Friday, October 10, 2008

system migration therapy

I just came across this advice in an email from Kyle Banerjee regarding the upcoming Summit Migration to WorldCat Navigator:
The stages of migration

Having been through a few major systems migrations, I think that you'll find this process easier if you're aware of certain stages people naturally go through.

The first stage consists of unfavorable comparisons of the new system to the old system. INN-Reach is good at what it does. People know its strengths and know how to get the most of it. Especially in the beginning, staff will naturally think about Nav the way they do about INN-Reach. Since Nav doesn't do some things the same and its strengths will be different, staff will quickly discover weaknesses while not being able to capitalize on the strengths. Some staff may use the system in a way that magnifies these differences. This stage is typically accompanied by nostalgic sentiments towards the old system, negative feelings for the new system, and a high level of stress.

In the second stage, people start getting used to the system. They learn how to do what they need, discover a few neat tricks, and develop workarounds for the weaknesses discovered in the first stage. During this time, people settle into a groove and things operate smoothly. Feelings towards the new and old system become more balanced as people perceive them as the different beasts that they are.

In the third stage, people figure out what the new system does best and reconfigure their workflows to maximize the system's strengths while minimizing the impact of its weaknesses. By this time, people see the migration as a positive event, and many can hardly believe the things they used to do.

Most of you have undoubtedly been through at least one migration and probably recognize the stages listed above. My point is that if you feel stressed at the beginning, it's important to recognize this is a natural part of the process. Things won't just get better -- soon enough they'll be better than they've ever been.
I wonder if Kyle offers therapy sessions for working through these stages? Seriously, though, I think he speaks the truth.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Mark,

What are you trying to do? Give him an even bigger ego than he already has! Easy for you to do, you don't have to live with him. :-)

Shirley