Seven Tips to Make Your CMMS Software Migration a Success, Part 1: Plan and Prepare

I’ve recently spent a lot of time with a great group of customers, Seth and 25 maintenance employees in his department at a medium-sized healthcare facility. They’re in the final stages of a big project—migrating to MPulse 8 from a custom database developed internally almost two decades ago.

Like any CMMS software migration, this project had its challenges. But Seth and his team have persevered, and the end is in sight.

As we wrap up the final pieces on this project, I thought I’d share insights from their experience to help others who are just beginning their CMMS migration journey. We came up with seven tips for a successful CMMS software migration.

Step 1: Put the Right People in Place

Seth’s CMMS migration project affected a lot of people, so it was important he had the right people in the right place. If you’re the one tasked with a software migration, don’t underestimate the importance of knowing your internal audience. You’ll need to meet both their business and emotional needs if you hope to be successful.

Consider these key stakeholder groups at the beginning of your CMMS migration project:

  • Users
  • Senior Managers
  • IT Managers
  • Procurement Managers
  • Financial Managers
  • Legal/Compliance Officers

Not everyone will need to be directly involved, and some may only be involved for certain steps. But you should understand their concerns and be prepared to address them.

But that’s only part of the team. Choosing the right vendor is a big factor too. Your vendor should listen and ask questions to learn as much as possible about your specific needs. Build a checklist to make sure you know what you need from your vendor and what your vendor needs from you to make this migration a success. 

Step 2: Determine How to Export Current Data

Older software was not designed to get data out as easily as it was to get in.

More current programs can export data in various file types, typically a CSV file. Often you can do this task yourself or enlist the help of a power user or an internal IT specialist.

But if that’s not the case, you’ll need to hire some help.

For Seth’s project, the data was inside a custom internal database, and the IT person who developed it had long since moved on. Seth hired an outside consultant who specialized in database administration, and they got the job done.

“It was money well spent,” he told me.

Now you’ve got the basic planning and preparation tasks done. Next up is cleaning your data. I’ll continue this series in my next post.