I love patterns. They allow me to recognize something I’ve seen before and give me confidence in dealing with “new” situations.

It seems each week I’m confronted with a new “theme” or pattern. This week’s theme involved various areas of our business that were in transition. I noticed a commonality between situations where our company was transitioning from one thing to another.

A case in point is our digital marketing tools. If you’ve ever been involved in software development you know that there is a need to maintain and improve a current version with updates and bugs patches. At the same time you must dedicate resources to creating your next version. These activities need to be performed simultaneously. You don’t have the luxury of shutting version 1.0 down while you focus all your attention on version 2.0.

I decided to map out the logical steps one would take to ensure a successful transition. Here are the steps I came up with.

Step 1: Assess the weaknesses of version 1.0

Step 2: Decide if you CAN abandon version 1.0 or need to maintain it (no need to maintain if you can abandon and move quickly to step 4)

Step 3: Develop a clear process to maintain (and possibly improve) version 1.0

Step 4: Using the results of step 1, map out the requirements for version 2.0 (architect your ideal) and a realistic timeline to complete

Step 5: Dedicate resources and begin creating version 2.0

Step 6: Ramp up version 2.0

Step 7: Ramp down version 1.0

As I mentioned earlier, this can apply to more than just software. It can also apply to people in your organization. Sometimes, you realize that you don’t have the right people on the right seats on the bus. You can use this map to plan out your transition.