Introducing the Migration Triangle.

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The concept of upgrades and migrations has bothered me for a long time. First off because I have been engaged and involved with a number of them.

Problem 1: successful migrations are tied to having smart people on the team. (not me, I just happened to know who the smart people were).

Problem 2: migrations are about change and change is about risk. Risk and change aren’t bad they just have to be managed. Some of the best project managers I’ve worked with grasped this on all levels. Don’t panic, risks happen!

Problem 3: the migration process doesn’t always allow for the existence of the previous version. For example several times during upgrades you find that what worked before now no longer works. It doesn’t mean what you built before was bad, it just means you have a migration within a migration.

The reality of the three problems is that I haven’t just discovered them. The school of hard knocks, degree in migrations wasn’t just put on my door. In fact I’ve walked into every migration I’ve ever done knowing these rules and sharing them with the team.

They get you every time however. Never all three (if all three bite you really have a bigger problem than planning and communication) at the same time. The first one is solved by picking and engaging the right people. The second one is all about communication and the third is all about planning.

I would like to call that the migration triangle. Communication, Planning and people are the three components of this migration triangle. You can lock any one of the three, but you cannot lock all three. If you say we are doing a project with no communication, then you have to have exceptional people who plan like crazy. So on and so forth, you can lock any one side of the migration triangle.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow