Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

Staying on TOP of your IP Asset Management Database System Project: Part IV – Process

Editor’s Note: This is the final post 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

Let’s take a closer look at the Process element—a challenging aspect of any large project. Key aspects of this element include assembling a project team, empowering and positioning them for success, and investing time in developing a realistic project plan. Specific best practices related to the Process element include:

1. Don’t fall into the trap of underestimating requirements. The first time you embark on a systems migration project, it is very easy to underestimate the resource and schedule requirements. It is also very easy to underestimate the extent of legacy data migration and system integration challenges—especially if there have been multiple generations or versions of your current software solution. So, consider your requirements carefully. Once you think you know how much time you will need for the migration itself and to handle system integration, consider adding time to your schedule—you will almost always need it the first time out.

2. Manage expectations for your project team. Your team should be accountable for the project beyond the initial implementation to ensure that all your key project goals are achieved. Don’t get distracted and return to business as usual (i.e., your regular job duties) after the initial implementation of a major technology solution. Key roles to consider include:

  • Program Manager: Responsible for project schedule, technical architecture, software and hardware platforms selection, project communications, and change management
  • Process Manager: Responsible for planning and updating key operational processes in alignment with changes, constraints, and opportunities provided by your new IPAM solution
  • Data Manager: Responsible for the legacy data migration into the new system and the new data standards that you will implement to take full advantage of your new system

3. Be proactive in vendor communications. Communicating effectively with vendors up front can help you align perceptions, expectations, goals, and objectives to ensure a successful outcome for both parties.

These best practices represent Fuentek’s experience with systems migration, and we’re interested in hearing about yours as well. How successful has your organization been in planning and executing systems implementation? Have you documented and taken action on your lessons learned? What lessons have surprised you?

–By Jack Spain