The Data Conversion Cycle

The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transaction and other records for system implementation teams

A new book from Practicing IT Project Manager Press, The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records for system implementation teams, tackles the subject with a generalized methodology, presented in a decidedly non-technical fashion. Author David A. Gordon distils the lessons learned from literally dozens of ERP and SaaS implementations into a book that manages to be both comprehensive and compact. The book is available now in both the Kindle and paperback format from

“When asked for the most common sources of problems for software system implementation projects, experienced system implementers and consultants always list data conversion among their top three,” says Gordon. The book expands on a series of blog posts on The Practicing IT Project Manager website. Originally written for his project manager following, Gordon extensively revised the content for a general business audience. “This book was designed to be a resource for project teams comprised of not just project managers and IT specialists, but the people working in the business areas who own and maintain the data records and will use the new systems. The goal was to provide a clear model expressed in a common language for a cross-functional team.”

The book is based on the following diagram, which shows a generalized iterative process applicable to nearly any project that will extract records from a legacy system in production for load to a target system that will replace it.

Data Conversion Cycle


“As I read “The Data Conversion Cycle,” I kept thinking–I wished I had this book earlier in my career. Mr. Gordon does a splendid job of giving project teams and stakeholders the essential concepts and vocabulary for managing critical data conversion projects.” Harry Hall, “The Project Risk Coach.”

“This little book by Dave Gordon is a really good primer on the data conversion cycle. I recommend it to anyone getting started with an ERP project or other database project where legacy data is to be moved between databases. Comparing it to my last ERP project where I was the co-team lead for data conversion of millions of records from multiple databases, I can say with assurance that Dave covers all the bases in a short but incisive text that will alert you to all the major pitfalls.” John Goodpasture, Musings on Project Management

“David A. Gordon’s book “The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records, for system implementation teams” is written in a style that’s very accessible for non-technical software professionals. As a project manager who works with software development teams, I often have to manage projects that involve planning for and moving data from one system to another. Dave’s book covers everything from defining the scope of the data to be addressed, all the way through to validating the load. He even covers project management and risk management. It’s well organized and will serve as a wonderful reference guide, though it was also easy to read through in its entirety.

“I mention that it’s accessible for even the non-technical. Dave explains terminology and activities involved in all areas of consideration. He gives great insights into potential problems to be aware of and plan for. He’s also got great examples scattered throughout the book that help illustrate his points.

“I believe non-technical project managers (and other team members) will find that it helps them talk more intelligently with their project’s technical members on all the data conversion considerations. I wish I’d had it years ago! I can see myself reaching for this book each time I manage a project that involved data conversion.” Leigh Sheperd, Project Bliss

Feedback and Corrections

If you have read the book and spotted an error or have some suggestions or criticisms, please leave a comment below. And as always, thanks for taking the time to ready my stuff.

The Data Conversion Cycle
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The Data Conversion Cycle
Author comment page on The Data Conversion Cycle, available as a paperback or Kindle book.
The Practicing IT Project Manager LLC