Moving data to a new system, especially Salesforce, can be a daunting task. In this blog post, we'll delve into three issues that commonly arise during Salesforce data migration and should be avoided at all costs. These include inadequate project planning, communication gaps, and lack of business stakeholder involvement, all of which can lead to an unsuccessful migration. However, by adopting the appropriate strategies, you can ensure that your Salesforce data migration is executed smoothly and efficiently.
Challenge 1: Mismatched Expectations and Under-Scoped Project Plan
Effective project planning and communication is crucial when it comes to Salesforce Data Migration. The absence of clear communication and process gaps among Salesforce development, business, and data migration teams can reduce the likelihood of a successful migration. To avoid this pitfall, it's imperative to establish transparent expectations between all parties involved.
Here are three ways to ensure that expectations are met during Salesforce Data Migration:
- Salesforce team and data migration specialists should communicate changes to the Salesforce data model in the weeks leading up to go-live. This establishes best practices for managing Salesforce and prevents unintended, time-consuming issues.
- Data migration specialists and business stakeholders need to agree on which data will be migrated from the old business app into Salesforce. In some cases, this mapping exercise may reveal missing fields or functionality.
- The delivery team and business stakeholders must work collaboratively to ensure that training occurs with actual data if the entire process is being moved from an old system to Salesforce.
Don't forget to check out: What do you mean by Ant Migration in 2023? | Salesforce Developer Guide
2. Challenge 2: Desire to Clean Data While Migrating
There is some data cleaning required to successfully migrate your system. However, data migration is not the time to attempt a full blown data quality initiative. This could increase the level of effort significantly and cause unforeseen delays.
During the process of transferring data from one business application to another, like Salesforce, it's critical to focus solely on the essential data quality issues that could impede a successful migration. This is because the new system's automations and validation rules may highlight these problems. To guarantee a seamless data migration process, it's recommended that thorough data quality adjustments are made in the source system or after the data has been transferred.
Additionally, Salesforce offers a vast ecosystem of solutions and apps, one of which is Cloudingo, which can be a valuable tool for data cleanup during migration. By cleaning the data at the source or after migration, you can ensure that the data is accurate and consistent in your new system.
Otherwise, you will need to perform data quality / master data quality operations before you migrate data.
3. Challenge 3: Manual, human initiated data movement
When it comes to more complex Salesforce data migrations involving a significant number of objects, the Salesforce Data Loader tool may not be the most effective solution. The Data Loader's manual mapping process can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and difficult to scale. It may not be able to handle complex relationships between objects, and it may not support all data types. These issues can result in data quality problems and can extend the overall data migration timeline. In these cases, using a more robust data migration tool can be a better approach.
Check out an amazing infographic by Ryan here: Salesforce Data Migration Launch Plan Infographic
Have a Blueprint for Success
There are lots of resources on the web including the ones we provide for free. Here are key components that you should build into your own successful data migration plan.
- Project timeline + milestones
Having clear milestone and working backwards from “go-live” no less than 6 weeks will help you avoid under-scoping your data migration into Salesforce.
- Data migration object inventory
Scorecard to track and report progress and issues through the entire migration lifecycle
- Data mapping docs
Excel / Google Sheets with data mapping and definitions
- End to end migration checklist
Complete, documented checklist of all steps that need to occur for migration; Practice makes perfect!
- Business continuity plan
A business continuity plan should be part of your overall Salesforce rollout. Data migration should be part of that continuity plan. There are is no going back to migration after you move data and users start updating data in Salesforce. Set expectations up front that no matter what, your end users will find data issues. Plan for post migration cleanup as part of your overall migration plan.
Need more help with your data migration project? Feel free to contact me for a copy of my free migration blueprint.