Karen López, I.S.P.
Senior Project Manager and Principal Consultant, InfoAdvisors, Inc.
Karen is a senior project manager with an extensive background in development processes and information management. She specializes in taking practical approaches to systems development. She has helped many IT departments choose appropriate methods and standards, based on the department’s culture, experience, and focus.
Karen is an international speaker on the Zachman Framework, information privacy, IT certification and licensing, data modeling and process modeling (DAMA, Enterprise Data World, EDF, EIM, DAMA Australia, CIPS, ZIFA, IRMUK/DAMA Europe, SQLPASS, SQLSaturdays). She has authored several white papers on better collaboration with business and development resources.
Enterprise Data Architect: Developed a cross-agency subject area data model for the Ontario Land and Resource Cluster (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources). This project involved surveying hundreds of legacy data sources to derive a conceptual subject area data model for use in planning for a cross-agency Location-based information system (GIS).
Senior Data Architect: Chief data architect and release manager for version 6.0 of the Association for Retail Technology Standards retail industry data model. Established development process, led the deployment of issue management and collaboration tools for enabling better committee involvement with revisions to this global retail data model standard.
Applied over 100 changes and enhancements to the Logical and Near Physical data model in areas of sales tax, Party, Party Role, Geographic Locations, and other key areas of the data model.
Team Leader: Reviewed the quality and currency of a Qatar-based academic computing program.
Data Architect: Member of the Association of Retail Technology Standard’s Data Modeling Committee and Data Warehouse Committee. This project uses ERwin.
Lead Integration Modeling Architect – Ms. Lopez helped enterprise integration team at The Forzani Group tailor the Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) retail industry standard data models for use on an enterprise integration project. She prepared logical data models that were generated into XSDs for use as a common object model in TIBCO. She assisted team in developing standards, processes, and templates for use on future enterprise architecture projects. This project included merchandising and warehouse management functions.
This project used Embarcadero ER/Studio, Repository, and Describe.
Award Recipient: Named 2006 recipient of the Gary Hadford Professional Achievement Award.
Team Member: Reviewed the quality and currency of a Qatar-based academic computing program against Canadian standards..
Senior Data Architect: Karen assisted Les Schwab, the world’s largest independent tire retailer, choose a data modeling tool and repository to support their new DBMS and development environment. This project involves DB2 UDB iSeries on the AS/400. This project will also involve developing workarounds and custom macros or applications to fully support the AS/400 environment.
Online Community Consultant: Karen is currently working with Shop.org to develop a community building strategy for retailers who wish to share best practices with online and multi-channel retailing.
2003 – 2004
Project Manager: Engaged to take over management of a troubled $16 Million Point of Sale custom development project for a large US retailer. Managed and co-ordinated 10 on site and 30 offshore development professionals. Prepared and administered more reliable project plan. Participated in re-negotiation with offshore vendor.
Privacy Architect: Determined impacts of new privacy legislation and practices on new system. Analysed system data to categorize data as personally identifying and/or sensitive data. Worked with the business units to educate managers on data privacy fair information practices. Set project standards for protecting personal and financial data privacy, including encryption/decryption policies, data access rights, and development lab security practices. Ensured data collection policies limited collection of personally identifiable data to only needed data. Designed processes to ensure data leaving the client location was properly protected.
Senior Information Architect: Engaged to take over data modeling efforts started by a third party vendor. Managed data modelers, database administrators and data profiling analysts. Negotiated XML/XSD schema changes with enterprise architecture team. Using an international retail data model standard and ER/Studio, developed a point of sale logical data model. Extended model to support new business lines. Led data modeling workshops with business and IT professionals. Established data modeling and walk through standards. Established repository processes and standards.
This project included Customer Relationship Management, Financial Transactions. Credit/Debit Card, Inventory, Reporting, Subscriptions, Promotions, Pricing, and Receiving submodels.
Established data profiling process for legacy data. Documented data anomalies, data duplication, non-compliant encoding, missing data and data outside normal parameters. Revised data model and database designs based on data profiling results. Developed physical data model based on MSDE/SQL Server 2000. Worked with database administrators to establish data encryption and performance tuning enhancements. Generated database creation and alter scripts. Deployed changes in test and production environments.
Using Rational Rose, Reviewed developers’ UML class and sequence diagrams to ensure compliance with business requirements. Reviewed stored procedures and code for compliance with client standards. Reviewed data migration design and implementation for migrating from ISAM data files to SQL Server. Supported data transformation testing.
