CMS Data Migration byword #1 is uniformity. If you are migrating five different websites/CMSs from five subsidiaries into one integrated parent site/CMS, which is a different CMS from the five subsidiaries, a big challenge is uniformity of migration-destination data. Using the same team members for all five efforts helps, because the same eyes are on the destination system, structure, and data. But that takes a lot longer and most companies don’t have that luxury. You will probably have five different teams working in parallel.
So how can you mitigate risk of post-migration QA nightmares? One strategy is to ensure two people (one technical, one digital marketing) are on all five teams. This gives you the best of both worlds: 1. speed with five teams working in parallel, 2. mitigated risk with two people from different areas monitoring uniformity of migration-destination structure in all five efforts.
One of the first steps is to build a software utility that understands the source data structure, and maps it to the destination data structure (or a mix of in-house and off-the-shelf connector pieces, depending on the systems). If you have five different types of source data structures, all coming into one destination data structure, having two experts participating on all five teams is indispensible. But even if the five source structures are the same, everyone knows there will have been anomalies, tweaks, gadgets, special cases, etc., that will be different among the five source systems. Your two experts across teams will help negotiate how to migrate, massage, modify, or veto, those special cases, depending on stakeholder priority and the complexity of effort to include them.
Whether the migration is…
PDF-with-metadata to Relational DB (e.g. SQL)
PDF-with-metadata to XML (“flat” DB)
Relational DB (e.g. SQL) to XML (“flat” DB)
or for some reason…
XML (“flat” DB) to Relational DB (e.g. SQL)
…the same uniformity challenges with migration-destination data apply.
One last word of advice, be sure all teams include at least one dedicated expert database engineer. You would be surprised how many migration projects lack this most vital ingredient. Happy migrating.