Is Cedar Rapids Iowa going to make it?? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is part of the city of Cedar Rapids Iowa Y2K plan is of May 20th 1999. Does this sound like Cedar Rapids is in trouble or not? I need to know as I am addressing the city council tomorrow.

(snip) The city of Cedar Rapids intend for the maojor MIS and IT systems to be identified and made compliant very soon. The microprocessor-based systems within the city facilities and infrastructure have been inventoried and entered into a database programs. Nearly 2,000 items have been identified as containing microprocessors. these systems are currently being assessed for business risk levels. The city is using a 5-step risk assessment scale. Department directors and managers assess the impact a systems failure would have on operations and the ability to provide service. systems are ranked on a scale from one to five. A "one" rating indicates belief that a systems failure would have no impact on our ability to deliver service. A "five" rating indicates a bilief that systmes failure would have a catastrophic impact on our ability to deliver services.

Systems testing and remediation efforts will begin with systems rated "five" on the risk assessment scale. The objective it to test and remediated all systems rated "three" or higher.

In addition to MIS and IT systems, embedded systmes are aslo being evaluated.

I might add the city has acquired a new Financial and Human resource Management Information Systems(y2k compliant). Also acquired a new public safety Computer Aided Dispatch system(Intergraph I/CAD), A new telecommunications systems has been also acquired.

The city of Cedar Rapids is planning to have public meeting beginning in the summer to discuss the city's contingency planning efforts and civil prepareness. I have ask several individuals about the city's plans to have its citizens prepared and the best response I have received is the "prepare for a winter storm".

-- y2k dave (, June 01, 1999


Try addressing it like this:

These steps are excellent, they are clear, formal and professional - and I commend the city for beginning to act this way.

IF all this steps are completed, and IF all the planned remediation and testing is actually done according to this plan, the city will likely have removed most of the Year 2000 troubles that will otherwise have plagued its processes early next year.

However - "planning" to do the right steps to solve the problem does not "complete" those steps - it does not "solve the problem."

It is very, very late in the year to be faced with "just starting." More than 92% of corporate (Big Business) America has found that its schedules for year 2000 remediation have "slipped" - have taken more time than expected, and have cost mreo than expected. Every company that has gotten into a test phase has found unexpected problems, more troubles than it believed at the beginning, and unusual problems in unexpected areas.

You, the city, should start at this point, contingency planning and triage - what if we don't get through? What is absolutely essential, and what can be "safely" delayed? If any process is "delayed" - what happens if/when it breaks?

Then test these decisions, and test each remediated system thoroughly. Only by proving the process (tax records, payrolls, electronic transfers, court orders, voter registration, library cards, police records, 911, etc. for each and every electrical system in turn), can you even assume it will work next year.

For example, Cobb Coutny GA found out its library system simply would not work after Jan 2000. Without remediation, it would have been simply impossible to check out books from any of the 12 Cobb County Libraries - that serve 800,000 customers. the system was upgraded, new cards issued, all the books re-registered, and the Cobb Library can continue in business next year. But it took time and money, and effort.

This would have been a crisis for the library - but what priority should it have for the county at large? What are the contingency plans for Cedar Rapids?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, June 01, 1999.

The city of Cedar Rapids contingency plansn read like this:

A major element of Year 2000 readiness involves contingency planning. Even though systems test "compliant" for y2k purposes, there are always the possibility for systems failures unralted to the y2k issues. A contingency plan is being developed to address a systems failure whether related to y2k or other reasons.

Other contingency planning efforts are focused on staffing levels, emergency power provisions, on-site observations of critical systems, stock levels of critical supplies at year end, and emergency response alternatives.

Now I know the city needs to be ready just like everybody else should be but I find difficult to imagine the city not speaking to individual or community preparedness. This is my main area of concern and one of which I will be speaking to the city council about.

-- y2k dave (, June 01, 1999.

Does systemic answer your question? Does it matter about the great Cedar? I think NOT. Macro baby, Marco.

-- FLAME AWAY (, June 01, 1999.

Doesn't matter about the 'big picture" here Sir Flamer -

The quesion asks about specific problems in the specific appraoch taken by a specific town. Answer is: they (the town) are going about it exactly right - two years too late maybe (most likely) but exactly right.

BUT - since they have no delays possible, if they are late, what are the contingencies if they fail to meet THEIR Jan deadline? It won't matter (to these city planners) what anybody else does, if they themselves are not ready.

Now - granted, PART (a vital PART) of the contingency planning is evaluating the "rest of the world" and the systemic problems trickling in from the rest of the world, but they (Cedar Rapids) have to begin by talking about contingencies, then evaluating thsoe contingencies.

Cedar Rapids absolutely cannot fix the world in one fell swoop. And has no business trying to. Nor STOPPING its own repairs just because the rest of the world may have troubles of its own.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, June 01, 1999.

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