What was the biggest challenge of your migration? Were any of them unexpected or unplanned for?
Rich Hale from Active Navigation – The problem I saw and what got me into the business is how users became victims of a migration. The goal is supposed to be to help users deliver results, but I am stunned by how data and its purpose is ignored or forgotten in any migration. Usually the users aren’t planned for. The IT challenges are often so loud that users are kind of swept under the rug and their needs aren’t planned for.
Kristen from Zia Consulting – Continuing the example of the insurance company, we had hoped to really change how the company worked as the migration was done. This was met with heavy resistance by users, so we went middle of the road and decided to not change all the business processes. The unexpected portion was that the business started testing the systems and how the sites would be structured and content would be organized and how they would see work flows. As a result of seeing how the system worked they wanted more change. So we had scaled back and then suddenly we needed to change the entire system and migration to implement changes. We mitigated it by figuring out how to jump forward and give them a bigger funnel of content coming in electronically and how to capture metadata automatically and sort it.
In summary both of our panelists commented about how you can often get heads down in a migration and forget the bigger picture, particularly challenges that affect users. Rich discussed not forgetting the users, who often fall through the cracks when technology problems arise. Kristen discussed a pleasant surprise challenge of users who, after being initially resistant to change, wanted a larger process change and they had to adapt [the migration accordingly.
In short, remember the ultimate reasons and goals for which you are migrating: users and improved processes. Don’t let technology details and implementation of the migration make providing solutions that meet users’ needs an unexpected challenge.