Mixed feelings about SharePoint abound in organizations today. Some say it's great and others don't want anything to do with it. That’s sooo 2007. Rest assured, with proper planning of your SharePoint 2010 migration, you’re well on your way to revolutionizing your organization.

Unless you’re living under a rock, I’m sure you know by now that SharePoint 2010 is set to be launched on May 12, 2010. CMSWire has great coverage on how you can prepare for the launch.

There’s a lot of excitement and flurry of activities that’s going on around SharePoint 2010. In fact, I’m currently involved with two SharePoint 2010 migration projects. Here are 5 tips that I’d like to share on how you can effectively plan for SharePoint 2010 migration:

Tip #1 Evaluate Organizational Need for Migration

Before you get caught up in the SharePoint 2010 frenzy, step back and clearly understand what quantifiable benefit does SharePoint 2010 bring to your organization. Gone are the days when we had unlimited IT budgets to deploy new technologies.

For example, if you are an educational institution currently using SharePoint 2007 where a sizable number of users are using Mac, a key challenge is the lack of full cross-browser compatibility. How much time, money, effort, custom code are you spending on supporting these users? With SharePoint 2010, it has greatly addressed this issue. If you’re interested, read this post: Maximizing SharePoint 2010 on a Mac + iPhone or iPod + iPad.

To get started, here’s a list of new features in SharePoint 2010 that can help you evaluate if you need to migrate.

Bottom line is, you have to make a business case on why migrating to SharePoint 2010 is needed. It’s necessary to do this to convince thehigher powers -- executive management -- that it provides great value to the organization.

Though not SharePoint 2010 specific, here’s a great presentation from Paul Culmsee on how you calculate SharePoint ROI.

Tip #2 Identify and Prioritize Migration Scope in Detail

Once the business reason is clear for the need to migrate to SharePoint 2010, the next step is to identify the migration scope in detail:

  • Are you going to take a big bang approach and migrate the entire organization to SharePoint 2010 or take a phased approach and migrate one group at a time?
  • What are you migrating? Is it your existing internal SharePoint 2007 Intranet and/or collaboration sites? Custom SharePoint application? Public-facing site? Additional content sources?
  • How will existing content be migrated? Do you need to migrate them all? What’s the cost benefit of utilizing a tool to do content migration vs manually doing it?
  • Is your current SharePoint information architecture, site taxonomy and site templates well defined that you can replicate the model in SharePoint 2010?
  • How scalable is the current technical infrastructure (hardware, software, network, etc) for SharePoint 2010?
  • Does your current release management and or disaster recovery process apply to SharePoint 2010?
  • What type of training should you facilitate to best encourage user adoption for SharePoint 2010?

By identifying the scope, you can prioritize and appropriately budget for the SharePoint 2010 migration project.

Tip #3 Allocate Realistic Budget and Staffing

Let me make this clear, you can never get a flying car within two weeks for $10. My point is, based on the scope of SharePoint 2010 migration you’ve identified, there’s no way that you can task a single individual to do all of that ON TOP of everything else he or she is doing. Hopefully by now you know that SharePoint Superman does not exist, if not, read “5 Reasons Why Executive SharePoint Ignorance Is Not Bliss.”

When you budget for the migration, consider:

Learning Opportunities

  • Based on the priorities defined, how much can IT take on realistically? Do you need to hire external resources?
  • What about technical investments for the hardware, licensing for software?
  • Development and rollout of relevant training.

Having a clear list of priorities can certainly help justify the cost of migration. As you can imagine, with $10, all you can get for it within 2 weeks is a toy car from the local store.

Editor's Note: You read more articles on SharePoint by Dux Raymond Sy including How SharePoint Can Deliver Project Transparency.

Tip #4 Develop Migration Schedule

Identify the task, dependencies and relevant resources needed for migrating to SharePoint 2010. In addition, it is important for executive management to buy-in to this timeline to set realistic expectations.

Here’s a sample schedule in PDF or MPP that I developed and am currently using for an Intranet migration project from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.

Tip #5 Treat SharePoint 2010 Migration as a Project

A common issue that will happen is that migration of SharePoint 2010 will be ‘just another task’ that someone in IT has to do. Not that it won’t work, but the organization won’t be able to reap the full benefits of SharePoint 2010 if it’s taken lightly.

Just like other projects in your organization, it should be realistically staffed, funded and supported by executive management. In addition, proper project discipline, metrics and expectations should be set. For example, project roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, schedule, budget, risks and changes should be tracked, and regular status updates should be conducted.

Take Time to Plan

Migrating to a new version of any platform has its opportunities and its challenges. If you take the time to plan your migration properly and include all the right resources, then the migration should go much smoother.

If you want to learn more about SharePoint 2010, join me for a FREE webcast on May 11 and a FREE event in Washington, DC on May 15.