5 things you need to get right to achieve library software migration success
by Clare Brown on September 18, 2023
For library and information professionals, platform migrations are not just about transitioning from one system to another; they represent an investment in the future of the service. As organisations expand and technology progresses, they need improved systems; enhanced features, increased efficiency, and fit to meet evolving business needs.
However, migrating from one software system to another can be a daunting task. This is why you need a well-structured plan so that the process is streamlined and efficient. Team Vable has put together a practical checklist to guide library and information professionals through a successful software migration:
Getting the right people to drive the migration process
People are essential to the success of the project, after all, it “takes a village” to implement new tech. From finance and the C-Suite to IT and procurement - you are dependent on interpersonal excellence to get going and succeed.
- Form your migration team: Assemble a team of 3-5 members who will manage the migration process. These individuals will have already done a lot of research to ensure the project meets the firm’s requirements, eg., a new current awareness solution. Think about whether you need to include members of your IT, knowledge, and BD departments.
- Form your group of end user “testers”: Assemble a group of people who will give you feedback on the migration process. If the project is current awareness, this could be new alerts, team-wide dashboard rollouts, content curation etc. Ensure that it includes a wide variety of interested and engaged end users. They may already have been involved in the decision-making process.
- Maintain a relationship with your vendor: Communication with all parties is important but ensuring open lines of communication with your chosen current awareness platform vendor is crucial to migration success.
Getting the right migration strategy in place
Once you have the right people in place, you need to collaborate to draft a detailed migration plan. Putting together the details of your strategy is essential to guarantee future success.
- Determine technical, time, and financial requirements: Work with individuals in finance to work out long-term budget needs over the migration project. Work with IT to figure out the technical aspects and requirements. This will help you work out realistic timing and checkpoints during the migration process.
- Implement a project management system: Use a collaboration tool to keep everyone informed. This is a place to share progress, send messages, attach files, schedule reviews and generally make the process more transparent. Eg., Monday.com, Jira, or Trello.
- Create a risk assessment report. Determine all relevant risks which might impact the migration, for example, information security issues. Your compliance or IT team will help you with this aspect of the migration.
Getting the right tech prepared
I have already touched on some technical matters but you need to drill down into the detail. Ensure that you have all of these on your migration plan - again, this is in the context of current awareness.
- Consider your success criteria and development priorities: Certain technical specifications will be non-negotiable and will have been discussed during the software trial. What software developments are needed to ensure the success of the migration? Integrations, single sign-on, user management etc.
- Determine what data you will be migrating: Identify what sources, alerts, newsletters, end users etc., that you have on your existing current awareness platform. Carry out a newsletter audit and review unused sources and out-of-date alerts to declutter and streamline. Your vendor will go through the various migration options so that the process will be as smooth as possible.
- Current awareness platform preparation: Set up your taxonomy and label structures, configure account settings, design email templates, and establish best practices. You will also need to review publisher requirements. Do you need publisher APIs activated? What else do you need from your legal publishers in the way of tokens and access codes?
Getting the right training up and running
New systems present new challenges for people. You need to work with the vendor to ensure training is rolled out to all involved. End users, power users, and occasional users - all will require different training needs.
- Establish an onboarding timeline: Your vendor will work with key Administrators and other power users to get your team up and running efficiently, for instance, determining the number of expert-level training sessions, with regular touchpoints.
- Carry out end user training: Identify which type of training is applicable for your end users. It might be one-to-one training for professional support lawyers or business development specialists. You could run group sessions or webinars for department heads. Some users might just need to know how to find out how to access the end user portal - minimal training required!
Getting the right people engaged and talking!
It is crucial for library and information professionals to be communication experts - get people engaged and talking about your new and improved service. By asking what our end-users need, we can provide a successful and valuable service to them.
- Create internal interest: Ensure open lines of communication with all stakeholders, including IT, knowledge and BD departments.
- Create an environment for easy external communication: Introduce vendors to all relevant people in your firm. If everyone is on good terms, it makes the migration run far more smoothly!
By following this checklist, library and information professionals can ensure a smooth and successful software migration, harnessing the full potential of the new system.