Best Practices for an Email Migration Planning WorkshopSeptember 17, 2012
Everyone knows that the first step in any activity is the most crucial one. An email migration project is no exception. However, the importance of the proper project initiation is often overlooked. Many times a project kickoff meeting focuses only on the statement of work when it should include a full planning workshop, which involves significantly more than a document review. There are several key considerations that should be addressed during this session and all responsible parties must be in attendance. Binary Tree specializes in email migrations and we often run migration planning workshops with customers that are preparing for their transition to Exchange 2010. In this blog post, I’m going to impart some of our best practices to drive a successful planning workshop for an upcoming mail migration. The main topics covered in this article are:
- Understand why the migration is occurring
- Define critical goals for the success of the project
- Identify project team roles and responsibilities
- Plan for end-user change management
- Ensure team buy-in on realistic project timeline and milestones
- Address the top 3 overlooked critical success factors
As you can see from the list items above, this workshop is not something you can complete in an hour or two. These planning sessions should be at least 4-5 hours, or longer, and sometimes extend to several days, depending on the size of the project. And the overall theme for the workshop is to get the project team and key sponsors on the same page. Everyone should leave this workshop in total agreement on the success criteria for the project and a complete understanding of their roles and subsequent responsibilities for the project.
- Project Manager: the coordinator and team leader with authority to assign tasks and drive the timeline/milestones for the project.
- Lead Architect for Messaging Infrastructure: the source and target platform owner responsible for architecture and deployment.
- Hardware Czar: responsible for procuring new hardware for target infrastructure and migration processing.
- End-User Support and Communications Manager: responsible for all coordination with helpdesk, user notifications, training and support escalations.
- Executive Sponsor: the project owner to help with any political red-tape, funding issues and final decision making for migration tasks.
- Overlooked Item #1: Not properly translating content into a format supported by the target platform
- Overlooked Item #2: Not establishing the coexistence functionality needed to support end-user interoperability during the migration
- Overlooked Item #3: Not understanding where content should migrated to, and if it should migrated at all