Converting to a new case management system is a lot like moving to a new office

A case management system contains all of your firm’s important data, including calendars, contacts, documents, emails, research, and tasks. Once you decide to convert data from your existing system to a new one, you should approach it much as you would a move to a new office.

If you make sure that you have a detailed plan and an experienced team to help with the transition, you’ll be able to accomplish a successful conversion to a new management system.

Preparation is important when converting to a new case management system

You wouldn’t move to a new office without doing some planning and research, so why would you select a new case management system without doing the same thing?

The first step of moving, whether you’re moving to a new office or a new system, is finding the right location. When selecting a new system, start by considering your present needs as well as what you might need in the future. You want a system that will serve you now, while also being scalable to your future needs. After all, you don’t want to implement a system that will collapse when you put more demands on it later.

Also, be sure to consider what elements you’ll need in the software. Basic functions, ability to customize, and integration with your current system are all important considerations. Sometimes, the system that has everything you need will cost more than some of the other options. Don’t let cost alone guide your decision. Sometimes a cheaper solution might look good in the short term, but it will be a terrible long-term investment.

After you decide on a location, you need to select a management system vendor. Think of the vendor as your moving company. They take your data and move, or convert, it to a new system.  Data conversion isn’t simple and you shouldn’t attempt to do it yourself.

When selecting a vendor, you’ll want to ask if the company has handled similar projects in terms of size, scope, and complexity. You should also ask questions about the qualifications of the vendor’s team members. It can also be helpful to ask for references from previous clients to get their take on the vendor’s qualifications.

It’s critical to ask your vendor about conversion data mapping

When you move to a new office, you need to make sure that all of your furniture and equipment will fit inside the space. The same is true with switching to a new system. You want to be certain that the new system can handle all of your data. You accomplish this through data mapping.

Data mapping is a process that identifies which data sources you would like to have converted, assigns a database field to each item, and explains any rules that apply to the data during the conversion process. Think of data mapping as an item-by-item map that helps your vendor when transferring your data to the new management system.

Since the vendor knows the software better than anyone, they will be the one to perform data mapping. However, you will still play an important role by reviewing the results and providing feedback. There will be several opportunities for you to provide feedback as your vendor should plan to have at least two rounds of data review during the conversion process.

By following the steps listed above, you can successfully convert to a new system. It might seem like additional work now, but it is an investment in your firm that will pay off for years to come.