Project managers guide to D7-D8 migration projects

Today one of our clients posed us a question that should be asked before any new migration project, maybe before every new project. What are the lessons learnt from your past experience in Migration projects? I thought the answers may help our fellow travelers in the D7-D8 migration journey.

Your estimate is just a guesstimate:

Expect the unexpected in your migration journey. There will be obstacles in your path that you don’t anticipate at the beginning. Your estimations will most likely fall short. Share budget run downs with the right audience periodically to assess financial risk and take appropriate actions. 

Talk to ALL stakeholders:

It is important to keep the stakeholders involved at all times in the migration journey. No one understands the system better that your end users/stakeholders. Involve them early on and keep them intimately aware of the changes to not only verify the changes but also to ensure their expectations are met.

Have a roadmap and be ready to pivot:

Having worked on Agile projects this should have become second nature. Make a plan and be ready to pivot according to the reality of the situation on the ground.

Good Inventory of functionality:

Try to work towards a well documented inventory of the various subcomponents of your site. Involve stakeholders and discuss the relevance and importance of the functionality. Get a sign-off. This may very well be time-consuming but will be well worth the efforts. This will immensely help to get your Definition of Done.

Special attention to Quality assurance:

QA is of paramount importance. Verification of the work done is crucial and would take tremendous efforts. Allocate time and resources accordingly. Cant stress enough that the end-users and all the stakeholders should be involved in the verification work. There is no work around for this. Explain the importance of this step to the stakeholders early on.

Use migration as an excuse to clean up:

Use migration as a pretext for cleanup of code, removal of unneeded functionality or modernization of tech stack.

Rein-in new requirements:

Sometimes stakeholders tend to request for a complete re-haul of their functionality when you are looking to migrate. While that is doable there are costs involved. Assess the new requirements and costs and take appropriate sign-offs to not get into budget over-runs.

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