It can be easy to move to SharePoint. In reality, SharePoint Migrations often take a lot of time, work, and energy, which costs a lot of money. On top of that, business or end users often don’t understand how complicated a SharePoint Migration is. Because the process appears troublesome in the beginning, and the benefits are not evident. So, whether you choose to migrate yourself, or hire a SharePoint Migration Company, the following tips will help you to plan a successful migration process.
SharePoint Migration experts at Code Creators Inc. can also help you set up an ideal IT team and project budget.
It can be easy to move to SharePoint. In reality, SharePoint Migrations often take a lot of time, work, and energy, and cost a lot of money. On top of that, business or end users often don’t understand how complicated a SharePoint Migration is. Because they only see the process as trouble that they need to handle and not the benefits. Whether you do the migration yourself or hire an expert; the following tips will help with smooth SharePoint migration. SharePoint Migration experts at Code Creators Inc. can also help you set up an ideal IT team and project budget.
1. Take A Closer Look at Your SharePoint Inventory
Taking a complete inventory of your SharePoint environment is the most important step in migration. Why? Because your SharePoint inventory tells the following to the migration team;
- What do you want to migrate?
- How much data inventory is there to move?
- How many sites need an inspection to assure good quality of the migration process?
- What customizations or legacy features are present?
A good SharePoint inventory provides the IT team with all the relevant information to make their first estimate. Usually, the first estimate is the highest you see. Yet, an in-depth analysis often reveals the actual data inventory that they get to migrate. Also, they find out the actual problem to fix about legacy features and customizations.
Okay, but how do I go about gathering this data inventory?
Users of SharePoint (2010, 2013) can take advantage of SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT). SMAT compiles a list of sites and also provides information about legacy features. It will also update you about these legacy features before you can move them to SharePoint Online.
Even if you’re using a version of SharePoint that SMAT can’t scan yet, it will give you an alternative way for evaluation. Most of the time, a mix of PowerShell and third-party tools are ideal choices. Professional SharePoint Migration Companies like Code Creators Inc. provide reliable solutions at affordable prices.
Now, you must be thinking that I have a list of things! But, how should I use it?
We are doing this for years, so we know from our experience that a thorough analysis of SharePoint inventory could indeed take a lot of time. At CCI Inc., we always start by trying to figure out a few important things, such as;
- Who is the owner of each site?
- Can we define ownership and business function for every site?
- Was the site/list/library operational in the past 6 months?
- Are workflows and InfoPath forms still running, if there are any?
- Can we look at the connected libraries or lists? And, can we find out what was their last activity/run?
- If there are other custom parts, then who designed them? What purpose do they serve? Are they still active?
2. Choose How You Want to Move to SharePoint
Not every project to move is the same. Different kinds of migrations have different effects. Such as how long it will take, how much work it takes, and how to inform end-users and businesses about the migration. For the past 10 years, we have been helping clients move to SharePoint and discovered that most of them fall into one of three types.
AS-IS Migration (Migrate In the Present Condition)
- Why? – We need to stop using a SharePoint instance that is non-supportive, unstable, and non-monitorable. The main reason we want to migrate to SharePoint is to upgrade to a more supportive operating system.
- Impact – AS-IS migrations need less analysis and planning. Also, their scope is smaller because we aren’t opening things up for modification or reorganization.
- What &How Should You Tell People? – “We’re doing an upgrade to SharePoint [explain why and when]. This update will not have much of an effect on how you use SharePoint. But we want to let you know a few things to look out for [write possible changes in bullet] with a way for users to voice concerns]. Thank you for being patient, but we’ll let you know how the project to upgrade goes.”
Clean-Up Before Migration
- Why? – The reason could be the same as for the AS-IS migration. But we want to be strategic about migration.
- Impact – Migrations need more planning and analysis to find active and important content. Migrating fewer legacy feature libraries, lists, and sites will save technical migration work.
- What &How Should You Tell People? – Besides the message you decide on an AS-IS migration, tell people that there is a chance to simplify. Tell them the new experience will be a blend of the old and new versions. Also, provide them with simple guidelines for how to use the new SharePoint platform in the future.
- Why? – Because Microsoft 365 gives us a lot of new and different ways to work and communicate. In the past, we put everything in SharePoint. We want to look at how we use SharePoint again and make sure we’re using the right tools to solve the right problems. We want to look at how we use SharePoint again and make sure we’re using the right tools to solve the right problems.
- Impact: This is the slowest way to migrate, but it gives a chance to get more organizational value and get end users interested again. Carrying an Agile approach helps manage the budget by allocating resources and money only to the most important areas first. Also, it keeps on checking back on the priorities before moving on to the next part of the migration.
- What &How Should You Tell People? – “We’re going to move to the cloud! Don’t worry, we’ll take our time and talk to people all over the company to find out about how you use SharePoint now, what works, and what can be better. We want you to start using your cloud sites as soon as possible so you can tell us what you think. Your feedback will tell us how we can make the experience better for you.” Also, don’t forget to share the goals, vision, and estimated timeline, along with the projected date for the update.
3. Keep Talking to Your People
No matter what kind of migration you choose, it’s important that you do it with your people. This means getting the word out quickly, widely, and very often! We know that end users depend on SharePoint to do their daily jobs. And even if they don’t like the current SharePoint instance, it’s what they know and is familiar to them. When we make changes to technology without telling our users why we’re doing it, what we expect to gain from it, and how/when it might affect them. Then, we are at high risk of project failure even if we do all the technical migration work perfectly. A good first message should cover three important points:
- Explain WHY the migration is happening, what the plan is, and what SharePoint will look like when the migration will be complete.
- Emphasize that the migration team wants feedback and participation from users throughout the process, and tell users how they can give feedback. (Should they directly give it to the migration team, or to someone else such as a team leader, etc.)
- Set expectations about how much time users need to put in for training.
- Accept that everyone is busy, but tell the team that training will help them understand their worries and fears about this change.
- Make sure the migration team responds to user feedback.
- Don’t forget that all these steps are crucial with full commitment for all the people that are a part of the migration process.
There is a lot going on during migration. When explaining a SharePoint Migration, always use the analogy of packing and moving. With our vast experience with SharePoint migrations, we can tell that a SharePoint migration is not like relocating to a new folder. The process is more like relocating a whole new data community. Saving money during migration needs time and effort, so that, you can create a suitable inventory. Choosing the right migration type, and committing to talking to the people at the earliest and often. Users’ willingness to adapt to new methods increases when they will hear a voice in the process and get respect for their opinions.