Customer Stories: Using change management to ensure smooth data migration
In 2018, Logic20/20 completed a large change management project with a local client. The company was planning a server upgrade that required a migration of all data across their entire organization, affecting employees and processes nationwide.
A natural fit
Logic20/20 was an excellent fit for this project for two reasons: our comprehensive change management expertise and our previous experience with the client. We’ve completed numerous other change management projects, combined with digital transformation, marketing, and other specialties. Our previous projects with the client also gave us a thorough understanding of their internal culture, allowing us to quickly integrate into their processes and structure.
Understanding the goal
This project had potential to effect enormous change for the organization. The client planned to transfer 400TB of data from their old server to a new solution that would be on-prem and improve capacity, performance, and scalability. The anticipated downtime was roughly two weeks, which had the potential to be expensive due to lost productivity and fines incurred due to missed deadlines. Usability and user satisfaction were also areas of focus; the client prioritized the value of keeping their employees as happy as possible through the transition.
Our shared goal was to minimize disruption at every stage of the process: increase employee awareness of the upcoming transition, prepare for the downtime, and resume work as soon as the new system came online.
Our involvement began in June, five months in advance of the server migration scheduled for mid-October. Our change management plan revolved around three elements:
1. Conduct a change management assessment
Our first order of business was to get a pulse of the current state of the company, which we did by interviewing a variety of internal stakeholders. To minimize disruption, we began with the most technical users and then branched out to the rest of the company, conducting interviews in-person and over the phone. Our questions included:
• What is your role in the company?
• Why is [the server] change important for your team?
• How will it impact you?
We used these comments in two ways: we created communications materials to begin our information campaign and summarized our findings to clarify next steps for internal decision-makers.
2. Build a change agent network
Successful organizational change requires involvement from every area of a company, particularly one of this size. We worked with managers to find change agents—a team of internal employees that became a support network for the data migration. These people enthusiastically supported the upcoming change by training early, disseminating educational materials to their co-workers, and promoting awareness across the organization.
3. Prepare company wide
As the months progressed, we worked closely with our change agent network to create posters, newsletters, decks, and emails, rolling out information around the office, in meetings, and online. We made sure the employees knew what to expect and emphasized the benefits of the new server.
In addition to providing increased speed, the new server also had some interface changes. There were adjustments to previous workflows, as well as a few brand-new functions. Regardless of whether users were simply creating reports or working with more detailed data, comprehensive training was required to keep all departments working as they should. We worked in small groups to ensure technical and business employees were prepared.
The satisfying results
The client described the data migration as their “smoothest and most successful” to date. Instead of a two-week downtime period, the server only went dark for three days. When it was back up and running, data performance improved by almost 50%.
People across the organization were well-prepared. They adjusted as needed for the downtime and were able to quickly adapt to the new system. In fact, after the server implementation was complete, we surveyed employees a second time to see how their opinions on the system had changed. We found a tremendous improvement in employee positivity and satisfaction.
The client’s executive leadership team was very pleased; the project was even chosen to be featured in their next manager’s meeting. The success of the server transfer also increased trust between our client and their business partners, setting the stage for further growth and progress.
In this project, we ensured a smooth transition for the client and their data, infrastructure, and employees. We look forward to working with them again, and on other projects relevant to communication management, large-scale technology adoption, and change impact assessments.
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Allison Todd is a manager at Logic20/20 with diverse experience in organizational change, government, team building, administration, management, and leadership. Read about a day in her life or her thoughts on optimizing change management for digital transformation.
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