How can you mess up a content migration on day 1?

In the Netherlands, we know the term “tile wisdom.” By this, we mean that we describe a cliché on a Delft Blue plate or tile and then hang it on the kitchen wall, the mantelpiece, or in reading direction on the toilet so that we never forget it. Hence this expression. 

Watch out for contextual Mambo Jambo

When you ask four IT professionals about migration, you probably get four definitions:

  • A salesperson uses words like “solution,” “application,” or “migration.” 
  • A project manager uses the same terms but from a completely different context.
  • When infrastructure specialists talk about migration or the digital workplace, they refer to devices, desktop images, and the service desk.
  • The fourth group thinks about applications or content. 

Be specific and handle applications and content as a dedicated migration process. 

3 statements to guarantee a sure failure

Of course, there is an alternative. Here's the positive connotation!

Content and process logic are the sole domain of the “business.” Those are the people that are the reason to exist (raison d’être) for any IT investment.

The IT department is a delivery organization to provide a technical infrastructure that is well-balanced and continuously performing. Compare it with a kitchen design; the supplier provides safe, durable equipment that delivers optimal performance. It is not the kitchen supplier who determines how pancakes are baked or how hygiene is applied. Still, it’s wise to have a good dialogue to coordinate the means and the application

Talk to the business and help them express their demands, be challenging and cooperative, take time, and talk in plain language. When explaining your assignment, use a story that even your mother understands.

Quote John Lennon once in a while and start with the word “Imagine”.

Sometimes, clients try to bargain a 1:1 content migration to avoid the direct cost. In 99% of all migrations, this is impossible.  

When the source and target platform are different, you need to make a lot of effort in mapping. This means you must define migration units as a cluster of 1: N files/ folders under one owner with logical coherence, and one target location. 

Orphaned and outdated content can be deleted or stored in a cheaper storage mechanism.

The mechanisms and policies you define for the migration can be added to the platform as a cleaning mechanism. Just like at home, an information system can use proper cleaning occasionally.

Ask a person what they want to save; the answer will be “everything.” Here comes the emotional factor in migration. 

When you define realistic and clear guidelines about retention and disposal, you just need to inform your people.




Again inform; don’t ask.

Again inform; don’t ask. (This one is worth repeating).