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Story about challenging data migration

All the world’s a stage And all the men and women merely players They have their exits and their entrances And one man in his time plays many parts.

- William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Levitek recently completed PLM data migration which moved over one million CAD objects including tens of millions of CAD relationships, an additional 600,000 Documents, 500,000 BOM Items with their relationships and 300,000 Change Records all into a single PLM instance. Reflecting back on the 18 month process of this successful data migration, the analogy of a major theatre production seemed like a good framework for explaining the migration process. Creating a show can be broken down into these major steps.

Story development


Set building

Finalizing the script



Striking the set

Let's look more closely at each of these steps and how they help to tell the story of this and other large data migrations.

Story Development

This is the part where the people creating the show answer questions like: what major theme are we trying to convey? Who is our target audience? What major elements will be used as this story is told? What creative content is worth keeping and what should be left out? How do we convey this message in ways the audience will understand and accept?

In the data migration, this is the discovery process. The major pieces are identified such as what types of data to migrate, who the end customers are and how will they use the data, the criteria for success and what could be excluded. This was a process that involved multiple interviews with the various stakeholders within our customer’s organization and much writing in between. We captured customer requirements as user stories and then refined them to functional and technical requirements. This was a painstaking process. Where it added value was that the customer and the migration team agreed to the requirements from the start, and we started developing our solutions with a clear understanding of what we needed to accomplish.

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