Final part 5 in 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 investment of time required
- Focus on usability, usability, and usability
- Engage senior management as champions
- 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 for Consultants on Cloud Migration Projects
Be sure to ask your consultant, IT Provider, Managed Services Provider (MSP), or IT Department the following questions before embarking on a cloud migration project.
- What experience do they have with the proposed solution? How many times have they implemented this solution? Do they have a single solution and expertise that they (are paid to) recommend or can they help you compare solutions?
- Conduct extensive interviews with their references (hopefully nonprofits of similar size and temperament to yours) asking questions about their experience in planning the project, training, and support they provide after rollout.
- Get to know your main contact/trainer early in the process. Does this person seem a good fit with your organization? Will you have a single point of contact or multiple trainers depending on the day? Consider what will work best for your organization and be picky.
- Understand your contract and what is considered “extra.” Knowing how important user consultation and training is, it would hurt to find out that training is not included in your implementation, or is billed separately.
- Ask how long and how often the consultant plans to meet with you to develop your new information architecture. In our experience learning your organizational culture and needs is not something that can be done in a single meeting.
- Ask about their philosophy toward involving users in all phases of the implementation. Be wary of consultants or companies that promise to minimize staff involvement or plan to develop your information architecture on their own and present it back to you at roll out. In our experience the more involved you can be, the better your system will fit your organization, be adopted by your users, and be useful.
- How flexible is the organization to your timelines, and what incentives are in place – in both organizations – to reach your deadlines and goals?
- You can’t be too careful! Ask about and understand your cloud solution’s approach to security and passwords, and shared documents. If you have concerns or hesitation, share them with your consultant or provider.
- Ask how to contact your consultant, how long they take to respond, and what response levels are covered by your contract.
- Understand how your migration will progress and what the deadlines and benchmarks are.
- How and when does your consultant perform a data inventory? Who is involved and how long is it expected to usually take? How often will you be meeting to gather the data that will be migrated? What incentives are in place to meet deadlines?
- How and when will your new Information Architecture (IA) be created? Who is involved from both their organization and yours, and how long is it expected to usually take? What incentives are in place to meet deadlines?
- How do they perform training? When do they expect to commence training? Do they have a one-size-fits-all approach to training? Can you speak to references who have been through their training? Are their training standards and expectations compatible with your organization culture?
- What is their policy toward changes and training after rollout? Do they expect the cloud system to be set in stone, and will they charge for any additional changes or additional training after the new system is being used by all staff?
- After rollout, what mechanism is in place for feedback from staff? How are improvements or corrections for problems incorporated into the new system? What incentives are in place for staff to use the new system? What incentives are in place to prevent staff working around or refusing to participate in the new system?
- Is the cloud system proprietary? Are alternate consultants or technicians readily available or does your new system depend on your relationship with this consultant forever?
- Is the cloud system expected to have longevity? Is it new, or has it already been around a while and is well-tested?
- Does the cloud system require integration with other legacy systems such as HR, payroll, or CRM, or docusign or other document software? Does your consultant have experience creating the integrations you need, or is this the first time?
This checklist concludes our 2017 series on migrating your organization to a cloud based document management system. If you missed the previous posts you’ll find links at the top.
You can download a pdf (1.2MB) or share this entire series online here.
If you’ve missed any of our past webinars or posts on cloud document storage platforms or planning, you can find more resources here.