Everything you need to know about kicking off your content migration project

By Chris Wagner

January 7, 2020

Getting starting with a content migration project can be a daunting task. Between finding the right team for the job and delivering to the client, each step must be well thought out, with processes put in place to ensure a smooth transition from your legacy website to your new digital experience. This Q&A with PQA Testing’s Chris Wagner will give you some insight on how best to get started.

And now, we pass things over to Chris:

Earlier this summer, I took on my first content migration project. As a software tester, this was an interesting opportunity to take part in a project that doesn’t immediately seem in a software tester’s typical wheelhouse. But a software tester’s skill set is to work as a second set of eyes that pay close attention to detail in the development process, and to identify a wide range of problems that may affect the user’s experience. In other words, testers are a great fit for content migration.

What was it like getting started on your first content migration project?

It was not unlike getting started on other projects I have worked on as a software tester. For any successful project, there is an onboarding process that involves becoming familiar with the specific workflow of the project, along with any tools that are being used.

For a content migration specifically, onboarding also involves learning the content management system, and getting the team up to speed on where to obtain the content that will be migrated into the new system. This allows for more efficient troubleshooting when issues arise, and sets the conditions to create quality work going forward.

What was most helpful to getting started on the right foot? What else could have been done?

The most helpful thing for getting started on the right foot with any project is asking questions. In my experience with software testing and content migration, asking questions, and asking them early, is the best way to get an understanding of what is expected and how best to meet those expectations.

As a software tester, I have learned that it is always best to ask questions when they arise and avoid making assumptions. Making assumptions during a content migration project can lead to more work down the road.

Also, having clear and simple lines of communication with the project’s developers is valuable for all members of the content migration team, and will encourage them to check assumptions or concerns they might have earlier in the process. This both expedites the process and quality of content migration, as well as opens up the conversation to include additional points of view to produce a cohesive, high-quality product of which both team members and clients can be proud.

What advice would you give to a team who getting started with their content migration to ensure they are successful?

For a successful project, there needs to be a process in place to prepare the team, and training that allows them to understand their tasks and how to achieve them using the required tools. Learning what work has been done previously, including design, layout and development, is often immensely helpful to understand the workflow and how best you, as an individual, fit into the project.

All team members should be comfortable that they can succeed before they are expected to perform quality work. Part of this also involves having a strong project management team to coordinate getting started, and to establish a clear hierarchy for where to ask questions and where to get help when needed.


Chris Wagner
Chris Wagner is a Software Tester with a focus on testing automation at PQA Testing, based in Fredericton, NB. Chris has been with PQA since 2015, performing a variety of different quality assurance related projects. Chris graduated with a Bachelor’s of Computer Science from UNB in 2019. He is currently working on a test automation project, automating API requests and ensuring the correct response is returned. Outside of work, Chris is an avid competitive curler in New Brunswick, focusing most of his free time on competing and improving his skills.

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