Change Management for Community Transition

We are about to embark on a move from one platform to another and I’d like to get a handle on developing a solid change management plan.

Does anyone have resources or insight to share that might help me to generate a solid plan for both our internal and external stakeholders?

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Hi @rcbecky - I completed a platform migration over the summer. Happy to share any takeaways if applicable. Are you looking to build a roadmap to get you through the transition itself or are you more interested in communicating with stakeholders throughout the process? Both?

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I’m also interested in any info or resources on this topic. Thanks!

@ercowan75 We are in the beginning stages of doing some feature prioritization and vetting and would love to take a look at your roadmap! And may I ask, what vendor did you migrate from and to?

Hey, @rt1, @emsavage - welcome! I wish there were a single roadmap. It really depends on the platforms involved, your budget, and your goals for the community. Some big buckets to consider:

Structure and function. Are you happy with the way your community is currently organized? Are your members? Conduct a general member survey if you can, and recruit a trusted circle of all-stars to help you design this new community with your members’ input. If there are going to be any big changes, communicate early and often with your members so they feel enrolled in the process. Expect that not everyone will be pleased with your changes.

Design. If you’re not planning to alter the out-of-the-box design then you’re all set, but most brand communities require a certain amount of customization. Most platforms offer a certain amount of customization in terms of look and feel, but if you’re going to need a lot of customization it’s going to cost you. Be sure to spec this out before signing on with your chosen platform as it will be an additional spend on top of any one-time implementation fees.

Content. This is a great time to evaluate what content you want to keep and ditch the rest. Carefully curating the content you choose to migrate helps streamline the process while providing a more valuable search experience for members on the new platform.

Once you know what you’re taking with you, there are various ways this information gets ported over depending on the platform. It’s very, very hard to port over entire conversations in exactly the same format they used to appear. Be ready to make some concessions provided the content is still easily accessible.

Gamification. If you use gamification or have some other means of recognizing and rewarding regular contributors, how will you ensure that these members receive the same level of recognition on the new platform? No one likes their cheese moved! Be sure to communicate the new “rules” to these members so they know how they can continue to advance.

Where are you in the migration process? Are you considering it or actively in process? Which platform are you leaving and where are you landing?

We migrated from Zendesk to Salesforce Community Cloud, completing that process in October last year. Happy to discuss our evaluation process and the migration itself @rcbecky

Good luck!

Hi Becky,
I can help. Here is a resource that I wrote for communities migrating onto Discourse, but it’s relevant to all platforms. I’ve migrated several communities in the past and this doc is on what I’ve learned.

Many thanks Emily for the great rundown. We are leaving Yammer for Drupal with Office 365 integration.