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Irrevo Best Practices

Manual migration or automated migration: Which is right for you?

There are three common migration options: Manual, Scripted, or Manual “on-demand” migrations. These options can be used independently or as a combination, especially when migrating content from several legacy systems to a single new technology platform. Each legacy repository may require a different content migration strategy. That's why it's critical to have representatives of all the different content owners on the project team. Their knowledge of their systems and content are critical to the timely and satisfactory completion of any content migration exercise.

Manual migration

A manual content migration offers the highest quality output, as it ensures that the most valuable content is migrated. This option is best for content that involves "chunking", the process of breaking up a multi-topic article into multiple articles that are easier to read, and for projects that require outsourcing help. Although the output quality is high, manual migrations are time consuming and it can be difficult to make accurate timing estimates going in.

Scripted migration

A scripted content migration is the fastest way to migrate content. Automated scripting allows for forced decisions on the backend, allowing for a more hands-off approach. Unfortunately, these types of migrations typically require extensive cleanup to remove outdated code or content. Scripted migrations are not feasible for content that needs to be chunked and for content that is in certain incompatible formats (such as .PDF or content that contains images).

If completing the migration process through automated scripts, data mapping design documents must be created. Technology solution consultants, business analysts, and the project leader need to work together on creating these documents. The project leader will coordinate and decide which project team resources need to validate and verify the mapping design after each migration test. If using a manual migration method, the focus shifts to when the team resources should manually create the articles from the legacy system. Depending on the volume, some decide to create the articles as they have demand for them, and others assign the legacy articles to individuals with a due date for when they need to be completed.

Manual "on-demand" migration

A manual "on-demand" migration allows content owners to migrate content that is used within the workflow, using in-house resources. While this method does allow both new and legacy systems to be in use for longer periods of time, it also requires authoring training to use in-house tools.