Documenting the Data Migration

Lets have a look at the elements of the data migration by document:

  • Strategy – High level scope of the data migration agreeing to what business objects must be migrated and how they depend on each other and on the business. Also business risks, constraints and limitations must be identified. Other topics may be data retention, decommissioning targets and cut-over constraints. This document should be agreed at a high organisational level and also signed off at same level. Typical level is CFO or corporate controller.
  • Plan – Estimate in time and money based on the above Strategy including dependencies between business objects. This document is produced by the data migration manager.
  • Procedure Design – How to migrate each business object mentioned in the Strategy step by step. This includes data cleansing, entry methods, prerequisites and reconciliation. Reconciliation methods and needed reports must be identified early. At this point needs for functional mapping or technical extract, transformation and load or a custom report may be identified and functional and technical specification documents should be created for this.
  • Functional Specification – Functional specification for needs outlined in the Procedure Design. One procedure design may result in one or more functional specifications. Functional specifications should be made for functional and technical deliverables. A typical functional deliverable could be a mapping spreadsheet. Technical deliverables are normally interfaces and reports.
  • Technical Specification – Technical specification for the above Functional Specification. This document is no different than a document for a technical deliverable like a interface or a report.
  • Script – How to perform the data migration step by step in accordance to Plan and Procedure Design. This is a detailed step by step guide including timings and who to do what by when to ensure the data migration is performed in a controlled manner in correct sequence and to planned time and quality. A good script can significantly reduce cut-over risk and time.

All of the documents above mainly specify functional information. Of cause some technical input may be required – however the main focus is on the functional approach and the technical part is business as usual.

Except for the Technical Design all the above documents should be owned by a functional person  – ideally an experienced person that can engage top management as well as obtaining the technical information required.

Details of the above documents will be described in a later post.