Platform migrations – not really like a flock of sparrows.

Migrations. Moving from one place to another. For birds in the Nordics it is as simple as flying south for the winter. For the client I am currently flying to, the trip will be a little more complicated.

In about an hour I will be landing in Brussels to share experiences, thoughts and ideas on migrating away from a global and distributed IBM Lotus Notes/Domino solution to a new platform.

There are quite a few things to think about, no matter if the migration is from one platform to another or even to a newer version.

Here are three of the things I will be sharing today:

Business case

Building a business case on mere cost cuts for licenses and hardware will most probably not motivate a migration. The return of investment in pure financials after a migration project will take years to realize. The business case only starts making sense when you add qualitative values onto of quantitative. Things like:

  • User experience, will it be faster to find documents? Less time to spent to perform tasks?
  • Platform alignment and integrations.
  • Ease of finding competence

One-to-one migrations

There is no such thing as a one-to-one migration on a feature level. The new solution will be different, take advantage of that. Don’t try to bend it over backwards based on what is in the old.

Use the strengths in the new to deliver more value then is currently there. Focus should be on delivering the same capability, adapted and improved.

The big bang theory

Don’t do big bangs. Do a phased migration. It will let you learn from experience and adjust as you go. Plan for, and expect, co-existence. Find the key usage scenarios and migrate one or two of them. Adapt, improve, move on.

Don’t be fooled by the straight forward advices; there are more than one devil in the details here.

My experience is that any migration will be a bumpy ride. However, following these three advices will give less bumps for the business and more tools to parry them in the project.

Happy migrations!