Get on Track for a Successful SharePoint 2016 MigrationAs I'm sure you've heard by now, all the long hours and late nights of the Microsoft SharePoint team came to fruition with the announcement of the release of SharePoint 2016 on May 4th. I’d encourage you to read the announcement on the Office Blogs.There’s also some great information for folks of the IT persuasion, who like to hear all the changes direct from the man with the plan himself, Bill Baer. 

Here at C5 Insight we’ve been playing with SharePoint 2016 from early on. In my opinion, the IT folks will get more excited than users who are in the tool day in and day out. That’s always the balance, what’s changed in the infrastructure vs. change in the front end experience. 

It’s new and shiny, and you want to migrate to the new platform. Are you sure?

Are You Going to Fail?

Benjamin Franklin has famously said:image

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

It happens a lot. A project starts with good intentions, but it ends in failure. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. AIIM has released a study that says 63% of SharePoint efforts will struggle, stall or fail to meet expectations!  We took a deeper look into our client proposals, and found that 60% of them are due to previous struggling or failed projects. Not good! 

What’s Going On?

We know why this happens. We’ve seen this in 3 universal truths that play out across many different organizations.

  1. It’s not about SharePoint
    Why upgrade? Upgrading just for the sake of upgrading, or it’s the latest version, is not a valid answer. What are you going to do differently during the upgrade? The upgrade shouldn’t be about IT, but the people who are using the tools. You aren’t doing a SharePoint project, because that’s not what it’s about. Start thinking of the "what’s driving" this upgrade.

  2. Risk vs. Reward
    Sure with a new technology implementation, you can get rewards of improved worker productivity, efficiency, and performance boosts when employees and customers are engaged.  But there’s a dark side. Previous project failures could be getting in the way, as well as lack of executive support. There could also be issues with user adoption, and inability to find information. 

  3. More than meets the eye
    What might look like a few simple tasks on a project plan could actually be hundreds of tactical decisions. When performing an upgrade like this, it’s almost never migrating exactly as it is in from the old to a new version. We’re going to give you a checklist but it’s important to not just gloss over the list, but instead to think through all the decisions behind the tasks to avoid failure.

We took this further and found 7 “deadly sins” that are the main drivers behind project failure. Our managing partner Curtis Hughes gives webinars and presentations on this which you can watch on the C5 Insight YouTube channel.

There’s a Better Way

So if lack of planning and control leads to so many failures, then what do we do? After a lot of internal reflection and analysis of projects, root cause of failures could be organized into 3 categories:

  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Control

The 40/20/40 PrincipleWe developed the 40/20/40 Principle to help redistribute how time is allocated to increase project success. 

Typically, a company will do a small amount of planning up front (sometimes almost none at all), figure things out as they go, do lots of technology configuration (and reconfiguration), and they’ll set some permissions and add this application to the list of some IT guy’s existing list of applications he has to support singlehandedly. People just go to him for help or support which is very reactive in nature. 

Instead, planning becomes a significant part of the early stages of the project and lays the foundation and roadmap for the how you need to implement the technology, as well as how you will maintain and control it.  This is typically in the form of governance committees or groups that has members from the business to discuss issues, share knowledge, and collectively make decisions. 

So, as you begin planning your SharePoint 2016 migration, we encourage you to download and use our checklist, which incorporates the 40/20/40 principle to help you avoid potential pitfalls. Don’t hesitate to reach-out if there’s anything we can do, and you can grab the checklist by clicking here.