SharePoint Migration Tips to Avoid a Headache

If you’ve ever tried to implement a new system at work, you’ll know it can sometimes be like pulling teeth. The new system seems to have endless glitches, your team isn’t comfortable using it, and somehow you wind up back with the old, less optimized solution because it’s just easier that way. If you’re planning a SharePoint migration soon, you may be dreading dealing with these headaches. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure your SharePoint migration goes as well as possible for everyone involved. Read on to get some insider tips for avoiding SharePoint migration headaches.


What is a SharePoint Migration?

Before we get into tips for avoiding SharePoint migration headaches, let’s talk a little about what a SharePoint migration is. Microsoft SharePoint is a tool that allows your team to build and manage websites. You can add and switch between multiple accounts, mark your most visited sites, collaborate on files, and more.

But when you first set up SharePoint, you’ll need to migrate your files and information into the system in order for it to work as needed. This can be a complicated process, especially if your team has been using a lot of customization options in your current solution. You’re going to need to stay organized, take your time, and double-check everything as you go to make sure nothing gets missed.


Take a Long Look at Your Current System

The first thing you can do to avoid SharePoint migration headaches is to take a good, long look at your current system. You may be using an older version of SharePoint or a different solution entirely. Either way, you need to have a solid idea of exactly what you will be moving to the new SharePoint system before you begin.

Take a look at your files, websites, and other data that will be moving to SharePoint. Make note of how this data is organized, and keep an eye out for any pockets of customization one of your team members may have set up. The clearer the picture you have of what you’ll be working with, the smoother your SharePoint migration will go.


Design Your New System

Before you even begin to move files, you need to spend some time designing your new system. Having a plan going in will make it much easier for you to set up a system that works for your whole team. Diving in and hitting that big “Migrate” button without a design in place is like dumping all the contents of a house into a moving truck and hoping to be able to find your second-favorite pair of boots later when you need them.

Using the knowledge you gained when you looked at your old system, start designing a new SharePoint system that will work well for your team. Often, a planned model can be more efficient and intuitive than one that has grown organically, so look for ways to optimize your new system. You may need to build out sites, document libraries, and create metadata to keep your new system running well.


Prepare Your Files

Once the framework for your new SharePoint system is in place, you need to plan in some time to prepare your files for transfer. Some old files may need to be archived rather than taking up space on the new system. Others may need to have permissions temporarily changed in order for them to work with the migration tools. When you’re conducting your full system audit, make note of any particularly old or troublesome files that may need work before you begin your migration. Decide what can stay and what can get archived, and make a plan for how you intend to handle permissions for sensitive documents. If you expect there to be any compatibility issues, you’ll also want to address those before you start your migration.


Schedule Your Migration Carefully

After you’ve spent all this time setting up a framework and reviewing all your files, you may be ready to just hit “go” on the whole migration process. But you need to make sure you schedule your migration carefully. There’s a good chance your whole company’s internet bandwidth is going to grind to a halt as soon as your migration begins.

You should schedule your migration for a time when no one is going to be around trying to work. A weekend or holiday may work well for this since it will give you plenty of time to get things set up on the new system before everyone comes back to work. But attempting a migration during normal business hours is going to bring your productivity to a screeching halt.


Arrange For Employee Training

Your new system may be well-designed and up to date with the latest bells and whistles. But if no one on your team knows how to use it, it isn’t going to work for anyone. People are going to get frustrated, productivity will drop, and you may find that most people simply carry on using the same system they’re familiar with.

Before you conduct the actual migration, you need to train your team on how to use the new and improved SharePoint system. Arrange for team training days, and consider bringing in a consulting firm to answer your team’s more in-depth questions. The more of these issues you can address upfront, the less hassle you’ll have after the migration.


Avoid SharePoint Migration Headaches

SharePoint migration can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation, you can make sure everything goes well. Make sure you focus on preparation – examine your system, design your new framework, and train your team. Then prep your files and schedule your migration for a convenient time, and you’ll be off to the races!

If you’d like to get expert help with your SharePoint migration process, check out the rest of our site at IncWorx. We provide consulting and support that makes your Microsoft technology easier to use. Schedule a free consultation today and start working smarter for your business, not harder.

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