Whether you’ve decided to switch to a new contract management system or you’re in the middle of a merger, your business still needs to maintain daily operations. You want to be sure that you’re able to keep up the regular flow of business despite your data migration. No matter what changes you make internally, your clients expect the same high quality of service you’ve always provided. Read our contract migration project guide for help with your project from start to finish. As you start, there are several steps you can take to keep up with your normal business tasks and responsibilities.
Create a Plan for Your Migration
Attempting a data migration with no plan in place to maintain daily operations could prove catastrophic for your entire business. By creating a plan ahead of time, you can more effectively migrate your data. Proactively planning also protects the normal tasks your business needs to complete each day. Make sure you have a solid understanding of:
- The scope of the project
- How long you expect it to take
- How you’ll keep up with normal work tasks during the migration project
You also want to ensure communication with your entire staff. This will ensure that everyone knows what to expect during the migration project.
Migrate Data at the Right Time
Data migration will often cause some disruptions to your normal work processes. That does not necessarily mean, however, that you have to give up your business’s usual efficiency. Instead, make sure you choose the right time to migrate your data. Some businesses choose the trickle method: they migrate data gradually over time, allowing for effective testing for the quality and integrity of each data set before moving on to the next set.
Other businesses may choose the “big bang” approach. This approach migrates all of your data over at the same time, in one fell swoop. This method allows a fast swap to a new system. But it may make it more difficult to properly check the integrity of your data and your contracts before beginning to utilize the new system. It can also be too interruptive if you also need to maintain your daily operations.
Whichever system you use, make sure you choose the time that is as convenient as possible for most of your departments. Do not, for example, schedule a data migration in the middle of the workday during your busiest sales season. That’s when multiple members of your team may need to access the contract management system at the same time.
Set Clear Priorities
Make sure you assign clear priorities to the data that needs to be migrated fastest and most efficiently. High-priority data might include:
- Currently active contracts
- Contracts that you’re currently negotiating
- Contracts that you may need to refer back to in the near future
- Lease agreements and vendor contracts
Other documents, including legacy contracts, can often wait until a later stage of the migration. While this data is still important for your business, it can wait until more critical data has been migrated over.
Clearly Designate What System to Use When
If you’re combining two businesses and migrating to a single data system, both businesses may want to continue using their existing systems until the migration is complete. This will make it easier for each business to maintain daily operations keep up with its own contracts during the migration process as well as clearly designating which company is responsible for taking care of specific responsibilities.
Set a clear date for when you expect your employees to start using the new system. Before that date arrives, make sure every employee has a clear understanding of how to use that system and what will need to change about their workflows and processes to complete the migration.
Put Training on the Schedule
To keep your workflows moving smoothly, your employees need to know how to use the new system. If the employees who have to use it every day have no idea how to use it properly, then it may disrupt daily business operations. Set aside time for training before you migrate to the new system. You may want to consider a test deployment. This will allow some members of the departments to get to know the system before completing the data migration. Proper training can help employees transition more smoothly to the new system. It also ensures that you can make the most of all of its features.
You may notice some disruptions to your usual schedule due to your data migration. But that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality your customers count on. With these strategies, you can maintain the regular flow of your business even while you’re in the middle of a major migration project.