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Post-trade messaging projects - how do I know when I'm done?

Being responsible for a large enterprise integration project brings with it an ominous set of challenges. If you're project managing such an endeavour then you need to have a constant mind on how you can prove that your integration pieces are working. The problems are complex and you need to be asking yourself the following:

  • How do I prove that my data mapping has been done correctly?
  • How do I prove that my message sequencing is working?
  • How do I prove that my break management is working?

This is a very challenging set of questions. One thing you will find is that if you don't force your development team to think about these in advance, then you're going to struggle to answer these questions effectively.

To get a true feel for the complexity involved, think about your burden of proof challenge like this:

My burden of proof challenge = A x B x C x D

  • A = number of messages
  • B = number of different message conversation types
  • C = complexity of each message
  • D = number of places each message needs to go

If you have a million messages per day, eight different conversation types, a complexity factor#1 of 5 and 8 down stream adapters/systems that you need to publish to you've got 320 million spinning plates that can fall at any time.

A good proportion of your testing (and to some degree your development) effort should be directed to the tasks that surround each of the above elements. Ask yourself, if you have 230k breaks in a million trade messages:

  • Can I actually quantify the problem?
  • Are there really 230k individual issues?
  • Can I categorise the issues appropriately?
  • Can I automate this analysis and repeat it?
  • Can I give my process a "memory"?
  • Can my process recognise the same patterns arising again?

Applying the correct resources and knowledge to each of these questions will allow you to move closer to answering the most critical question you need to answer on any system integration project:

How do I know when I'm done?

#1 - I calculate the complexity factor as follows:
Complexity Factor = 1 + Integer Value of (number of fields on the message divided by 10)



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