Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

Staying on TOP of your IP Asset Management Database System Project: Part III – Organization

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a four-post series examining Fuentek’s lessons learned from managing Intellectual Property Asset Management (IPAM) database system migration projects.

As I noted in the previous posts in this series, three critical elements can position your organization to stay on TOP of your migration to a new IPAM solution:

  • Technology: Selecting the right solution and solution partners
  • Organization: Anticipating the migration’s impact on your organization and proactively developing and implementing a successful change management program
  • Process: Assembling the right project team and developing a practical project plan to position your organization for a successful implementation

This time we’ll take a closer look at the Organization element. This is often the most challenging element with the greatest impact on the overall success of your project. Specific Organization best practices include:

1. Be proactive and diligent in managing expectations and perceptions. This is critical from initial planning through the post-implementation phase of the project, especially if you are migrating from a custom, proprietary solution to a commercial software solution. Ensure that end-users have a realistic set of expectations regarding how and what the new system will do for them (in terms of features, functions, and capabilities) and that they understand that interacting with the new IPAM system will be a different experience.

2. Prepare for the change management impact on your organization. Do not introduce other organizational or process changes simultaneously, if possible. In addition:

  • Maintain a firm grasp on the current realities, challenges, and opportunities across your institution
  • Ensure that the appropriate energy, priority, and focus are maintained on your migration project until the desired results and key milestones have been achieved
  • Assemble the right skills and talent on the project team to ensure that the organization will meet its overall goals (this will be explored in more detail in the next post of this series)
  • Facilitate feedback and open communication about the migration process
  • Establish a foundation for setting and managing expectations for effective and reliable project execution
  • Institutionalize the desired changes from your systems migration effort

3. Carefully plan for just-in-time training. Although it can be challenging to orchestrate, train the system users who will be impacted by the migration project simultaneously with granting them access to your new system. If you train too early, it could potentially cost you a tremendous amount of time in support costs over the long term. Training too late can result in negative impressions about your new IPAM system because users are not properly prepared to deal with the changes. Remember that first impressions can be extremely difficult to change.

4. Engage other groups across your organization early on. If your system implementation is going to impact several groups or departments across your institution, engage key members from these areas up front as a spokesperson and member of your project evaluation and implementation team. Engage them, gain their support, and take advantage of the new and valuable perspective they bring to your team.

In the next and final post of this series, we’ll take a look at the Process of systems migration. In the meantime, join the conversation: How successful has your organization been in assessing and managing the impact of new systems implementation across your institution? What are your key lessons learned?

–By Jack Spain