Migrating Content to a DMS – Best Practices

Migrating Content to a DMS – Best Practices

Migrating Content to a DMS – Best Practices

There are many reasons to move content from a legacy system into a central Document Management System.

  • Establish a single ‘search’ or point of access.
  • Decommission obsolete servers.
  • Rationalize Records Management approach to different content silos.
  • Enable future collaboration.

Great, so you’ve decided on a massive content import from some other repository. Perhaps it’s a prior document management system, shared network folders, Exchange or Outlook PST files, or a combination of these. How do you tackle the project?  Here’s the central page that links you to the collected articles.

Project structure and best practices

As with any systems and software project that you might wish to be successful, it is beneficial to structure the effort along the lines of what we’ve described as an overall solution process. Use at least basic project management so that you guide the project, rather than the project running, and ruining, your life.

The core process is described in comprehensive detail elsewhere, so I will not elaborate much on the fundamentals of the solution process. Instead, I’ve used the stages of the solution process to organize the lessons-learned into a logical progression. On the other hand, some aspects of our standard solution process – constantly used as a consultant – may be entirely new to your cross-organization file-import team. Click through to details and recommendations on individual stages.

Treat it like a project with all the stages

Keep in mind the why, what, who, when approach for the content import effort. Have stages for:

Lessons learned

Where I’ve found a particular point to be especially important, I will explore that particular role, activity, or deliverable in greater detail.  I’ve grouped the best practices with the applicable project stage.  I’ve already started by posting tips regarding a project overall.

Next up:

Defining import requirements – what to capture, how to structure the analysis, and why you want it.

Reading more

This article is part of a series discussing many aspects of content migration from an unstructured storage system to a document management system. The overview page is here: Content Migration to a DMS – Articles.

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