The data in an organisation belongs to the business, and they have to be the ones making the business decisions about it. Coupled with this, in a data migration project there is always an expectation that "the new system" will make everyone's lives easier. But this very likely involves new or improved processes that will in turn be reliant on a well-defined and aligned data representation in the target system. Business must provide the vision and together with subject matter experts they need to guide the implementation team toward a sound target model that will support the desired business outcomes. This model, however, is typically very new and different to that found in legacy, and often relies on data elements that have never been considered or even captured! Together with the inevitable data quality problems in source (discussed in the next article), this leads to a situation where focused and timeous input and decisions are needed from business stakeholders.
We have found that the early (in the planning phase!) establishment of a formal platform for interaction with business is often the best way to ensure this. Such a forum - we like to call it the "Data Migration Working Group" - needs to meet regularly (at least weekly) with the data migration leads to be appraised of the data landscape, data related risks and migration project progress, and to help make the required business decisions and provide overall data related guidance.
In the next articles I will cover:
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