2001 – 2003
Senior Data Architect: Developed an international retail data model standard for use by over 400 retailers across the globe. This model includes all areas of the retail business, including Point of Sale transactions, purchasing history, customer demographics, gift registry, tendering, accounts receivable, customer credit, and business partner management. This model reflects differing international requirements for taxation and currency. It will be used to measure vendor compliance to retail industry standards via database and XML delivery methods. Developed candidate submodels to support EU privacy requirements. Later extended these candidate submodels to support Canadian privacy requirements.
Developed project data and process model standards and guidelines based on modeling methods, modeling tools, and industry standards. This project used Erwin and Systems Architect.
Senior Data Architect: Developed logical and physical data models for an Invoice Matching business area of a regional department store. This model includes Purchase Orders, Receipts, SKU, Vendor Contact, Vendor Invoice, and Vendor Terms subject areas. Prepared project plan for data-related roles. Maintaining enterprise data model for all projects. Developed data architecture standards and procedures. Developed logical and physical data model and physical data for receiving and appointment processing, incorporating EDI requirements for Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs), Vendor Violation tracking, Trailer Manifests, EDI 212/214 Management, Yard Management and Driver Tracking.
Performed fit and impact assessments from legacy and package applications to the enterprise data model. Developed local data models, physical data models, and logical process models for warehouse management functions, including putaway, wave management, yard management, driver check in
Presenter: Presented Incorporating Data Privacy Requirements into IT Methodologies at several conferences and meetings in the US and the UK. This presentation, targeted at data management professionals, is based on Fair Information Practices.
Senior Modeling Architect: Trained provincial natural resource organization IT analysts and business clients in data and process modeling. Included relevance of the Zachman Framework. Facilitated modeling effort kick-off workshops for development of strategies to enhance both the regulators’ and operators’ ability to track and exchange information regarding Provincial water resources.
Methods Trainer: Trained 25 information technology and business staff members on data and process workflow modeling at a major Canadian retailer.
IT Methodology Project Manager: Developed Methodology rollout Project Charter for a financial services enterprise, including both IT and non-IT business areas. Prepared detailed project plan for the rollout. Developed project risk assessment and risk mitigation plan. Evaluated commercial off the shelf methodologies and tools. Prepared plan for tailoring methodology to fit the enterprise culture and environment. This project used MS Project 2000, Process Continuum tools and methodologies.
Senior Data Architect: Developed logical data models, physical data models, and logical process models for retailer warehouse management functions, including put-away, wave management, yard management, driver check in and out, RF order picking and shipping. Developed logical and physical data models for the implementation of EDI 810 invoice management. These projects used ERwin, ERwin Examiner, ER/Studio, DBArtisan, DB2 UDB, IMS, and DB2 OS/390.
Senior Standards Architect: Assessed a popular retail POS package for high-level compliance to an international retail standard. Compared near-physical database standard to the vendor’s physical database. Identified compliance assessment risks as well as enhancements to the vendor’s development strategies and procedures in order to mitigate impact of changes to the international standard.
Team Leader: Led a team of 6 IT professionals in assessing a private education institution in Newfoundland. Assessed the quality, currency, and technical sustainability of an IT academic program.
Methods Trainer: Delivered a tailored data architectures methods course to approximately 60 IT development and support staff at a large energy distribution organization. This course was tailored to the client’s corporate IT standards as well as to their modeling toolset, Oracle Designer.
Senior Data Architect: Developed logical and physical data models for an Invoice Matching business area of a regional department store. This model includes Purchase Orders, Receipts, SKU, Vendor Contact, Vendor Invoice, and Vendor Terms subject areas. Prepared project plan for data-related roles. Maintaining enterprise data model for all projects. Developed data architecture standards and procedures.
Developed logical and physical data model and physical data for receiving and appointment processing, incorporating EDI requirements for Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs), Vendor Violation tracking, Trailer Manifests, EDI 212/214 Management, Yard Management and Driver Tracking. Performed fit and impact assessments from legacy and package applications to the enterprise data model.
Developed local data models, physical data models, and logical process models for warehouse management functions, including putaway, wave management, yard management, driver check in and out, RF order picking and shipping.
These projects used ERwin, ERwin Examiner, ER/Studio, DBArtisan, UDB, IMS, and DB2 OS/390.
