Anatomy of a SharePoint Migration [INFOGRAPHIC]

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I’ve spent the better part of the last few years working with organizations migrating content from legacy repositories into SharePoint Online and then working with them to leverage all the goodness Office 365 brings. Whether the repositories are shared network drives, SharePoint on-premises sites or even SharePoint Online sites, the process follows the same 3 high-level steps. I’m often asked “what’s the process?” so I thought it was a great idea for a post! As happens with most things once we do them enough times, I’ve learned some Do’s and Don’ts along the way and thought what better way to share them than in an infographic. (my first one by the way)

Disclaimer: I couldn’t cover off every migration scenario in a single easy-to-read infographic. There are, of course, always exceptions in a migration which is partly what makes it a challenging task. This infographic represents the steps taken for the majority of migrations I do to deliver a successful outcome.

[Update February 16, 2019] An important part of any SharePoint migration is adoption. Its what makes an ordinary migration… extraordinary! Check out my friend, Shafina Hassam’s post, Adoption and SharePoint migrations – it’s a thing! where she gives you the scoop on how Adoption plays a role in each of the 3 steps in this infographic. She knows adoption! 🙂

[Update May 29, 2019] Thanks to Rene Modery (@modery) for providing a few additional items for the Plan and Execute steps. Infographic has been updated.

Here it is! (download link at the bottom)

Migration Infographic

Link to download for your own use, Anatomy of a SharePoint Migration, however please give credit if you use it. 🙂



  1. Love this! High level steps without the technical details. I always have my eye out looking for technical points of data but this is a great refresher on how to handle the governance side of things.

      1. Hi Chris, The migration option I pick depends on these factors (whether or not I want to retain metadata, volume of content, who will do the migration, and how complex is the mapping?). I’ve used Sharegate in the real-world and have only seen the other products in a demo form so I can’t speak intelligently about the feature comparison. The 4 factors I mention would be what I’d compare each against, including Microsoft’s own migration tool.

      2. I too value the differences in the customer / tool – requirements /capabilities. You see the same think in the exchange world with tenant to tenant migrations (coexistence), or other variety of migration scenarios which can lead you down one vendor path or another. Choosing the right one for most is untenable as they don’t have the experience to determine what combination of factors in the environments don’t mesh will with the tool(s) etc. Countless times have the wrong implementers tried to deploy QMM For Exchange without the experience or tenure. Or having Bititan try to act as a comprehensive tool for co-existence. These are lessons you learn through many years experience.

        Therein lies the conundrum for a Blogger. Give too much IP away and your market dwindles. Not enough and you don’t have the following to rank.

        BTW< Glad you like ShareGate! We do too. And do you have a handhold on PowerBI T2T migration strategies?

        -CMW Wintellisys, Inc

  2. Hi Joanne! I really wanted to commend you on your post. I have a slide with your InfoGraphic (that prominently credits you as the author, as well it should) talking about considerations for a migration. I love that you’ve gone to the trouble of capturing it all. It’s *such* an important part of a migration and yet it is almost always overlooked! When I talk about migrations, I can’t overstate just how important these considerations are. In fact, they’re the bulk of the project in terms of time and cost, above and beyond any tools used.

    1. Thanks Mike! I appreciate your feedback. I agree with it being the bulk of the project. Lots of orgs don’t talk about this unfortunately.

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