Over the last few years the level of system migrations has risen as legacy platforms have reached the end of their life and new platforms have risen to take their place. In order to achieve the best possible results when planning your system migration there are a number of common denominators that should be followed, including:
Following the steps detailed below will help to achieve the desired criteria and achieve a successful migration.
Step One: Insert Yourself as the Project Advisor Wherever Possible.
To successfully complete a technology project a strong leading voice is needed. Insert yourself into this advisor role and everything else should fall into place. Understand the end user needs, challenges and organizational drivers for the migration and let them be your guiding light to a successful migration.
Step Two: Use Due Diligence to Ensure That the Right Technological Decisions Are Made or to Ensure Your Team Are Guided into Making the Right Decision.
Ensuring that the right platform is selected for migration is a crucial part of your next generation solution as it will provide the backbone for all other technological components to connect to. This is why it is important that you educate yourself on possible platforms and their suitability and run through them with your end user to give them comfort that you have their best interests at heart.
Step Three: Component Testing / Verification.
Once platform selection has been agreed its compatibility with all components that it may need to connect to need to be confirmed. This can be achieved through a formal “request for information” (RFI) to component providers or an informal meeting with the solution engineers. You should anticipate that some development work will be required here.
Step Four: Verification from a Comprehensive Vantage Point.
At this stage you need to have developed a reasonable level of confidence in both the preferred platform and components required to provide the chosen solution. There needs to be confidence that all the pieces are compatible and will come together as required. This process is commonly referred to as a “Conference Room Pilot” and is used to ensure the integrity of all information provided by stakeholders, about their components capabilities. It also allows you to draw out any surprises that will need to be addressed before you move on to full scale implementation. It is important to note that what you do – or do not do – at this point will have a large impact on outcomes.
Step Five: Get Stakeholder Buy In & Sign Off.
Once an overall evaluation of the platform, along with all the possible components that may be required, has been undertaken all stakeholder should have a clear understanding of the remaining work that is required. This is where terms need to be finalised and plans and deadlines rolled out. Deadlines need to be achievable through manageable phases to avoid unnecessary pressure and counterproductive issues.
Steps Six: Communicate – Test – Repeat
These final step holds the key to success, this however does not mean that you can disregard the other steps. Open & frequent dialogues should be a given during rollout, continuing after the solution goes live. Early and frequent inclusion of end-users will ensure any issues are identified and resolved with maximum efficiency and avoid the occurrence of any post rollout issues. Component and overall solution testing should utilise the same rules: start testing early and often. Robust testing should commence in the evaluation stages and continued throughout implementation as well as being conducted once the solution is live, catching issues before they hit the field.
Rigorously following the above steps is the difference between a successful project and one that needs continual “fixes”. In the haste of things, it’s very easy to pick a platform without researching and considering all industry leading components. One wrong first decision can lead to multiple small fires and hidden issues will start growing until they are almost all too big to fix, resulting in a lot of wasted time and unnecessary cost and stress.
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