Transitioning to something new such as a new CRM, integration platform, report solution, ERP, data warehouse, or data governance solution? Any kind of transition is not easy. And it takes a lot of work and resources. You want and need to have the transition go well. This blog post will discuss the following areas: why you are making the transition, what to transition to, when to transition and how to do the transition in high level terms.
Why the transition?
Make sure you understand the reason for the transition, so history does not repeat itself. As they say, it starts with why. The transition is probably due to one or more of the following:
- You are not seeing the value of your current platform
- Your current platform is just managing some of your efforts as other tools are necessary or manual efforts are still being used
- You determined that there is limited adoption by your staff of the current platform
- Your current platform is not aligned with your organization’s goals
- Your current platform is not integrated with the rest of your technology stack
- Your current platform is not supported by its vendor any longer (or soon to be)
- Your organization has merged with another organization and there is a need to consolidate platforms
- The current platform is not intuitive or easy to use
What to transition to?
It is important that you have reviewed several platform options before selecting the one that fits your organization. Then you need to learn about the new solution. Understand what are the features of the new platform, its limitations, and whether these are aligned with your organization’s needs and goals, especially when the effort to transition involves time, money, and resources.
When to transition?
It often fells like there is never a good time to make a transition to something new. Here are a few items to take into consideration when determining the right time to transition:
- Budget – Make sure that you assess and understand the costs associated with the transition and that you have these costs in the budget.
- Renewal Date – Sometimes, it makes sense to align around your current platform’s renewal or contract date. You probably do not want to be paying for multiple platforms at the same time.
- Slow Time – Review if there is a time of year that would be best to make the transition such as end of year, holiday periods, production slowdown, school not in session, or low donor inactivity.
- Bandwidth – Evaluate your resources (staff time) and make sure you have the internal bandwidth to make the transition. Be realistic. Possibly investigate hiring external resources to assist.
- Consensus – It is important that you have buy-in from upper management and members of other teams that might be involved before deciding when to transition (and the transition in general).
- Support – If you are losing support for the current platform on a certain date then this plays a big factor in selecting a transition date.
How to transition?
Here are high Level points of how to make the transition successful:
- Create a transition plan by reviewing your current platform, knowing the new platform, assembling the team, determining tasks with due dates, and figuring out the management method to be used
- Add data governance to the transition as all these transitions involve data. Data governance will make the transition easier and more successful
- Communicate about the transition to anyone that will be affected by the transition – make sure that there is a communication element to your plan
- Test the transition plan by using a staging environment if possible
- Perform the transition
- Monitor the transition progress – manage the tasks and make notes on what could be improved for your next transition
Transitioning to new platforms, solutions, or systems, such as CRM, integration platform, report solution, ERP, data warehouse, or data governance solution, is not easy. It needs the right platform and the right plan done at the right time. And data governance (or data intelligence) is important in the success of these transitions. Hope that you find this post beneficial in your transition efforts.
IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, data intelligence, data stewardship and data quality initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.
Photo Credit:StockSnap_S91F8W7AC3_RoadArrow_Transition_BP #B1177