There are multiple reasons you may decide to undertake a contract migration project. You may want to use a contract management software that more effectively manages your contracts. You might have recently merged with another company, whether through direct merger or buyout. Perhaps you have legacy systems that need to have their data migrated to a new system. Whatever the case, before you migrate your contracts to a new system (and our comprehensive guide can help), you need to take several steps to prepare.
1. Take a look at the scope of your project.
Do you have a relatively small business that needs to migrate over the contracts you’ve collected over a few years of operation? You may be looking at a relatively minor migration project. On the other hand, if you have a big business, then you may have a much larger project on your hands. Before you begin your contract migration process, make sure you fully understand exactly what you’re undertaking and how long it’s likely to take.
The first step to prepare for contract migration is to set realistic estimates for how long it will take to complete your contract migration project. Keep in mind that you may need to manually check a great deal of your data. While your contract reporting tools can tell you a great deal about the integrity of the data, you may need to check over those results manually to ensure that no vital data was lost during the migration. This can take time, especially when you’re dealing with a large quantity of data.
2. Decide whether you want to migrate your contract data gradually over time or all at once.
Once you have a feel for the scope of your contract migration project, decide how you want to proceed. You may want to migrate your data gradually over time or move it to a new system in one fell swoop. Each method has several advantages depending on the scope of your data migration and what you need it to accomplish.
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Moving your data all at once: When you move your data all at once, the data migration process takes minimal time. You won’t have any ambiguity as the migration drags on. Also, you’re more likely to have a clear start and end date for the migration. Unfortunately, moving your data all at once can lead to higher levels of data corruption. If something does go wrong during the data migration, you may have more problems to deal with than if you move your data steadily over time.
Moving your data slowly over time: Choosing to move your data over slowly can allow you more time to sort through the data and make sure there aren’t any compatibility issues before you complete the final transition. Often, a slow trickle contract migration project will ensure more accuracy and less confusion on the other side. You’ll also have more time to make sure that every member of the team has a full understanding of the new system before you implement it. This method, however, can lead to disruption in your business for a longer period of time. You will also have to carefully check your systems so you don’t miss any critical data during your migration.
3. Make a note of any events or challenges that could have impacted your contract data.
Keep in mind that anything could have a significant impact on your contract data, no matter how you prepare for contract migration. If there are specific contracts that are more likely to have errors, then you should check those contracts manually after the migration. You may also want to pay particular attention to contracts that are still in the negotiation phase or waiting for approval during the migration. It’s especially important to ensure that you have the current versions of those contracts.
4. Back up your contract data.
Data frequently gets lost during contract migration projects. In spite of all parties’ best efforts to keep that information as secure as possible, losses can happen. Fortunately, you can back your data up ahead of time. If you take this step, then you can easily access the old data. You can also ensure that it matches up with your new system.
5. Train your employees.
If you’re using a new contract management system, your employees need to know how to use it effectively. Before you begin to prepare for contract migration tasks, consider your team. You need to make sure that every employee can effectively use that new system. Designate trainers on your team to develop a greater understanding of the contract management software. Then, they can answer any questions that your team members have once you fully implement your new contract management software.
6. Make sure you have a clear plan for communication.
Contract migration can turn into a complex process. In some cases, you may experience unexpected delays or challenges in that process. You may also need to establish specific downtimes for your employees. Set a clear plan for communication so that employees will remain in the know and can adapt as needed.
Knowing how to prepare for contract migration properly can make a big difference in your overall success. With these critical steps, you can ensure that your business is ready for everything that lies ahead. Also, try our software for seven days as you explore migration possibilities.