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Strategy and Approach for Successful CMS Migration

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Many big publishing houses that use custom, propriety or even open source implementation of Content Management System (CMS) admit that their CMS is not good enough to keep pace with their current needs. But most of them are not looking for an alternative as they doubt if a new CMS would make any difference.

While this concern is genuine to a certain extent, upgrading or migrating to a new CMS is a step worth considering. Here are few facts to consider while you upgrade.

1.    Explore and Evaluate maximum possible options.

Choosing an alternate CMS is the biggest hurdle, hence one has to be extra cautious. Always hire or involve a non-biased agency or vendor for CMS evaluation. Ensure that the comparisons are quantifiable and not subjective. Make sure that all stakeholders provide their expectations of the new system before the evaluation exercise. These expectations should form the basis of the evaluation matrix.

2.    Always do a short discovery before full-fledged development

Do not rush for an implementation, CMS migration is slow and should be planned through. For a publisher, the new CMS requires new content strategy, new feeds, new syndication, new integration, etc. Discovery phase is a stage where all risks should be identified and proof of concept should be developed for feasibility. End of discovery phase should be a broad level release plan for different phases.

3.    Ensure CMS users and all stakeholders are engaged from the initial stage of development

The users of CMS, who are most vociferous in raising concern about the existing system, usually turn out to be excited as well as skeptical during kick off. Change is natural and good, but People’s reaction to change is unpredictable and irrational. Managing change means managing people’s fear. The best way to address the change is to ensure that they are part of this journey. The image below depicts the classical psychological reactions to change.

 

CMS Migration

 

It has been observed that the projects where users are involved very early, have high propensity for acceptance.

4. Follow the agile methodology for CMS migration

Though there could be another methodology for other type of system, for Content Management system migration project, Agile is a must. Migration to a new CMS is always an evolving process where new ideas, basic requirements, must have features & good to have features – all kinds of expectations need to be addressed and managed simultaneously.  Any project team which follows the principle of agile as a sprit is very unlikely to fail.

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