Create migration event playbook

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Create migration event playbook

The creation of the migration event playbook establishes the management system for the migration event.  This includes the definition of management boards and the decision making framework including go/no go criteria.

What is a migration event playbook?

A migration event playbook is designed to coordinate all the activities associated with a ‘Go Live’ event. It contains a step by step plan of what has to be done by whom and when.  Ideally it should contain sufficient detail to allow the activities to be controlled by the project manager. The project manager controls the activities based on the plan, asking actioners to perform the tasks within the plan as and when pre-requisite tasks complete.

There are many different types and format of plans, and depending on the size and complexity of the event, the plan can be augmented by other artefacts to help communicate the plan and its contents to actioners and other stake holders.

The migration event playbook is a mid-level view of the cutover activities. The migration event playbook defines:

  • What has to be done;
  • Who is the actioner;
  • When it should start;
  • How long it should take;
  • What the predecessors & successors are.

It has to be at a level of detail sufficient to maintain control over the activities of multiple actioners, sometime in parallel.  Where appropriate, it may also have ‘references’ to technical detailed subroutines that may be used to describe detailed steps associated with the tasks in the plan.

The migration event playbook should be at a level of detail sufficient to allow the plan activities to be managed. In essence, a ‘mid’ level of detail should be specified.

It is essential that the migration event playbook is distributed to all actioners and interested parties in a format that they can all read.

Roll back plan

In parallel to developing the migration event playbook a roll back plan also needs to be developed. This is to be used in the event of a problem with the implementation. There are many reasons to have to roll back an implementation, but they can typically be summarised by one of the following categories:

  1. The migration event playbook overruns, outside of its allocated time frame such that it impacts on normal day to day business.
  2. The implementation fails due to a technical issue.
  3. The implementation verification (either technical or business) fails.

As such, all implementations regardless of size or complexity need a roll back plan.


  1. Define and document the migration event playbook.
  2. Review and publish the migration event playbook to required parties.
  3. Obtain necessary approvals and commitment to the migration event.

Hints and tips

  • The playbook should address the communications during the migration / relocation weekend.
  • Following are examples of the communications that the runbook should address:
    • Regular status updates (by e-mail and by phone).
    • Escalation and recovery process.
    • Issue management / SWAT team communication.
    • Vendor support.
  • ‘Go/No Go’ criteria must be agreed and scheduled in the correct part of the migration runbook, the criteria and who decides this should be formalized in the playbook or a separately published appendix.

Activity output

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