Over the last six months we here at Information Mapping have been in the process of moving all our information to the cloud. While the decision to move to the cloud was an easy one for us, the move itself hasn’t been as simple. Knowledge Management is our business. And yet, like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes, we had a lot of work to do to organize our information before moving to the cloud.
Preparation is key to making the transition to the cloud go smoothly. During the course of our preparation we followed a plan that can be laid out in five steps. You can review them briefly in the slideshare below or read the full blog for a more detailed view.
1. Clean it up
Cleaning up your files is the first step. Have everyone in your organization go through their files and determine what they really need to move.
- Delete any files that are simply obsolete, like old pricing guidelines, documents with old logos or branding, client files or training materials. Tip: Be brutal. If it hasn’t been used in years…get rid of it!
- Delete duplicate files. Documents have a way of multiplying. Get rid of the copies.
- Archive old files. While some files may be extremely old, they can also be extremely valuable. Create an archive for each department to store documentation that may be irreplaceable.
2. Analyze it
There are three key areas to analyze before you begin moving documents anywhere.
- Who are your users? Well-designed information systems are always created with the end-user in mind. Who will be accessing the information? What are their needs?
- Delineate your processes. How and when is information used and accessed? Are there naming conventions that need to be followed?
- Select the right technology for your needs. Choose the solution that is right for your audience. The one that meets your team’s needs may not be the most popular or the most expensive.”
3. Design it
Designing a high-level content hierarchy before you begin dumping information into your online storage solution will ensure that you have a system that will work. Here at Information Mapping we have done this for hundreds of clients. It involves getting all the key stakeholders together in one room and outlining a high-level sequence of processes that everyone can agree upon.
It may take a few meetings to get agreement. However, the time you spend here will be well worth the outcome, which will be a “top-down” view of the processes that everyone agrees will work for the entire team.
4. Audit it
This is where the real work begins. Audit your existing content against the high level hierarchy you have just developed. Think of each high-level process as a bucket, and then determine which bucket each piece of content fits into. Tag it and prepare to move. If an appropriate bucket doesn’t exist, create one and get the team to agree on its place within the hierarchy.
5. Make an Implementation Roadmap
Plan out the schedule the team will follow in the implementation stage of the migration. You’ll need to make sure you can answer the following questions.
- Who is responsible for moving the content for each bucket?
- How long will migration take?
- Will there be multiple stages involved? What are they? What needs to be moved immediately and what can wait?
If you follow these steps you can be sure the transition will go more smoothly than if you just start dumping information into a new system. Download our slide deck, 5 Things to do Before Moving to the Cloud and share it with your team.