System migration, set up and management can be daunting at first, that’s why you need to prepare a simple migration. You’re uprooting your current system and replacing it with a new one. It’s an important step when your business is getting to a point where you’re scaling and have outgrown the capabilities being offered in your current systems. That’s an exciting move!
It’s absolutely a big task, you may have been using your old system for years. There will be documents that you don’t even remember creating, files that you’ve been looking for and couldn’t find (but look, it’s right here!). Plus a whole heap of other things that have been building up.
But, this time doesn’t need to be full of stress and complications.
Let’s take the overwhelm out of migration with six actionable steps you can follow to set you in the right direction today.
1. Clean Out/Clean Up
The first step to a simple migration is to minimise the amount of data and files that need to be moved by cleaning out and cleaning up.
If you still have old or irrelevant documents in your current system that no longer serve a purpose in your business, get rid of them. You don’t need them anymore and some new software will make you pay more to access a higher amount of storage.
Not only are you cutting down on the number of files that need to be moved over during your migration, but you’re also saving time by having less for you and your team to sift through in the new system.
If you need to update documents before you move to the new system, now’s the time to prepare a simple migration. You’re familiar with your current system and can save time by making all necessary changes now as opposed to later.
2. Take a Backup (Just in Case)
You’ve cleaned up your files? Now back everything up.
Migration is already a big enough task, you don’t want to have to re-create all of your documents because something went wrong during the change-over. It could set you and your team back weeks if not months and that’s another issue that you don’t need to be added to your plate at this time.
Migrations are the perfect time to be proactive instead of reactive.
So, take a back up!
3. Prepare Your Database
Next, you’re ready to prepare your database. Is your new system set up and ready to receive the data and documents from the old system?
You’ve just taken the time to organise and clean up all of the documents in your old system. Don’t waste time now by trying to move files over to your new system if everything isn’t in working order. It will be much easier if you can move everything over into its new place the first time around and avoid storing it somewhere you’re unfamiliar with as a placeholder.
A new system is a big deal. It’s highly unlikely to be a smooth process for anyone involved. Your team will need to be trained on the new system and will have questions about the location of documents and how their workflows and tasks will be affected.
Clients will likely have questions if they start receiving emails or contact from a new system and they haven’t been notified. So allow time for both you and your team to be fielding emails and calls from clients regarding the change.
You could also experience curveballs like files going missing or not transferring correctly. You may need to create additional documents for workflows and standard operating procedures (SOP’s) not only for your current team to follow but to streamline onboarding future team members.
Be realistic and don’t expect system migration to be easy or simple. Things won’t happen the way you planned, so be prepared and add in that extra padding beforehand so you have time to rectify and take control of mistakes and hiccups along the way.
It is also not recommended to be launching anything new during this stage in your business. Doing so adds an unnecessary and avoidable layer of stress for both you and your team. Choose a launch date outside of your migration dates or prepare a simple migration during a quieter and less disruptive time in your business.
Need more structure? See How to Confidently Plan Your Migration Like a Launch.
I know you’re excited to get cracking with the shiny new system but if you do only ONE thing from this list, make time to TEST all aspects of your new system before you go live.
Check that all of the documents and files your team needs have been transferred across correctly.
Confirm that all automations are occurring in the correct sequence and at the correct time. This is an important step to keep up a professional appearance for current and prospective clients.
Make sure that all links and client-facing communications are opening up as intended and not leading to an error page.
6. Tidy Up Post Migration
Are you still finding irrelevant documents and data now that you’ve moved?
Don’t waste precious storage space, delete it or move it to an obsolete or archive folder.
You may also realise once you and your team have been using the new system for a period of time that more processes and documents could become invalid.
There may also now be more parts of your business that can be automated depending on the features that the new system provides!
Continue tidying and simplifying as you use the system. Don’t forget to get constructive criticism and feedback from both team members and clients about what you can do to improve the new system. It will save you not only time and money but stress in the long run.
Coming to a point in your business where you have exceeded the capabilities of software is amazing! It’s a big job to move it all over, but with the right amount of planning, time and patience you will get there! Remember that if you prepare a simple migration and focus on these steps, you’ll be on your way in no time!
Need migration support?
Overwhelmed by the planning and the thought of actually completing the system migration yourself? We offer done for you system migration, set up and management for CRMs, email marketing, websites, online course/membership portals.
You can contact us to discuss all things system migration and how we can help you.