Methods Trainer: Delivered a tailored data architectures methods course to approximately 30 IT development and support staff at a regional retailer. This course was tailored to the client’s corporate IT standards as well as to their modeling toolset, ERwin.
Team Member: Assessed the quality, currency, and technical sustainability of a public university computer science program in Ontario. Compared program objectives, curriculum, faculty, and educational environment to national program standards.
Team Member: Assessed the quality, currency, and technical sustainability of a public college technology program in Alberta. Compared program objectives, curriculum, faculty, and educational environment to national program standards.
Project Manager: Led geographically dispersed team of IT professionals in the development of a web-based database application using Visual InterDev, MS FrontPage, and MS Access. Prepared conceptual, logical, and physical data models.
Process Analysis Consultant: Developed tools, standards and guidelines for process workflow analysis on an operational records management system. Identified gaps and overlaps in existing physical processes and organizational units. Designed and validated new processes. Prepared senior management project justifications for analysis project. Led client workshops at all levels of the enterprise, from outside labourers to corporate senior management. Developed custom tools and methods using Visio, MS Access, ERwin, and Brownstone Repository.
Systems Development Project Architect: Developed project standards and policies for a multiproject programme at an energy utility. Evaluated vendor proposals using formal fit and impact analyses. Developed detailed risk assessment, project charters and workplans. Developed data and process models (~200 entities and 150 processes) for an enterprise-wide client server systems management project that included security administration, event management and correlation, asset management, capacity and performance planning, network planning, help desk services, problem management and request tracking. Developed a process modeling application in support of modeling efforts. Prepared systems management operational procedures and system requirements specifications.
Data Architect: Implemented data conversion application for migrating corporate data models (~2000 entities across 17 Business Areas) from ADW to ERwin. Recommended changes to IRM standards and guidelines in order to optimize benefits from new tool.
Technology Planner: Temporary Project Leader, enterprise document management project for a large energy utility. Prepared project workplans, charters, and formal documentation. Prepared user documentation. Evaluated vendor responses to proposals. Liaison with application development teams using document management architecture. Co-ordinated cross-functional team efforts. Prepared corporate Internet strategy project charter and workplan.
Systems Development Methodologist: Reporting to the Director of Information Standards of a large energy utility, integrated purchased methodologies with previous Information Services methods, products and tools. Tailored methodology for use in software acquisitions, in-house development projects, and other business projects. Incorporated vendor and service provider methodologies into the corporate methodology framework.
Developed an on-line, interactive methodology system for use by over 200 professionals on 35 project teams. Automated documentation and project plan templates for use by the project teams. Prepared project management templates for systems development life cycle variations – Package Acquisition, Rapid Application Development, Large Systems Development, Small Systems Development, End User Development, etc. Incorporated proprietary methodology and tool upgrades with the tailored methodology framework.
Authored Techniques, Guidelines, Standards, Tool guidelines, and Tips sections of the methodology. Prepared a Methodology Framework Project Road Map for use by project teams in determining required deliverables, critical paths, and required processes. Developed a Methodology Stewardship matrix of internal organizations and the methodology components.
Assisted project teams with the development of project control documentation. Mentored those individuals who were new to the organization, methodology, and tools. Mapped organizational activities to the Zachman Framework, identifying gaps and overlaps. Oversaw methodology implementation on non-standard and special projects. Performed post-implementation project reviews, determining lessons learned and identifying best practice improvements to the corporate methodology framework.
Developed methodology checklists that included required documentation, authorizations, user acceptance, and cleanroom requirements. Reviewed all project documentation for compliance with methodology standards and policies.
Consulted on the development of the enterprise-wide Information Strategy Plan in conjunction with the Information Systems Plan, involving the co-operation of over 75 users and analysts. This plan included an enterprise conceptual data and process models.
Assured quality of Information Engineering (IE) models developed to support enterprise-wide integration of Customer, Inventory, Marketing, Operational, Human Resources, Service, and Accounting information. Responsible for project estimations and evaluations.
Systems Development Project Management Methodologist: Provided methodology training, project guidance, methodology quality assurance for an international retailer. Supported Inventory Management and Product business areas. Guided CASE tool implementation, training, and rollout. Trained users and reviewers in methodology concepts and modeling.
