Ditch the spreadsheet for content analysis.

Digital proof of concept, pilot, migration

Last updated June 7th, 2018. First published

Key Points

  • When selecting and deploying a new tool or vendor, the proof of concept, pilot, and implementation/migration are distinct options.
  • A PoC is to determine suitability of tool(s) and/or vendor(s), whereas the pilot discovers issues in a real partial implementation.
  • Site visitors would not see a proof of concept whereas they would a pilot.
Related resource
Estimating Migration Effort | An approach to estimating migration effort to avoid surprises

Oftentimes, a tool and/or vendor selection is part of a large-scale site digital migration or redesign. When a new CMS is involved, you will want to make sure to put the CMS through a proof of concept, which should be part of your CMS selection process. The same goes for a new implementation partner. A migration or redesign should include these three steps if you are going to use a new CMS. This table highlights the differences between a proof of concept, pilot, and full migration:

1) Proof of Concept 2) Pilot 3) Full implementation / Migration
Purpose Determine suitability of tool(s) and/or vendor(s) Discover and fix issues that arise during fairly real if partial implementation Move off of old platform and onto new
Choose another option at end of stage Possibly No No
Only prod a bit at the tool or just watch vendor demos No No No
“Real” content contributors use Maybe Yes Yes
Site visitors use No Yes Yes
Concentrate on migrating in only one full section of site (content, templates, functionality, etc) No Yes No (implement all needed for launch)
Implement only key use cases Yes (concentrating on functionality) Yes (for end-to-end capabilities) No (implement all needed for launch)
Implement what's easy No No Yes (as part of full implementation)
Concentrate on functionality that could break Yes Yes No
Concentrate on the “bulk” that needs to move in No No Yes
Concentrate on server load No (unless a key issue that could drop a tool) Yes Yes
After stage, possibly quickly scrap development to start from scratch Yes Yes No
Estimate end user effort (to gauge total migration effort) No Yes No
Estimating Migration Effort An approach to estimating migration effort to avoid surprises