You’re about to make the jump to SharePoint. Great choice! It’s an exciting time, but there’s a lot to do before hitting the ground running. That’s where this handy SharePoint online migration checklist comes in.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) must map out their migration strategy and ensure they have the resources to complete the process successfully. We’ve compiled some SharePoint Online migration best practices to help you make your migration as smooth and stress-free as possible.
What is SharePoint migration?
Migrating to SharePoint involves transferring your data, content, and user profiles from one SharePoint environment to another. It’s crucial for companies to upgrade to a newer version of SharePoint or change their hosting provider.
The goal of migration is to move all your data over as quickly and efficiently as possible while minimizing the amount of disruption to your users. To achieve this, you’ll need to follow a checklist that includes technical and administrative tasks.
A checklist is crucial because migration is a complex process that can easily go wrong if not planned properly. And it can help you track your progress and ensure that everything is moving according to schedule.
The Complete Sharepoint Migration Checklist for SMBs in 2023
1. Build an inventory of what you already have
The first step in the migration is to build an inventory of what you already have. This might seem tedious, but it’s essential to have a complete picture of your current environment before you start making changes.
Building an inventory will help you understand the project’s scope and what is needed to prepare for the migration. It will also help you identify potential roadblocks and ensure that your data is ready for the move.
To build an inventory of your current environment, gather all your documentation and system information. These documents may include product licenses, configuration files, user manuals, and anything related to your current environment.
Next, scan your network for all devices connected to your SharePoint server. This includes servers, workstations, laptops, smartphones, and other devices accessing your data. Finally, collect usage data from your SharePoint server by extracting usage logs from the server or using third-party software to track user activity.
2. Check for running Sharepoint workflows
You should check for running SharePoint workflows as part of your migration process. SharePoint workflow migration can be tricky, making it critical to make sure they’re all functioning properly before you finalize your move. Start by reviewing the workflow history and noting any that are still running. You can do this by going to the SharePoint website, clicking on the Gear icon, and selecting Site Settings.
From there, click on Workflow Settings under Site Collection Administration. Then, select Site Contents and click on the Workflow History list. Compare the workflows in your source environment with those in your target environment. Then, identify and document any differences between the two environments.
If you find any errors, you’ll need to fix them before completing your migration. But if everything looks good, you can move on to the next item on your checklist.
3. Reorganize your information architecture
Information architecture is the blueprint for your website. It’s how you organize and label your site’s content so people can find what they’re looking for. Before using the SharePoint migration tool, it’s vital to look closely at your current information architecture and ensure it’s still serving your needs.
Determine your business goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your SharePoint migration? Are you looking to streamline communication and collaboration within your team, make your data more accessible to employees or customers, or reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks? Understanding your goals will help shape your information architecture to meet your needs.
Next, analyze your current information architecture. Some of the crucial questions to ask at this point include:
- Are my site’s content areas clearly labeled?
- Do they align with my business goals?
- Is my content well organized?
- Are there areas users might experience difficulty finding what they’re looking for?
- Are there any duplicated content areas?
- Are there areas users might get confused?
Create a plan for reorganizing your information architecture. This plan should include specific steps for restructuring your content, defining new navigation paths and labeling conventions, and migrating data to the new system. This step will make the migration process smoother and minimize the risk of data loss or confusion among users.
4. Run a pilot test
Once you’ve laid out every step in your SharePoint migration plan, it’s time to run a pilot test. A pilot test is where a select group of users can access and use the new environment before launch.
The purpose is to help determine that all systems will work as expected and identify any issues that may arise from the migration process. Pilot tests are crucial because they help you get familiar with the new system so you can quickly troubleshoot and address any issues when fully deployed.
The process typically starts with selecting testers representing different user roles and business functions within your organization. This will give you an idea of how migration affects different types of users.
Next, pick a representative data set the testers can use during the pilot tests to get the complete experience. This data set should include documents, lists, and sites. But not too much that it overwhelms them or their computer servers.
Ensure they know how to navigate the new environment by providing training materials or having experts for questions during testing. Collect feedback and suggestions on challenges faced throughout the testing experience for improvements after deployment.
5. Plan for downtime compensation
No SharePoint migration plan is complete without making a plan for downtime compensation. Even short periods of unplanned outages can be costly. When making your compensation plan, estimate the downtime you will likely experience during the SharePoint migration based on your team’s migration experience and the current environment.
Next, determine who will handle compensating affected employees – individual departments or the entire organization. Finally, decide how you will compensate affected employees – will they receive time off or cash payment?
Once you’ve decided how to compensate your employees, communicate it to everyone involved. Having a plan and being ready to implement it before the migration helps ensure that everyone will be taken care of when the inevitable happens and things don’t go as planned.
6. Create sites in Sharepoint Online before the migration
Creating sites in SharePoint Online before the migration is essential for a few reasons. First, it lets you quickly access new and existing sites on the same platform, simplifying collaboration between team members and external contributors. Second, it helps secure your data in the cloud.
Here are three steps to create sites in SharePoint Online:
- Log into your SharePoint admin center and navigate to “Sites” to create a new site.
- Select a template from the options available – For example, a “Team Site” would be best for SMBs.
- Add users to the team site by entering their name or email address and assigning them permissions as needed.
Creating proper sites in SharePoint Online will provide your business with an easy-to-use platform to store, share and manage all your company data securely and efficiently while streamlining processes and improving collaboration between team members and external contributors.
7. Create CSV mapping for migrating to multiple Sharepoint sites
Creating CSV mapping is essential when migrating to multiple SharePoint Sites because it helps streamline the process. In other words, it gives you an easy way to group similar data into a single row in a CSV file so that you know how to handle it in one go.
Here are three steps for creating CSV mapping:
- Create a file for each item type you want to migrate and add columns for each property of that type. This can include ID, display name, description, parent site URL, etc.
- List all items that need to be migrated and assign them an ID—this will make it easier to track them while transferring from one site to another.
- Map the property values from each SharePoint list or library item into their respective columns in the CSV file and save them—you have now created your CSV mapping.
8. Create an effective communication plan for your Sharepoint migration
Creating an effective communication plan for your SharePoint migration is essential if you want it to go smoothly. Your team needs to understand the importance of a successful migration, so establish objectives and teach them SharePoint online migration best practices.
Additionally, ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the strategies and tactics you will use during the migration process.
Finally, assign ownership so that everyone involved in the process knows who they should contact if they have any questions or concerns related to the migration. This could include a project manager or another team member with experience in SharePoint migrations.
Remember that your SharePoint migration checklist will continually evolve as your business and needs change. As you complete each migration, take the time to review what worked and what didn’t. This will help you create an even more efficient process the next time.
Additionally, remember to involve your employees in the migration process. They will be the ones who use the new SharePoint site daily, so their input is essential. By working together, you can ensure a successful SharePoint migration that will benefit your entire organization.
Are you looking for help migrating your current SharePoint environment to a more sustainable one? KatPro has helped hundreds of businesses accomplish seamless SharePoint migrations between environments. Talk to our expert team, and let’s get you started on the quickest SharePoint migration.
Download our FREE checklist here!