Conduct Migration Pre-Work

Before you move the first piece of content you need to ensure that the target location is ready to accept it.conduct

What does that mean? Well get ready this is going to be the biggest of all of the section of this series and have several parts, why? because a lot of information has to be done prior to ensure it will be successful.

  • Create Migration Schedules
  • Content Mapping
  • Checklists
    • Pre-Migration Checklist
    • Migration Checklist
    • Validation

So let’s get started!

Create Migration Schedules and Checklists

The use of these schedules and checklists will help your migration ensure that it is successful and make sure that nothing is forgotten or left out when you are doing your migration.  I have created an excel spreadsheet with all of these checklists located inside one document for your convenience.  Additionally you can use these list to create list templates in your SharePoint environment so everyone can track the progress of the project.

Migration Schedule

Once a site has been scheduled for migration create a new Migration Schedule this will be a quick reference that will have  all the tasks associated with the migration.  This schedule can be in the form or a Project Timeline, a Calendar or even in One Note.

Planning out every phase of a migration is key to ensure you are successful.  It doesn’t matter the tool you use just as long as you track your milestone and deliverables.

Below is an example of the types of milestone that need to be tracked.  Using Microsoft Project as shown can help you with a quick at a glance.


Additionally, you can add additional sub-tasks at each level to ensure nothing is missed.
It is also useful to have a calendar that is accessible to all of the Site users that will show the dates of the migration so that everyone has a point of reference.

Content Mapping for Migration

Use this spreadsheet to help you map your content.  This is especially helpful when you are consolidating from multiple site collection.  It can also be used to weed out outdated content so that only the most relevant content is migrated over.

There are occasions when you will be consolidating content from multiple site collection as well as reviewing the existing content to see if it needs to be migrated to your new O365 environment.  You can run you a report using one of the vendors mentioned before to provide you with the detail of all of your content to use.

It will be important to have a site hierarchy and know what sites or content will be going to which locations.

The Content Mapping Spreadsheet will also allow you to map your tagging and disposition of content based on your review.  It is easy to modify to your organization so that the drop-down menus are relevant.  In the example below you can see that quite a bit of the tagging is captured so that when you move this content you know what the new tags will be.


Once you have all of the tags you will want to use and a complete inventory of your content you can then apply these tags.


Pre-Migration Checklist

This checklist is used to track information about the source site of the migration and any special configurations or needs that maybe needed for and prior to migration and the size of the migration.

  • Pre-Migration Checklist Title:  _________________________________________
  • Source Location  __________________________________________________
  • Target Location  __________________________________________________
    Does your site include any High Business Impact (HBI)?(Yes/No)  _____________________________
  • Does your site leverage BI Capabilities? (Yes/No) _____________________
  • Does a tool or other application link to your current site? (Yes/No) __
  • Create destination site collection in SharePoint Online
  • Create site collection
  • Add site collection administrators
  • Configure destination site collection
  • Activate site collection features based on Site Template
    • SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection features
    • SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure
    • SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection features
  • Activate site features
    • SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection features
    • SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure
    • SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection features
  • Metadata Navigation and Filtering
  • Team Collaboration Lists
  • Increase site storage limit
  • Import Term Store Metadata
  • Create Site Columns
  • Create Content Types

Migration Checklist

Use this checklist to create an entry for each site being migrated.  This checklist is used to track all items that need to be done for the migration by both the on-shore and off-shore teams (if applicable).  The detailed instructions with the actual steps are included in Migration guide.

  • Migration Checklist Title:  _________________________________________
  • Source Location  __________________________________________________
  • Target Location  __________________________________________________
  • Migrate Site Structure
    • With Content and Permissions
    • No Content an Permissions
    • Just Content
    • Just Permissions
  • Import Design Package (if applicable)
  • Migrate Resource Files (if not using a Design Package import)
    • Master Pages
    • Page Layouts
    • Web Parts
    • CSS files
    • SharePoint Designer Objects
    • Display Templates
    • XSL Templates (if applicable)
    • HTML and XSL Templates (if applicable)
  • Publish all resource files (if not using a Design Package import)
    • Master Pages
    • Page Layouts
    • CSS files
    • SharePoint Designer Objects
    • Display Templates
    • XSL Templates (if applicable)
    • HTML and XSL Templates (if applicable)
  • Apply master page to site
  • Set Navigation
    • Structured
    • Managed
  • Update search settings URL (if applicable)

It is important to know the type of migration you are going to be performing prior to this step (In -Place Update, Lift and Shift, Map and restructure) as it will determine the order of the migration of the Site, Content Types, Permission and content that is being migrated.

Structure First then content (Large sites)

For large sites with lots of sub-sites and nested sub-sites it is best practice to migrated the structure over only. If you already have all of your site columns and content types created you will want to include those as well as the list structure for each site. This will ensure that all of the content when it is eventually moved to the new location will not have any errors and match up with the tagging already in place.

While this is usually done for the larger sites, this can be done for most of the migrations to O365 (Lift and shift or Map and restructure).

Permissions can also be migrated for the sites themselves but it is recommended to migrate any unique permissions with the content.

Note: When you are doing your assessment it is a good idea to do a permission audit as well. (More to come on that)


Validation is important and time consuming you want to ensure that all of the content made the trip from source to target.

A visual check is usually all that is required, however I have noticed on occasion that O365 numbers specifically in reference to document libraries can vary. This is due to the way folder are counted, in 2010 you get only a file count, however in O365/2013 you get a file and folder count. So it does make the validation process a bit of a challenge.

I have found that opening the library in file explorer and checking the properties of the folder gives me an exact count of folder and documents, which then gives me the actual number I am validating against the source.

The checklist below details all of validations that need to be checked before you are live and ready to release the site to the customer for UAT.

  • Page Layouts and Master Pages Published
  • Applied correct master page
  • Validate correct navigation has been applied
  • Compare List counts Source vs Target
  • Compare Library counts Source vs Target
  • Validate all Content Source vs Target Match
    • Lists
    • Libraries
    • Sub-Sites
  • Validate Permissions
    • Site
    • List
    • Library
    • Item


Ok, I think that is everything!  Just remember every environment is different and it is important to do a test migration and follow all of the checklist to ensure when you do the real one to production you are in good shape.

Posted on June 17, 2015, in GTconsult, Migrations, O365, SharePoint and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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