How to Create a SharePoint Migration Project Plan? A Step-by-step Guide

SharePoint Project Migration Plan
04 Oct 2021


Microsoft SharePoint is recognized as one of the best collaborative software and is pegged as the most secure, scalable, reliable, and efficient system in the business world. Microsoft aims to provide users with a ‘modern experience with exceptional UI. While the latest 2019 version of SharePoint has countless benefits, the actual migration process can be quite complicated. Here below you can find the SharePoint Migration plan to help make the move easy for your company. 

Creating A SharePoint Migration Project Plan

Identify and understand your business challenges

Before migrating, it’s important that you first identify the business problems that can be resolved by migrating to SharePoint, this way you can also understand how moving to a SharePoint environment can enhance your business operations overall. SharePoint online / Office 365 offers additional features that could fill the gaps in your business.

Common reasons for a SharePoint migration include:

  • High-level security features
  • Reliable support
  • Increased storage 
  • Customizable features
  • Zero maintenance
  • Releases with new features

Regardless of the reason, your SharePoint migration plan needs to be aligned with your business goals.

Consider your business strategy

Understanding your overall business direction and current operations is imperative when considering SharePoint migration. Because you need to consider how the changes in project management plans, workflow automation, project management platforms, and organizational structure changes may affect information flow within your business processes.

You need to ask yourself some critical questions in your SharePoint migration project plan:

  • How bigger will your database size be in the future?
  • What is the amount of scalability that will be needed for your environment?
  • What is the forecasted user growth?

It is necessary to be proactive in matters like these by asking your team members these questions so you can understand your business environment. In turn, this will also help you recognize custom solutions that you may need.

Put together a migration team

You can save both time and money by employing a professional or a migration manager to oversee the migration process, as you will need expert hands for the job to ensure a seamless and successful move.

Your SharePoint Migration Process team might consist of:

  • Strategy
  • System auditing
  • Information architecture redesign
  • Documentation
  • Testing

While you are on the lookout for a specialist on board, also find internal tech experts who can assist with every step.

Create a communication strategy

It is always recommended to have a communication strategy in place before implementation. Every member of your migration team needs to go through the SharePoint Migration Process document and has to understand their part in the process and thoroughly understand the pre-migration and post-migration plan. Setting clear deadlines for each department helps increase efficiency drastically.

Assess your existing data environment

In the next step of preparation for migration, it’s essential to assess the inventory in your current environment. This will help you plan the migration efficiently and formulate specific timelines for the completion.

The SharePoint migration project plan template should give you a comprehensive perspective about your existing environment, and should include:

  • Sites and site collections 
  • Lists and libraries
  • Branding
  • Pages
  • Custom solutions
  • Retention policies
  • File share and UI customization 
  • Users, permissions, and groups
  • Site columns and content types 

Once you are done assessing your inventory, you should have a better understanding of what is unnecessary in your environment as well.

Similar to performing a “spring cleaning”, here is a list of things you can discard from your inventory or remove. This could include:

  • Orphaned users
  • Unused workflows and content 
  • Duplicated content

 To export your SharePoint information you can use a tool known as PowerShell to ensure that the process is both smooth and efficient.

You can also export any list to an excel spreadsheet to get a better sense of what you’re looking to achieve.

Restructure your existing information architecture

Once you have looked at your inventory you may find that it might be disorganized. However, you should consider a clean up of the environment to ensure a smooth migration process. 

You need to restructure your web parts, content types, templates, and SharePoint farm topology. This could include:

  • Adjusting permissions
  • Breaking down huge site collections
  • Organizing lists
  • Organizing libraries

Prepare the destination environments

Everything said and done, the end-user experience is most critical, and preparing the destination environment is essential as it will create a positive experience for all teams.

When preparing your new home, you need to look at:

  • Optimizing server performance
  • Configuring web applications
  • Creating backups
  • Testing the restore
  • Planning out a metadata pan for your content
  • Running a test migration

Perform your change management strategy

Fear of change is one of the driving factors causing problems in most deployment processes, however, change management systems in migration strategies will help streamline the process effectively. So, you need to deploy change leaders and a change management team to prepare your employees for any upcoming adjustments in their current data environments. Environment changes may include:

  • Downtimes
  • URL changes
  • Bookmarks and document reference changes
  • The duration for the migration project

Execute the move in waves

Migrating in phases ensures that every team has time to process and fully understand the transition from your old system to new. It can be helpful to migrate one workload at a time because not only is it more manageable, but it reduces the overwhelming intensity of the whole process.

The changeover process in a SharePoint migration plan entails:

  • Ending the workflows that are to be migrated
  • Setting your former database to read-only
  • Backing up all of your content before you migrate to SharePoint Online
  • Using the SharePoint migration tool while scanning, uploading, packaging, and importing your files
  • Configuring user profiles

Post-migration testing and backup

Testing is crucial once you finish the migration to ensure everything is running accurately. A testing plan curated by specialists is incorporated to accomplish this. The purpose of a testing plan is to ensure that all features, including customization and third-party apps, are working as anticipated. A testing plan will also:

  • Test workflows and permissions 
  • Make sure that data has been migrated completely and accurately
  • Check query performance
  • Check search results and document the search time
  • Test user experience and the UI performance
  • Create a backup of your new system
  • Run a full crawl

In summary

A SharePoint migration process is a very complex and time-consuming process – if there is any uncertainty at any point in the process, it’s best to go for an external consultant or outsource migration. 

Categories: SharePoint