CADDManager on June 9th, 2005
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Migration Madness

Moving Day – Avoiding the potholes

  1. Move a small team or project
    1. Let everyone know you are moving ahead.  Keep everyone in the loop as to when the change will take place and how you are going to do it.
    2. Keep management informed.  Let them know that the projects they oversee will be making a change.
    3. Get your vendor on board.  Keep them informed as to when you are making changes.  They may be getting more support calls than usual.
  2. Make small milestones 
    1. Convert drawings as needed or do wholesale translations to the new release.
    2. Set markers out in front of you – like getting all of the drawings moved. 
  3. Checking in with the users
    1. Stay close to the first users who move.  Check in with them and stay close so you are there to answer questions and give support.  Don’t make them have to hunt you down.
    2. Daily and weekly check in.  Do a daily walk around among the users.  Look over their shoulders, check the workflow.
    3. Meetings for Migratory workers.  Gather them together for lunch at the end of the week to debrief and instruct and just to keep the moral up.
  4. Don’t forget that they still need to use the old software
    1. Working in a mixed house can be tough, but the reality is that most of us are doing it.  You may have different versions or different platforms. The real world means you need to keep up with everything.  This job can be tough but it is doable.
  5. Use the tools that Autodesk provides for migrating old data
    1. Migration tools imbedded into AutoCAD 2006 help you move your files.  They are not fool proof, but they are a very good start.
    2. File compatibility may be an issue.  Make sure that you have spoken to the client and your subs about the move.  They will be getting different files now.

Getting the most from your old data

  1. Move only the stuff you need
    1. Make a gallant attempt to define the needed items.  Migrate these items before the users need them. Test them out and make sure they work.
    2. Move your LISP files, but only if there is no tool in the new release that replaces it.
    3. Update your MNU files to CUI files.  Read as much as you can about this move.  CUI interface and creation is very different from MNU.  You need to know how to create them, maintain them and deploy them to all your users.

  2. Move more data when you need it
    1. Keep in touch with the users to see what they are missing.  If they need some old data – go get it and provide it. Don’t make them search for it.  They are to focus on design and production. You are there to support them.
    2. Listen for what the complaints are and try to alleviate them quickly.  Users who have troubles can really impact others in a negative way and soon everyone may be complaining.

What to leave behind

  1. Old habits
    1. Don’t use the new software like you used the old software.  Many times we approach the use of a new piece of software the same way we use the old one.  We never really take advantage of the new improvements. When moving to a new release, find out what is in there and how you can apply it to your office.  Make a list of the ones you want to use and then add them to your arsenal one item at a time. Don’t move to the next tool until the one you added is embedded in to your process.

  2. Old customization
    1. If it is part of AutoCAD now, quit using the old stuff.  Move to the new CUI. Use the latest Express Tools. Jettison your old tools if AutoCAD is now doing it for you.

  3. Old complaints
    1. Don’t underestimate the software.  Don’t confine it to the last versions impressions.  If your users have seen a demo from two years ago and have not really looked at the tool since then, they are out of touch.  They may be imposing two year old impressions on the new software. And they bring up old complaints that are no longer valid.

  4. Old Junk
    1. Files are not in the correct directories.  Now is the time to clean up. Get things in order and make the changes that you have wanted to for so long.
    2. Duplicated files that are located all over your network.  Keep the new set up clean. Do not just copy everything over and thereby carry on with old problems.
    3. Key files that are located on users’ C-drives.  Keep system files on the server. If there are CTB’s or STB’s on local users machines, move them to the server.  Clean these files off the local machines. Nothing is harder than trying to plot or work on a file that depends upon a file that is located on someone else local drive.

Prep for the move.  Make the move. Then enjoy the new software.

Series Navigation<< Migration Madness – Part Five
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