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Before you jump into IT migration, you need to have a strategy in place. Without proper project management, and a well-made migration strategy using best practices, you will end up creating more work and up your risk of running into trouble along the way.

There are many reasons to migrate IT resources, from introducing a new system to changing applications, to joining the cloud or switching your operating systems. Migration can positively impact your business, speeding up processes, future-proofing your information and otherwise improving your hardware, software and data.

Of course, to get to that successful place, you need to move those resources, which can be a daunting process for even the most experienced IT professional.

Whether you are migrating data, software or anything else in the tech realm, check out these eight brilliant tips for project management and migration strategy.

1. A Project Definition

Any successful migration strategy starts with defining your project. This should broadly cover all aspects of your planned migration, including:

  • why you are doing it
  • the benefits
  • your objectives
  • the outlined scope of the migration
  • what risks you may encounter and your plans to mitigate them
  • how you will accomplish the migration
  • who will be involved, including stakeholders
  • estimates of the effort, cost and timeline

Anything that has an impact on the success of the project should go into this project definition, which informs your overall migration strategy. If you run into any questions or problems you can refer back to the project definition to see what your initial plan was.

2. Defined Project Management Procedures

You will find that defining project management procedures is also very helpful. It gives your team something to refer to in regard to how you will handle any issues that arise, how you will communicate and how you can proactively manage your migration strategy.

These procedures apply to everyone involved in the migration project and set the tone for how it will unfold.

3. Monitored Progress

Your migration strategy may be something that takes a long time, or a short time to accomplish. No matter the timeline, monitor your progress regularly.

This part of project management is key. It ensures you are within your goals, your schedule and your budgeted resources. If you monitor how you are doing and find that something is lagging behind, you can use this information to get back on the migration strategy plan, or adjust it accordingly.

4. Issues are Resolved Effectively

In a successful migration project, resolving issues is part of the migration strategy. The project manager or team lead should have a handle on any issues that arise along with a way to manage these problems and solve them as quickly and effectively as possible.

Your project manager should have a good idea of what issues are the riskiest or most urgent, and what may not be a big issue after all, to best use resources.

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5. Migration Is Not Delayed

Historically, many companies have opted to delay migration or schedule it for off times, in fear of losing revenue with a planned downtime for migration. This doesn’t have to happen. In fact, putting migration off may lead to bigger problems down the road when your tech is not what it should be.

Scheduling migration for an off-peak time may involve bringing staff in for overtime, thus adding to the cost of migration, too. The solution is to find a migration strategy that minimises the impact of migration, be it through non-disruptive software that eliminates downtime or a streamlined approach that minimises how long your systems will be offline.

Migration Testing

Before starting to migrate, a good migration strategy and project management approach involves time and resources built in for testing. This should happen well before you touch the data, software, or technology that is moving. This way, you can troubleshoot any problems that arise without real-world implications.

Regular testing helps catch mistakes and problems large and small. When you are ready to hit go on migration, you will have planned for every possible error.

You should also test after migration to be sure that everything worked as strategized, and that your migration is complete. Again, by doing this, you will get ahead of any users who would otherwise have run into problems and felt frustrated.

7. Documentation of the Process

A good migration strategy involves thorough documentation of the process, including what did not work well alongside what was successful. When it comes time to migrate something else, your IT team can refer back to the previous report, working to create a consistent process that works every time.

By working to improve your migration process, your strategy will practically streamline itself, and you will find project management is simplified, too.

8. Outsourcing as Needed

Any good IT department and project management team knows when to seek out help. Whether your project is too large in scope to handle in-house and you recognize it from the start, or you run into a project-threatening issue partway through the process, consulting with IT experts can help get things on track and keep them that way.

By outsourcing your migration strategy–or the migration itself–to a professional team, you can keep your staff working on usual business development and operations instead of worrying about how to best migrate important information.

A good migration is one that your users barely notice, or do not notice at all. It should not make your IT team and other staff want to rip out their hair.

Whatever your migration strategy may be, incorporate these proven tactics for a process that is easier to handle and more likely to be successful. Click here for more information or assistance with your migration.

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