“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
During a recent upgrade of SharePoint 2007 to 2010 for a national organization with thousands of users, planning paid dividends when it came time to execute. While we weren’t storming the beaches of Normandy, the task at hand certainly required methodical planning and communication to assure mission accomplishment.
Over the course of several months, we gathered data, ported customizations, tested upgrades three times and planned, planned, planned. We gathered data on migration speed, which indicated a problem, as the database restoration was taking far too long to fit into our timeline. The team tested some alternatives, identified a workaround and implemented a fix action. Recovering this additional time allowed us to absorb a significant design change in-flight. Even though we had thoroughly tested our plan, we did not account for URL caching in the end-users’ browsers and quickly adapted to provide a pathway to the new site using the old URL.
The remainder of the migration went smoothly. We beat our deadline by a full 24 hours and used the additional time to test before unleashing users on the site. The help-desk was not flooded with trouble tickets and any issues that did arise had acceptable contingencies in place to keep the business moving.
In summary, planning for a SharePoint upgrade is equal parts art and science and should be at the top of your priority list during such a project. An experienced SharePoint consultant can help develop your plan.
Key Planning Items to Consider:
- User locations / time zones
- Validating test coverage
- Measuring upgrade performance
- Testing the upgrade and testing it again
- Establishing a communication plan for live migration
- Ensuring a roll-back plan exists
- Defining success before you begin
For more on SharePoint migration, you can read another resource here from our consultant Kyle…