SharePoint Migration shouldn’t be as complicated as you may think even though different SharePoint versions can be filled with unexpected challenges and issues. And with Microsoft releasing SharePoint 2019, the latest iteration, in the latter half of 2018, it’s time to revisit some of those issues.
- Not Understanding Your Environment – Or Your Users
It happens all the time. You think you’ve got a handle on your environment and all the custom solutions. But then, just as you’re in the process of moving a sub site buried in the bottom of your environment, you come across a pocket of customization you didn’t know about before. And because you hadn’t already done the prep work to migrate the solution, your entire plan stops in its tracks.
Before you move into migration, you should take care to manage your stakeholders. Understand how they use the system, what they like, and what they’re not willing to change.
- Not Preparing Your Existing Content
Drag and drop, right? Wrong. Even the most tightly regulated SharePoint environment has older sites, content that needs archiving, and permissions that need cleaning up. Part of understanding your environment is auditing what you’ve got, and how much of it you can do away with. This is especially important if you’re copying a database from one farm to another as your migration strategy.
- Failing to Train Your Users
Microsoft likes to change their user interface. Users got a shock when they were faced with the Microsoft’s ribbon feature, effectively moving all the buttons around. User training, especially if your users are currently in a SharePoint 2010 environment, is crucial to project success. Not only that, but it will help smooth growing pains as people get used to their new features.
- Not Setting a Sunset Date
Just as people don’t like to part with older versions of documents (“But what if I need it?”), some organizations don’t like to sunset their old SharePoint environments. Effectively, they’ll run two concurrent instances, one that gets used and updated, and the other that remains frozen in time. Besides the obvious cost associated with keeping two servers up and running, it’s also a bad idea from a security standpoint. Older versions may not have the latest security patches. The best way to avoid this is to set a date for your users to verify their information has been transitioned.
- Treating Migration as a Technical Event – instead of a Culture Change
A SharePoint migration requires technical expertise and knowledge, but what most fail to understand is the human aspect. For companies that have integrated SharePoint into their daily lives, special care should be taken to socialize the changes, highlighting the improvements coming while managing stakeholder expectations. If you need a little help with understanding SharePoint migration and how to maximize your investment, it might be beneficial to work with a SharePoint consulting firm like eSoftware Associates.
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