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Data migration may turn out to be a key component for any CRM implementation especially for Enterprise organizations that are switching to a new CRM application. Any CRM system without appropriate data may end up becoming a prominent reason for program/project failure, as users may not adapt to an application when they can’t perform their job functions.

Many would consider data migration as a technical activity with mapping data elements from source system to target or moving them from a legacy system to a new one. However, there are many critical business/stakeholder aspects that need to be considered during the Data Analysis and Mapping phase.

The Data Analysis and Mapping phase cannot be successfully completed without engaging the right stakeholders and business users at different levels. Here are some of the aspects to consider for engaging business stakeholders to lay a strong foundation for successful data migration.

Understand the Difference Between Business and Data Owners

1. Business owners are users who are using a legacy system and will use a CRM application to conduct day-to-day business for the organization. Data Owners are the technical resources who are managing and maintaining the legacy application.

2. Business stakeholders are key to understanding the legacy data and to identifying how it was used to carry out business and its’ critical components.

3. Data owners should be engaged only to the extent of getting source data files and understanding the technical dependencies of the source dataset. They are the ones who extract data into the required format from a legacy system.

Effective Communication

1. Introduce various teams involved in data migration with the business and publish a formal communication plan that includes SPOC (Single Point of Contact) for each group or team.

2. Publish RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consult, or Inform) matrix for Data Migration clearly outlining where and in what capacity business engagement is required.

3. Prepare a business org chart with contact details outlining whom to reach out to for help or to escalate, if you encounter any blocks.

4. Escalation hierarchy and a matrix for all teams.

Define the Degree of Business Engagement during the Data Analysis and Mapping Phase

1. Data Analysis should be an inclusive exercise where a Data Migration Analyst/Lead needs to lay out a detailed plan with project/program manager to have details like the following:

  • Number of Hours business stakeholders need to connect with the Analyst team to help understand the Legacy data elements and its business use.
  • Availability of business resources along with a holiday calendar for their respective country.
  • Role they need to play during each phase.

2. Set up all meetings with a clear agenda and outcome from discussions, in advance.

3. Explain all templates that the business may have to validate or sign-off on (for example: Query Tracker, Lookup Mapping, Data Mapping Specification).

4. Commitment from business leadership for a quick turnaround to queries, review, and sign-off for data mappings.

Being Agile with Data Mapping (Creation, Review, and Sign-off)

1. The Data Analyst needs to make sure all analysis and mappings created are discussed and reviewed in real-time with business stakeholders.

2. All business feedback and inputs are incorporated to have accurate data mappings.

3. The Data Analyst is to connect with any downstream and upstream integration teams for impacts on data migration and keep business informed about the same.

4. Discuss any risk items and showstoppers with all key stakeholders in a joint meeting to address them faster rather than logging it in isolated system and following up every week over emails. This will help reduce multiple back and forth between the project and business teams.

5. This would also lead to faster resolution of issues between multiple teams engaged including business.

6. The business will be more confident to sign-off on the project, as they would have been part of data analysis and mapping journey.

7. This all would ultimately lead to successful data migration execution with minimum issues.

The Data Analysis and Mapping phase of a migration project cannot be successfully completed without engaging the right stakeholders and business users at different levels. By taking these points into consideration, you’ll be on your way to success!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.