From a user organization perspective, constructing an effective project team needs to be one of the initial mandatory objectives and activities are undertaken when implementing a Migration Project. All projects require a successful team, and a migration – whether it's a classic migration or stand-up integration— can suffer without one.
The right team of players, working together to hone the vision, is required to construct the concepts considered for the new system, refine the course of action, and develop strategies to achieve the defined goals and objectives. These team members are integral to your project's success as the solution, the project plan, the software tools, and the infrastructure components.
Forming the right team is not a cakewalk, though; otherwise, everyone would do it. Not everyone welcomes new ideas and changes to the existing process, but the right team members are critical for success. Even everything else is perfect for your project (yes, everything), the team will make or break your migration.
Migration Team Members
While the exact position titles and numbers of team members will differ depending on your organization's size and individuals' skill levels, requiring these eight roles migration project will set you up for success:
- Executive Sponsor
- Business Analyst
- Records/Compliance Manager
- IT/IS Manager
- Line-of-Business Manager
- Project Manager
- End Users
Before migration begins, there needs to be a management-level person(s) involved as a project sponsor(s) and participant, likely a department/division owner or line of business (LOB) owner. If this person is not an executive, they need to acquire executive-level management's active support and sponsorship.
Executive support is a critical factor here. The Executive needs to support the project's sponsor with enthusiasm. Dynamic and effective executive leadership solidifies the vision for the migration project and helps smooth the transition from 'big dream' to realizing the final project; achieving project acceptance and enthusiasm cascades when the executive leadership focuses on middle management and then spreads to users and supervisors. The goodwill impacts the organization as the project picks up speed and eventually begins.
All this happens pre-migration, but what about during migration?
Typically, the (hopefully) one-time migration isn't a team member's primary function. The ability to balance their current workload with the ongoing project through completion is critical. While doing some work for one of our partners – we were asked to look at the existing workload for their ECM team. They had done a great job maintaining and integrating ECM components from a variety of vendors. However, everyone on the team had primary support duties for at least one system component and was involved in customer support issues and updating /enhancing the company's ECM system on nearly a daily basis. This type of workload is not uncommon, even among highly efficient teams.
Additionally, over the years, the team developed various applications, forms, workflows, and integrations into line-of-business systems. Once in production, support for these applications is the ECM team's responsibility. Adding up the time spent on support-related activities showed that this team now spent over 50% of a typical day away from development tasks. Increasingly, projects were taking longer, and the development pipeline for new Content or Data projects had grown to three dozen items.
Imagine this is your team, and you're preparing to migrate to a new system, adding even more work. Hiring more people is one response, but as we know, content and data migration expertise are hard to find (some markets and products more so than others.) So, what do you do if you can't throw more people at the issue? Focus on efficiency.
Maintaining the Team
The same thing goes for any team, no matter what size. When we discussed roles earlier, that list isn't exhaustive, set in stone, or sometimes even plausible for your organization. Team members may have to double-up, and that is okay. Look at what you can do to maintain efficiency and enthusiasm. When you build your team, look at the dynamics within as well.
Do you have a trusted partner to augment your team or participate in the project?
- What can you do to minimize distractions and interruptions?
- Can migration tasks have dedicated hours?
- Are each person's strengths being capitalized on for the good of the team?
- If one team member is wearing many hats, how can you better support that person?
- Are you maintaining a positive outlook and nurturing morale?
- Do you have the right people performing the right tasks?
All of this affects your team and their functional capabilities within their designated roles. Do your best to reduce the urgency of migration and focus on team strengths and end goals. It can also help make a "day forward plan" for your new system and migrate older content over time. By building the right team and maintaining said team through high-quality leadership, you can migrate successfully. How did you go about building your team? What stage of migration are you at?
We have more helpful and informative articles about our experience and approach to data migration. See below.
We are here to help and guide you with your migration journey and if you have any questions regarding content migration, feel free to send us a message and one of our team members will get back to you shortly.
We look forward to hearing from you.