Setting Realistic Timelines for LCRM Migration & Getting to “Safe Waters” - KELL Partners
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Setting Realistic Timelines for LCRM Migration & Getting to “Safe Waters”

Blackbaud’s announced end-of-life for Luminate CRM brings a whole new dimension to project planning for a CRM migration. Most organizations moving from one system to another try to schedule their project to coincide with license renewal dates to avoid paying for two systems at the same time. That can be a delicate balance to maintain, but in most cases the old system will still be available if the migration project gets delayed for some reason.

If you’re planning to migrate from LCRM to another system like Salesforce NPSP before June 2022, you don’t have the option to keep using LCRM if your project gets delayed. This makes it more critical to set realistic timelines and create plans to avoid a complete disruption of your core system operations.

In our experience with over 1,500 clients, a migration to Salesforce NPSP will take at least 9 months and many take longer than that. If you’re just now beginning to plan for your LCRM migration, then you already have little or no time to spare. No matter the scope of your project at this point, you’ll need some very specific contingency plans for what may happen in June 2022.

Here is KELL’s “Safe Waters” approach to planning for LCRM migrations.

Step 1: Secure Your Legacy Data

Prior to the LCRM end-of-life date, it’s critical to export all of your legacy data into a secure repository. Even if you don’t plan to actually migrate all of the data into your new CRM, you should get an accessible copy of it before LCRM goes away. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to take this interim step, but you may not have your full data mapping and migration project completed by June 30, 2022.

Step 2: Identify Mission-Critical Operations

Identify which processes would HAVE TO continue if you were forced to operate without LCRM for a few weeks before your new system goes live. These can be things like donation processing and accounting, managing programs and volunteers, or managing grants. How would you or could you get those processes done in the absence of a formal CRM?  Your answer may be a collection of spreadsheets, offline activities or even some outsourced work if necessary. The goal is to bridge a gap of what could be a few weeks until your new CRM is up and running.

Step 3: Temporary CRM

In a scenario where your organization may be without its core CRM for more than a few weeks, you may want to consider using a “temporary CRM”. This would be a system that is not your “new” system but is workable enough to use in the near term and is safer and more reliable than just using spreadsheets. KELL offers a solution called “KELL 360” that is built on Salesforce NPSP and includes the typical configurations and add-on tools that nonprofits require. Not only would this kind of solution be more reliable than spreadsheets, it would also ensure that data is captured in a structured way, and would make that data easier to move into your new system when it goes live.

The pending end-of-life of Luminate CRM makes this kind of planning not just a “what if” scenario but a core part of a successful project plan. If you need assistance in migrating from LCRM, contact KELL today. We’ve helped over 1,500 organizations go farther and faster with the platform and we can help you, too.