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A 4-STEP Method for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Migration

Archives of legacy content management may be holding you and your business back. You probably know this. What you may not know, however, is how to fix the problem. Fortunately, there’s a solution. We call it the STEP Migration Methodology.

Archives of legacy content management may be holding you and your business back. You probably know this. What you may not know, however, is how to fix the problem. Fortunately, there’s a solution. We call it the STEP Migration Methodology.

This process consists of 4 primary steps. Each of these is then broken down into three sections. Allow us to explain:

1. Scope

To start, you need to scope out your overall ECM migration project. Ideally, you will do this with a trusted partner, like CrawfordTech. The goal here is to build a strong foundation. You do this in three stages:

A) Assess: Look at all the variables. Document the end user environment. Identify your key stakeholders. Take stock of all current applications and workflows. Determine all your systems and business application integration points; both in use and available but unused.

B) Identify: Zero in on key metrics. Look for any weaknesses or improvement opportunities. Propose a timeline and determine who should be on the project team. State your desired outcome so you know exactly what you’re working towards.

C) Plan: Draft your high-level design solution. This is where you’ll plan your project and articulate the statement of work. These plans serve as your pilot or proof of concept which leads you into step 2.

2. Test

This step is all about making sure the plan will work. Like step one, this is broken down into three subsections.

A) Pilot: This is where we ended step one. Now you need to test your proof of concept and validate your assumptions.

B) Analyze: Track everything as you test. Measure your accuracy, auditability, and data output. The more information you get here, the better you can optimize your plan.

C) Adjust: Apply what you learned in testing to meet your set objectives. This is where you can alter your statement of work if needed. This includes project plans, milestones, etc.

3. Extract

You’re half-way through the methodology! In this third step you’ll start making progress towards transforming your digital archive. As you may have guessed, we’ll break this down into three tasks.

A) Extract: You need to get the information ready. This means getting metadata out of source files and retrieving document files from your source system.

B) Transform: This is where we normalize your data and transform document file types as needed. Plus, we ensure your metadata is in the right format for your destination system.

C) Audit: Keep yourself organized. Create a registry of all the documents retrieved from the source system and their associated metadata. This can then be compared and audited against the data loaded into the new system.

4. Produce

In this final step, you’ll put everything together to complete your content management migration. And just to stay consistent, you’ll do so in three phases.

A) Index: Apply the metadata you’ve extracted from your source system into your destination system.

B) Load: Move the extracted — and possibly transformed — documents from the source system into the destination system.

C) Validate: Audit / compare your load statistics against the audit registry you created in step three.

And that’s it! That said, we know this all sounds a little technical. Fortunately, with the right partner, it’s easier. If you’d like to see this methodology in action, please join us for our upcoming webinar – “Overcome Challenges of Migrating Legacy Content Systems that contain Petabytes of Data.”

We will explore common challenges that hold back corporate content consolidation efforts. Plus, we’ll walk through this methodology and share some customer case study testimonials. Stop letting your outdated content system hold you back.

You can register for our webinar taking place March 1st, 2023 at 1 pm EST here.

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January 25, 2023


  • Harvey Gross
    VP, Product Strategy

    As Vice President of Product Management, Harvey Gross drives the success of CrawfordTech’s solutions and services. Harvey is responsible for CrawfordTech’s product strategy, positioning and product development, and extending solutions into new markets to provide opportunity for future growth. Harvey has more than 30 years of product development, product management, sales and commercial operations experience in the document management, content management and business process markets.

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