SharePoint Migration: 6 Steps to Plan Your Route

This one’s for the lucky people who have been charged with planning their steps towards a SharePoint migration.

After being a part of hundreds of migrations we can tell you that no two SharePoint migrations are the same. Every organization has different data, different regulations, different business processes, and therefore different needs. But what is the same is what people want from the migration:

1) To migrate as fast as possible
2) To maintain data accuracy and full fidelity
3) To execute the migration as cheaply as possible

The harsh reality is, you can have any two of these, but you can never get all three and be successful.

Hear the lessons we’ve learned over the years to help you plan the steps to a successful SharePoint migration:

Step 1: Ensure stakeholder buy-in
Step 2: Perform source platform data discovery
Step 3: Categorize data and determine destinations
Step 4: Design architecture to fit business processes
Step 5: Determine appropriate migration approach
Step 6: Predict and plan for migration duration

Download the whitepaper to hear specific tasks, guidance, and commonly experienced pitfalls along the way. Your SharePoint migration is an important journey and the hope is to prepare you to plan your trip successfully.

Step 1: Ensure stakeholder buy-in

The first step in planning a successful SharePoint migration is getting all parties on board. The project leader must show the value across the organization to ensure that they will support the necessary changes. Even if you are bringing in outside resources to help with the migration, internal support staff will need to help. You must identify these individuals within IT and individual business units and ensure they understand their team’s value.

Step 2: Perform source platform data discovery

To make all the important decisions during your SharePoint migration planning, start with a deep understanding of your data. To do this, you will need to select a migration solution that has great content analysis capabilities. You will need a solution that scans the source and shows content characteristics such as file sizes, versions, permissions, file sharing, and much more.

  • The solution you select needs to be able to get you detailed answers to the following five questions:
  • How many documents and/or folders are you moving in the SharePoint migration?
  • What is the total storage volume and average file size of the files you are migrating?
  • What are the departmental or taxonomic classifications of the documents?
  • Do versions and permissions need to be retained on the data?
  • Which files contain private, personal information?

Step 3: Categorize data and determine destinations

You can determine which data is best to eliminate in many different ways. Look at any industry or business policies on document retention and decide what to mark as obsolete. You can filter content using file type, size, age, classification, or any combination.

Beyond deleting unnecessary content, you also need to minimize the risk of privacy violations and legal issues. To do this, you’ll need a tool that detects potential issues like personal or classified information.

Remember to remove information without specific business value, or other parties could use it against the owning organization. Additionally, organizations should move retained content to a secured location. If not, you are at risk for significant fines should data loss occur.

Step 4: Design architecture to fit business processes

Before moving your content, it’s critical to build the new SharePoint environment to suit your needs. Doing this ahead of time will allow you to incorporate data governance strategies into the overall infrastructure. Once in place, following them becomes a natural part of the user adoption process, rather than an additional curveball.

SharePoint is an extremely flexible platform. While that is an admirable quality, it is also an enabler for inefficient design. Additionally, SharePoint likely has new capabilities that your current system doesn’t. This means that there are opportunities to improve workflows and processes before and during migration.

To determine the most efficient architecture that follows Microsoft prescriptive guidance, you need to:

  • Engage a business analyst and power users to deconstruct business processes.
  • Leverage power users to determine if there’s a better way to accomplish the process.
  • If the legacy technology impeded the improved solution, bring in a SharePoint Architect. Next, they can determine if SharePoint features can facilitate the improved solution.
  • Allow the SharePoint Architect to design an optimized solution that implements the thought.
  • leadership of the power users while leveraging the feature richness of SharePoint.
  • Minimize custom development to facilitate support and future upgrades and/or migrations.

Step 5: Determine appropriate migration approach

If your SharePoint migration plan is small, a “big bang” strategy may suit you. But for larger migrations, organizations typically choose to use a phased approach.

The ideal scenario is to plan for fewer waves. Less than five is good, but 23 migration waves is excellent. Minimizing waves will improve migration efficiency and success.

The best approach is to start with a small departmental file move first. Since IT is usually responsible for managing the migration, they are a suitable candidate for a pilot transfer. When the migration takes place, place the source system into a read-only state. This method results in a smooth and relatively short cutover process that is easy to stop if issues occur.

Plan the remaining waves by considering how departments collaborate. Balance this along with the bandwidth and resource limitations to ensure each wave migrates correctly.

Step 6: Predict and plan for migration duration

Try to remember that you cannot precisely predict the overall duration of your SharePoint migration plan. Many factors can affect migration duration, but some are out of the control of the migration team. Do your best to control what you can, but it is smart to have some buffer in the schedule to handle unplanned circumstances. If you can, plan to have some buffer in the schedule to handle unplanned circumstances.

Considerer these factors when estimating how long the SharePoint migration will last:

  • How many documents and/or folders are included in the migration?
  • Factor in hardware and source system quality
  • Test achievable migration throughput

Maybe you can have a perfect SharePoint journey

To be successful in your SharePoint migration plan, you need to follow the six steps and invest in a robust migration solution to help with analysis through to execution. With DryvIQ, you can have it all. Speed, accuracy, and the lowest overall cost option for migration success.