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Solveig Haugland’s Five Principles for a Successful Transition

Solveig Haugland has published a great article for companies, schools and other organizations preparing to transition from Microsoft Office to, “Five Principles for a Successful Transition.”

She’s been a premier consultant in this field for 6 years now and has seen many migrations, both good and bad. It’s easy to forget sometimes that not everyone transfers seamlessly from one software program to another, since most people just want to get their jobs done. End users often don’t care about the cost savings or longterm benefits of open source: “The big picture of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and the principles of open source don’t seem to matter as much to the soldiers on the ground who at 7 PM are wondering why that text box is overlapping their graphic when it looked fine in Word.”

Change management is more about people than it is about technology. Solveig suggests the following principals for your best chance of a successful migration: a good pilot program, support from the top, tough love, proactive support and training, and providing templates, clip art and fonts.

She summarizes, “Switching to an entirely different piece of software is a big deal. The interface is similar and the price is free, so it seems at an unconscious level like it ought to be just a matter of installing new software. It won’t be. But if you want to save a huge amount of money; if you want to use software that everyone can install at home for free; if you think that saving the soccer program or the music program is important; then it’s worth it.”

See Solveig Haugland’s site for her training and support services.

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