ZIMS stands for Zoological Information Management System. The ZIMS product will be truly revolutionary for the zoo and aquarium profession. The project goes beyond the initial vision of a central repository of zoological data to a system that supports the information needs of the many diverse animal care and management activities of our zoological institutions.
Phase I of the Project began in July, 2001 and was completed January, 2002. Deliverables from this phase included Project Mission and Charter , Conceptual Data Model, Technology Assessment, Work Processes Document and initial Project Plan.
Phase II of the Project began in April, 2002. This phase produced an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the design and development of the system.
In 2003 ISIS took on the project, hired a full-time Project Manager, and the RFP was released. ISIS also undertook significant restructuring efforts and the capital campaign to support the ZIMS Project.
In 2004, ISIS contracted with software vendor, CGI, to design and develop the first release of ZIMS with core and veterinary modules.
For more information about the four major campaigns which make up the ZIMS Project visit http://www.isis.org/zims/ZimsMain.asp.
ISIS took on management of the ZIMS Project in 2003 and hired a full-time Project Manager and Chief Technology Officer, Syed Hassan. In early 2004, ISIS hired software vendor, CGI, for design and development of ZIMS.
IADISC is the International Animal Data
Information Systems Committee. Members include representatives from
regional zoological and aquarium associations around the world. The
mission of IADISC is to serve as a global
forum and mechanism for the
user community’s involvement necessary
to move forward with the planning, design, development, and deployment of
ZIMS. IADISC is actively identifying and engaging Subject Matter
Experts in the design of ZIMS. For more information on IADISC visit www.iadisc.org
CGI is a Global Information Technology and Business Process Services firm, with over 25,000 professionals and 3500+ clients worldwide. They were selected, through a rigorous competitive process, to design and build ZIMS. CGI information technology specialists will facilitate the JAD sessions.
There are many ways to get involved! The design of the system and the development of data standards will require input from many Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Visit both the ISIS web site www.isis.org and the IADISC web site www.iadisc.org to learn more. To specifically get involved in the electronic discussions of standards contact the listserve moderators (see http://www.iadisc.org/SMEData.htm )
the design and development of the ZIMS, the need for Subject Matter
Experts’ (SMEs’) time and commitment will be significant.
Participation in ZIMS Project workshops is one way in which SME’s will
be asked to provide their knowledge of business processes and data
To ensure that these sessions are focused and productive while
representing the broadest spectrum of business knowledge and expertise,
IADISC and the regional ADISC’s, have developed the following guidelines
for workshop participant selection and will assist the ZIMS Team by providing a list of individuals that meet these criteria for
The workshops are an important part of the process in providing interactive forums for the system designers to understand and document the business requirements from a diverse group of subject matter experts (SMEs). There are 2 kinds of workshops, JAD (Joint Application Design) sessions and standards workshops. The 5 JAD sessions are intense 4 day workshops that result in technical documentation describing the system requirements. A series of 12 or more standards workshops will be held starting in late 2004 in which subject matter experts will focus on the development of standards that will be required for the implementation of ZIMS.
It is projected that the first release of ZIMS will be deployed in mid 2006.9. Where are we currently with the Project?
We are in the inception phase of design. A series of 5 workshops called JAD sessions (Joint Application Design) will be held between July and November of 2004 around the world. In parallel to these workshops, there is much work going on by the ZIMS team, CGI, and IADISC collaborating by various means such as electronic discussions, meetings, and global teleconferences, to gather the data necessary to design the system and develop standards.
Yes, the first release of ZIMS will replace ARKS, MedARKS and SPARKS.
ZIMS product will be truly revolutionary for the zoo and aquarium
profession. The project goes beyond the
initial vision of a central repository of zoological data to a system that
supports the information needs of the many diverse animal care and
management activities of our zoological institutions.
main architectural components of ZIMS include:
ISIS is seeking initial investments from members of the global zoo and aquarium community, who have already provided over 3 million in "start-up capital." ISIS is also seeking major support from government bodies, corporations, foundations, and individuals around the world. For more information on the ZIMS Capital campaign visit www.isis.org .
is a sophisticated and complex development initiative. The current plan is
to develop a commercial quality product that supports diverse activities
for a wide variety of zoological institutions and other stakeholders. The
ZIMS budget will need to be robust enough to result in a software product
of appropriate scope and functionality.
first release of ZIMS includes core (inventory) and veterinary
functionality plus a data warehouse.
The full nutrition module will be included in future releases of
ZIMS although some basic elements are included in the veterinary module.
the ZIMS Project Team is utilizing existing knowledge of animal systems
and specifically analyzing existing technical systems design
documentation. The ZIMS
Project Team is interested in acquiring any additional information about
other existing animal database applications.
business case statements have been developed to explain the benefit of
ZIMS but there is still more work to be done.
One example of a cost savings is the decreased need for duplicate
data entry by studbook keepers who will utilize the central database
rather than create studbooks from scratch. It is roughly estimated that
this could save $1M/year in labour savings across the user institutions.
This most likely will not result in reduced staff levels, but
instead increase productivity and capacity, in the same way that modern
office information tools, accounting systems, and membership management
systems do. The benefits of higher data quality and better access to data
are difficult to quantify though are recognized as being significant to
our community activities
plans to expand capacity to support ZIMS in the future.
The ISIS Board is addressing the need for funding.
Yes, the details of the plan will not be established until after the vendor is on board and the project schedule is better defined. A test plan is very important and the users must be involved in both the development of the plan and the testing. IADISC will support ISIS in implementing a test plan and suggest suitable user testers.