Planning a migration or even thinking about making one can be rough with a big, fat capital R. Trust us, we completely get it. That is exactly why so many companies create content focused specifically on migrations. Whether it’s downloading an eBook, reaching out to an expert or sifting through case studies, there are tons of resources and tools at your disposal to help combat any challenges. One of the first places to focus on, even before beginning a migration, is planning.
For those of you looking to make a move to SharePoint Online, Microsoft created this nifty guide on “5 Easy Steps to a Successful SharePoint Online Migration” that you can download here. While also utilizing really cool stick figure people, they go into the first five questions you should be asking yourself when looking to migrate.
So where do you start? Contemplate these 5 aspects:
Do you need to migrate?
Chances are, if you’re even considering a migration it’s because (1) you’re experiencing some issues or (2) you’re simply outgrowing your current system. However, there really is more to this question – How much will this change your user experience? Will it require more training and do your third-party products work with this upgrade? These questions don’t need to stop you from migrating but knowing the answers will help you compare vendors, set up training in advance and feel more in control throughout the migration.
What are you actually migrating?
Looking at all of your data, decide what needs to migrate over to SharePoint Online and what you can dump. Think of it like spring cleaning. You have the opportunity to go in, dig around and actually figure out what to keep and what to trash. Bring in those new living room tables and that great custom wine rack, because now that everything is cleaned up, you have the organization to make it all work!
Do you have a clear set of requirements?
Reviewing your current and long term goals is the perfect opportunity to map everything out. Gaining a clear understanding of what your SharePoint Online site needs to look like now compared to five years from now will make mapping everything out that much easier. Set up new policies for how documents are stored, define new metadata and taxonomy, and identify where data may be missing information. Fix this now, thank yourself later.
Set realistic expectations.
Underestimating what this migration will look like is only going to come back to bite you in the long run. After you have gone through and mapped out your data, take a look at how many files you have, test how long an upload takes, and multiply that to get an accurate idea of the timeline. Look at what resources you have or need to expand on beforehand so you can show up prepared instead of waiting on pieces you didn’t realize you would need. Finally, look at the potential risks. If you hand the migration over to one person who then ends up winning the lottery mid-way through, buys a boat, and leaves to sail the ocean blue, who will take over?
Define a post migration plan.
Simply put, continue to look at your system even after migrating. Consider little tweaks that you can make, ask employees how they are working with the new processes, and improve from there.