Systems Development Project Management Trainer: Developed and customized formal training materials for Project Management Concepts, Information Strategy Planning, Business Area Analysis, Business System Design, ADW, IEF, and Interpersonal Communications courses. Tailored courseware for unique client needs. Trained over 200 managers, modelers, analysts, systems engineers and functional users.
Senior Methodology Consultant: Developed and assured quality of data and process models supporting a criminal justice information system. Prepared subject area models for inmate processing. Implemented and trained CASE tool procedures for multiple project integration. Tailored purchased methodology for use within this government organization.
Senior Methodology Consultant: Developed a customized Information Engineering methodology based on Martin, Chen, Inmon, and BSP methodologies. Tailored the methodology to support its use on over 20 concurrent IE projects. Developed and applied a customized, formal training package for educating over 70 functional users and 7 analysts. Facilitated the functional users’ development of the Enterprise model and Logical Information Architectures. Developed a framework and tool for capturing Information Systems Architecture.
Senior Methodology Consultant: Established Data Administration and Information Systems Engineering procedures. Determined Information Architectures for financial management, executive summary, program management, systems engineering, and contract management business areas.
Designed Data Dictionary System. Tailored government specification requirements to accommodate new technical approaches. Developed and implemented validation, scenario, and demonstration prototypes of business area applications.
Methodology Trainer: Developed training materials, methodology books, and sales material. Customized and delivered information engineering and CASE tool training and consulting for both IEF and IEW. Tailored materials to each organization.
Systems Analyst: Developed a resource management execution system for a federal government organization that tracked the use of financial data from President’s budget to Congressional Budget, to final expenditure. Designed, developed, tested and implemented PC and mainframe portions of the system. Authored the user manuals, tutorials, and system maintenance manuals. Planned, designed, and tested the micro to mainframe interfaces. Co-ordinated and implemented client demonstrations and validations.
Systems Analyst: Reviewed and assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of military manpower and training systems. Identified deficiencies in data design, database performance, and resource usage. Recommended enhancements for systems and procedures. Identified duplication of effort. Developed logical data models for Personnel information systems.
Systems Analyst: Analyzed approximately 40 legacy information systems for a military organization. Documented current system topologies then developed a plan for transitioning from existing technology base to one that more efficiently met customers’ needs. Developed Conceptual Data Models and System Process Flow diagrams of each system. Evaluated user satisfaction, system documentation, program code integrity, system flexibility, maintenance costs, and suitability for migration to a DBMS environment.
Bachelor of Science, Computer Technology/Computer Information Systems, Purdue University, 1986. Specialization in logical and physical database development, systems analysis, and business management.
Karen is the 2006 recipient of the Canadian Information Processing Society’s Gary Hadford Professional Achievement Award. Recipients are recognized by their peers for their integrity and expertise, for their outstanding achievements in fields related to information technology and for their high degree of competence in their field. She is the first female IT professional to receive this award.
Karen is a Senior Member of the ACM.
Ms. López’s professional designation, Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) is a certification program of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS). This designation includes a Code of Ethics, as well as a requirement to formally report continuous professional development.
Member of the AITP Legislative Committee
Member of the AITP Standards of Conduct and Ethics Committee
Member (alt) of the PMI Ethics Appeals Committee
Data Integration Forum Chair of the Enterprise Data Forum 2002.
Enterprise Information Architecture Stream Co-ordinator CIPS Informatics 2003.
Served as National Director of Professional Standards of CIPS. In this role, Karen directed the Certification Council, the Information Systems and Technology Accreditation Council, the Special Program Accreditation Council and the Computer Science Accreditation Council. She also served as a Director at Large and on the CIPS Executive. Ms. López also filled roles on the Software Engineering issue and Societal Transition.
Former CIPS National Women in IT Media Spokesperson.
Former President of the IRM Association of Canada (IRMAC)
Former Director-at-Large of CIPS Ontario.
Former Member-at-Large Coordinator for the Data Management Association, International (DAMA)
Former Board Member of CAUCE Canada and Representative to the CAUCE US Board
She is the moderator of the ERwin Users Group, the Data Modelling Group, the Embarcadero ER/Studio Group, the Embarcadero DBArtisan Group, the Visible Advantage User Group, the Visible Analyst User Group, and the CASEwise Corporate Modeler Group.
Served on a consultative workshop representing CIPS and the IT Profession for the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology.
Media spokesperson on diversity in information technology, unsolicited commercial e-mail, data privacy and IT professionalism topics.
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