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22NTC Session: Fundraising
Avoiding Software Migration Disasters: Lessons From Conversions, Small to Big
Submitted by: Alan Wei | Humanitru

Description

While there can be many pros to switching systems, an overlooked aspect (by both vendors and nonprofits) of a new software platform is migration: if done poorly, “garbage-in garbage-out” applies which can sour the whole experience both during the migration, and after.

We’ll discuss specific, actionable questions to ask any vendor or consultant assisting (as well as internal staff) that will save headaches later—commonly overlooked details, assumptions that should be stated ahead of time, process alignments to ensure a smooth transition.

Common pitfalls around areas where scope creep applies can be discussed in this workshop-based session for specific nonprofits: integrating multiple systems, incorporating feedback from various departments, when to adopt a “phased” approach to replace one component at a time, cleaning data vs. just migrating, what tasks are best done with internal staff vs. external resources.

As a workshop, learn from other nonprofits’ experiences with software transitions.


Session Type

60 minute workshop

Learning Outcomes

  • How to overcome the “monolith” of a data migration and break it down into components
  • How to communicate with key stakeholders, e.g. vendors, consultants, internal staff re: migration
  • How to implement an error-proofed “phased” approach to minimize downtime

Target Audience

Anyone evaluating a database or systems change, users and strategic leadership of platforms around supporter engagement (donors, members, volunteers, events)