to the bank to withdraw money and the ATM says it never heard of you. You go to work and no one can get into their secured work areas or into the computers you use to do business.

Possible? Oh, yes!

Probable? That depends on how much work you and others like you do to prevent Year 2000 problems. You will only know your company's exposure if you take the time to look into the problem of the year 2000. And, believe me, the year 2000 and its effects on any computer system will affect your life in some way.

The Year 2000 will have significant impact on each of us individually unless the people who run businesses and large companies make the effort to investigate and deal with this major world-wide event. It is not "just a computer problem" to be left to the computer folks. It is a serious problem facing every executive, manager, board member and shareholder in business today. As an dependent nation - dependent on the goods and services of other businesses - we are all depending on YOU.

How do you get the information you need? This book is just that - an informative examination of what the "Year 2000 problem" is, what to do before it happens and what you can do after "the other side of midnight 2000." This book is an overview, strategy and step-by-step plan for preventing havoc in your organization.

Written in language executives understand, it poses questions that executives, managers and board members need to ask now. And, it addresses concerns and responsibilities of executives. It allows you to ask the right questions at the right time.

There is much debate about how the millennium change will affect business. Who will be only slightly bothered by this "computer quirk" and how many businesses will suffer untold damage? That depends on individual executives and managers like those who read this book.

You - as an executive or manager - have two options:

  1. You can depend on others and hope they are correct in their estimate of the problem and its fix, or
  2. You can become more informed by reviewing the simple steps and procedures in this book.

The future is up to you. Take charge and be sure - your company's ability to weather the millennium change may depend on you!

How the Book is Organized

In this book, we address the Year 2000 issues from a business perspective, looking at three general areas: risk, reward and resources. Throughout the book we will come back to these three areas: what is your risk in planning or taking an action, what is your risk for not planning or not taking an action, what is your reward potential and what resources might be required.

We have done our best to avoid using "techie" language as much as possible, while providing enough information for an executive to develop a common understanding with the various project teams who will be doing the detailed work of making the Year 2000 transition.

We've organized our book into 7 chapters and an Appendix. The chapters cover the following topics:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Year 2000 problem. The Year 2000 problem is a world-wide business challenge - not "just a computer problem." We review what the "problem" is, some history of how it came to be, who is affected, what to do about it and information to raise general awareness of the problem.

Chapter 2 discusses the organizational issues, top management issues, board of director issues, risk management, insurance and how to organize a Year 2000 effort for maximum success in the most efficient ways.

Chapter 3 discusses project considerations and strategic decisions that must be made before any detailed Year 2000 repair work begins.

Chapter 4 reviews project management concepts, why they are so important in a Year 2000 effort, dangers signs and tips for success. These project management techniques are useful for any major project before and beyond the Year 2000.

Chapter 5 covers the nuts and bolts of Year 2000 projects. It provides guidelines for managers to help oversee their own departmental projects, oversee IT groups and projects, monitor vendor performance and understand the details behind the Year 2000 efforts. Included is a high-level Year 2000 project plan with a list of tasks and deliverables that management should expect in a typical project plan.

Chapter 6 deals with vendor issues: selecting vendors of products or services, offshore possibilities, dealing with multiple vendors, warranties and contractual considerations, liability and insurance considerations, software companies and outsourcers.

Chapter 7 reviews costs and budget guidelines, industry standards and capitalization vs. expense issues.

The Appendix contains extensive resources for additional information: people and organizations to contact, Internet resources, published articles, frequently asked questions, glossary of terms, a sample survey, definition of Year 2000 compliance, sample test conditions and desktop compliance tests.

spike bullet About the Authors

Barbara J. Taylor

Barbara Taylor specializes in pro-active approaches to business challenges, using creativity and positive employee motivation to improve profitability. Her professional experience includes consulting to large and small organizations, both public and private.   A few examples of her diverse experience: Year 2000 project management; management consultant for the City of Los Angeles and other organizations undergoing major restructuring; founder/executive director of the Orange County Business Development Center;  regional manager for Systems and Computer Technology Corporation; associate director of the Administrative Computer Center at the University of Maryland; development of training programs for diverse business areas such as: Improving Productivity, Understanding Corporate Culture, Personality Styles, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention, and Workers' Compensation Cost Reduction.

In addition to her professional activities, Ms. Taylor has been a board member and consultant to several non-profit organizations. Her academic background includes a Masters Degree with a dual major in Business Administration and Information Systems, and formal training as a spiritual counselor.

In 1996, Ms. Taylor created The Institute for Management Excellence web site, which includes a monthly online newsletter promoting best practices for executives around the world. In 1997, she initiated an Internet discussion list exploring the topic of Spirituality in the Workplace.

Martha V. Daniel

Martha Daniel is the president and founder of Information Management Resources, Inc. (IMRI), an information management consulting firm specializing in Year 2000 issues (including: awareness, impact analysis, planning, code remediation, testing, facilities assessments, implementation) and Information Technology services (project management, network installation, major software development,  packaged software implementation).   Ms. Daniel is a popular speaker on the subject of developing business and technical solutions to resolve and manage the Year 2000 Crisis. IMRI has assisted corporations and government agencies prepare for Year 2000 Compliance.

Ms. Daniel has provided management consulting and information system services to numerous companies throughout the United States, in diverse industries.  Her professional background includes: IBM Professional Services, ARCO Petroleum Products Company, The Bekins Transportation Company, Cable Value Network and Aerojet General Electro-Systems. Martha's education includes a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

In 1994, IMRI was nominated by Southern California Edison as Supplier of the Year for small businesses and is an active participant in the IBM Mentor program.  In 1996, IMRI was named one of the "Top 100 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in the United States" by Upside Magazine and featured in news stories across the U.S.   In 1997, Martha Daniel was selected as a semi-finalist for Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year in Ernst & Young's annual awards.

Contacting the authors:

Barbara Taylor, Executive Director
Institute for Management Excellence
Internet: E-mail: Feedback.htm

Martha Daniel, President & CEO
Information Management Resources, Inc. 

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