Part 4 of our series.
Over the past 5 years, nearly every Community IT infrastructure project has included some cloud document management component. As we have helped clients plan and migrate their platform for managing documents to the cloud, several trends have started to emerge.
In this series of posts we’re covering different aspects of a migration project and how to be successful. As you think more seriously about migrating to a cloud based document management solution please consider our tested and proven methodology:
- Outline your requirements to build your business case
- Define your project scope using research and due diligence
- Set expectations and educate users and management early with regards to what the system can and can’t do, and the extended investment of time required
- Focus on usability, usability, and usability
- Engage senior management as champions – tips in this post
- Expect your implementation to take time, and plan accordingly. This is a major investment you are undertaking, and needs planning and attention to succeed.
- Checklist of questions to ask your IT provider before migration
Engage Senior Management as Champions
Gaining the support and engagement of senior staff is so important, we believe it requires special attention.
One or more members of the senior management team should be designated as a project sponsor to champion the project and give it the appropriate organizational priority to ensure its success. The project sponsor should also be the lead for internal communication and should stress the importance of active participation by all relevant stakeholders.
Here are two concrete examples from our Community IT Innovators experience where executive sponsorship was critical for project success or failure:
- In one file migration project, the on-premise file server was being decommissioned and the organization was moving to a cloud based document management solution. At the halfway point the project was behind schedule. We learned non-IT staff didn’t appreciate the benefits of the system and were not actively participating in the required training. We convinced one of the Vice Presidents to become the project sponsor. He communicated the benefits of the new system to the other senior management staff and helped them incorporate the training into their weekly meetings. The VP’s efforts helped complete the project within budget and on time.
- One client had new compliance needs and embarked on a migration from one cloud file sharing system to a more secure platform. The senior management team were not involved in the initial decision. Department heads did not communicate milestones with their team members. Fewer than half of the staff attended training, reviewed the manual or watched the training video, and the CEO was not aware that the new system had a different user interface. The CIO had failed to communicate these important project requirements to the other executives in the organization. The project was canceled one week after the rollout and the client migrated back to their old file storage platform despite its security risks.
Expect the Implementation to Take Time, and Plan for it to Take Time
Timing is vital.
- You will need the attention of all stakeholders who will use the new system.
- You should schedule the project when there won’t be other competing organizational priorities. For example, don’t schedule a cloud migration project just before an important annual event such as a conference or board meeting.
- While there maybe be better times to implement this project, there will probably be no perfect time. Part of your planning should be an assessment of your organization needs and any mission critical aspects of your implementation that will determine your schedule. For example, if you need to change systems for security reasons, a long methodical roll out may place your organization at risk and speed up the urgency of your implementation. Conversely, if you know your organization will need to manage an annual conference, you might create an implementation schedule with deadlines spread over time and a break in the middle to focus on the conference.
- Plan for implementation to take longer than you expect, and build flexibility into your schedule to allow for breaks in training and delays in roll out due to other schedule priorities and unexpected events.
Part 5 in this series is our checklist of questions to ask your IT staff or consultants when you embark on an implementation project.
If you missed the previous posts you’ll find links at the top.
If you’ve missed any of our past webinars or posts on cloud document storage platforms or planning, you can find more resources here.
You can download a pdf (1.2MB) or share this entire series online here.