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A legacy Software migration checklist

Here is a small checklist about how to migrate a legacy migration and to ensure its success.

First measure your project according the changes involved by the migration :

The organization

You will have to think about each person involved in the Software that is going to be migrated. Which skills are required to develop, test, maintain, support the Software. How will you manage the brutal disrupt in their daily work and motivate them to embrace the change ?

I recommend you to have a clear picture of the team and not underestimate the needs of training, evangelize, and change management.

Changing technologies or framework, even without any feature changes may impact severely your end-users, the support and maintenance teams and the integration engineers.

If this article has been of some interest for you, or you have a project, please let’s me and exchange!

The processes

An automated migration differs from a classical IT Software project by adding a certain disruption in terms of time and practices. Since the migration has to be hastened (thanks to the usage of specialized tools), the success of the project requires a high level of software development practices. Usually, the legacy software are still hitting the wall in terms of agility, silo breakup, continuous integration, test automation practices.

The legacy project migration requires to have a clear state (and view) of the following processes :

The technologies

A good legacy migration project is preparing a clear state of the perimeter to be migrated and the targeted solution.

It comes in a phase of three steps.

Drawing the current picture

The initial software assessment does really mater. Indeed an solution architect will detect any caveats and flaws in the current architecture that may critically slowdown the migration project.

Such assessment usually requires :

The definition phase

This phase has four objectives :

To achieve that, a main document (or specification) has to be produced, the migration guide.

This migration guide will expose the targeted solution, the way to achieve it, the necessary steps, a risk analysis and RACI, the cost and estimation of each tasks.

This definition phase may be accompanied by a Proof Of Concept(POC), a short term development performed on the current solution to assess the feasibility of the targeted solution and to allow any necessary test to be executed. It will be critical to pay attention to any functional regressions and performance regressions in this POC.

The migration

The migration is not a Big Rewrite. 

It’s an incremental, well-defined process where the automation is removing the main source of failure of migration projects : the time of execution.

Indeed longer the migration process is taking, more dangerous will become the project, debated and finally rejected.

A good migration project usually has the following qualities :

Conclusion

If this article has been of some interest for you, or you have a project, please let’s me and exchange!

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