Are you still on MOSS 2007? SharePoint 2010?

Organizations are struggling with their migration strategy waiting for the right time, right budget and right opportunity to plan conversion to latest and greatest version of SharePoint. And then the dilemma of upgrading to SharePoint on premise or moving to SharePoint Online. As they say, any solution will be acceptable if you are not aware of the underlying problem. The following are top six issues that can cause any SharePoint migration project to fail.

  • Unrealistic power users and end user’s demands: The moment power users are communicated that SharePoint is being converted to the latest version, demands start pouring in. Users start expecting rocket science and your SharePoint migration turns into a mars mission.
  • Failing to know limitations of target system: SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013, there are limitations when it comes to migrations. And these limitations are for greater good. But not knowing them results into a situation where it would be tough decision what to leave behind.
  • Thinking SharePoint Online is zero administration: Yes, cloud is minimal administration but certainly not zero administration. In fact, there can be greater administrative overhead when using apps and BI functionality.
  • Inadequate infrastructure planning: How much is too much? How many servers would you need?
    What kind of network bandwidth is available for remote users? Centralized or Distributed? Single farm or multi farm.
  • Accepting content status quo: Migrations fail because migration teams don’t effectively demonstrate to content owners the critical importance of content auditing.
  • Poor Governance Planning: You form a governance team but is it over crowded. Too many decision makers or too less influencers can take the project down.

And then there are other decision points. What should be the conversion strategy. Should you upgrade using conventional methods or migrate using a tool? Apparently, each SharePoint version has its own optimal architecture and design that requires solid planning for a successful migration. And add to that, it is utmost necessary to have a governance vehicle to drive the project to success.

As a consultant, I help organizations plan and execute their migration goals based on the following framework.

Figure 1

  • During the content assessment phase, the site inventory is captured and capacity planning is done to determine what kind of configuration target farm should have.
  • During the rationalization phase, content strategy would be determined as to which content goes to SharePoint Online (if available), to SharePoint On premise or form a disposition strategy where the content would be deleted.
  • During the migration phase, content would be migrated using the tool or database attach upgrade and validated for consistency.

Key deliverables

  • SharePoint Infrastructure Plan
  • SharePoint Migration Plan
  • Governance Plan
  • SharePoint Integration Plan

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