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The Sullexis Blog

Data Migration? A walk in the park after a long bus ride!

Tim Morgan
May 16, 2017

Over the years Sullexis has prided itself on the successful delivery of many data migration projects. With our teams’ experience, our methodology and supporting tools we are confident that we have the capability to deliver.

Having said that, the biggest critical success factor on a data migration project is always our client’s business team engagement and support of the migration (a fact backed up by Phillip Howard’s paper for Bloor Research – Data Migration.

At the onset of many data migration engagements, clients believe it is a technical endeavor to be conducted by IT. They are surprised to learn the extent to which the business must be involved providing guidance on the source data, any historical context or special (non-standard) usage of data fields, and local business processes that have ‘hijacked’ fields and processes to meet specific needs.

As I pack my daughter off on her school trip to a local museum today, I am reminded of the bus company analogy I have used in the past to delineate between the business and IT team roles in the project.

As the bus company, IT’s obligation is to arrive at the bus stops on schedule (the cut-over date), drive the pre-defined routes (data transformation), and arrive safely at the destination on time (the go-live). This works well as long as the business team ensures that all the passengers (the data) show up at the appropriate bus stop on time.

While Sullexis plays many roles on a data migration project, one of the most important is that of acting like a charter management company working with both the business and IT to make sure things go smoothly by: identifying the number and the type of passengers (scoping), outlining what buses are needed and which passengers get on which bus (mapping), developing a contingency in case more passengers show up than expected (delta load), agreeing on the best route and any stops (migration strategy), verifying that all passengers have completed their consent form (data quality) and communicating frequently and clearly (stakeholder management).

These activities and interactions need to be planned in advance of the trip, measured and reported along the way.

By leveraging a tried and tested data migration methodology, at Sullexis we use PDMv2 (Practical Data Migration from Johnny Morris), we believe that the responsibility of the business is highlighted at the very onset. Engaging the business early results in getting the right passengers at the right bus stop on time.

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