Slower, but Worth It: Navigating a Systems Migration via RFCs
This poster will outline takeaways and lessons learned from using a Request for Comments (RFC) process for collaboratively managing a large digital collections migration project. RFCs are a transparent, participatory approach to change management that is frequently used in open source software projects to encourage dialogue among community stakeholders with widely differing perspectives and areas of expertise. Using this structured communication method has provided an effective tool for our Libraries’ cross-departmental project team as we work through a migration of more than 1.8 million digital resources, representing nearly twenty years of mass digitization and boutique projects, from a self-hosted CONTENTdm platform to our custom Fedora-based Digital Collections Repository. In this poster session, we will share tips for other teams who may be interested in using RFCs for encouraging collaboration to solve problems that are beyond the scope of any single department. We will highlight recommendations from our team’s experiences with adapting an RFC template and review process to facilitate collaboration by software development, metadata, and digital collections staff. We will also provide examples of using RFCs to explore and define requirements and implementation objectives for intersecting systems, workflows, data stores, and services.