How to minimise risk in the early planning of a data migration project

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The way that organisations operate, store and use their data is complicated.  And migrating critical business or technical data is not an everyday activity for most organisations.  While staff and systems play an important role in reducing the risks involved with data migration, early stage planning can also help.  It identifies potential issues that may occur later in the project, enabling the organisation to plan the mitigation of risk.

Our scoping service involves a complete review of a project, providing clients with a full picture of timescales, workflows, abilities and risks.  To review your own project, we find it’s practical to divide the review into two parts: the project’s structure and its technical aspects.

The project review should evaluate the following areas:

  • Are the deliverables and deadlines clearly defined?
  • Is the budget sufficient?  We base our cost estimates on the budget used by previous migrations.
  • Have all potential stakeholders been included in the plan?
  • Are there communication plans in place, and do they include all stakeholders, senior management and, if necessary, the wider organisation?
  • Are there personnel in the right number and with the right skills? Specifically, are there sufficient:
    • Business domain experts
    • System experts
    • Data migration experts.

The technical review usually assesses the quality and fit of:

  • The proposed migration methodology and workflow
  • The data security plan
  • The software available
  • The volume and cleanliness of the data to be migrated.

Analysing these aspects in the early stages of a project will help to reduce risk and realise best practice.  It also provides supporting evidence when requesting additional funding or other resources.

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    data migration planning guide