Case Studies SharePoint Migration Organization Change Management

SharePoint Migration Organization Change Management


Over approximately 18 months, we assisted this client with an in-depth SharePoint migration project that included a substantial organizational change management (OCM) component. We undertook the OCM work in close cooperation with our client’s internal IT and communications teams.


This project centered on a move from on-premises (SharePoint 2010) to the cloud (Office 365 SharePoint Online, including changes to data structuring and therefore how users find and interact with information across approximately 1,200 SharePoint sites. The also project included rearchitecting a branded communications portal at the center of our client’s SharePoint environment.

With many aspects of user experiences changing, our client recognized the need to focus on eliminating disruption. Our OCM work focused on addressing these potential user impacts as well as preparing the IT administration team itself. Because SharePoint touches so many parts of Office 365, it’s essential for an organization’s IT team to plan for how to operationally manage the system, serving as a service delivery team for other areas of the organization.


A SharePoint migration must be handled with care because the potential negative effects on users is substantial. For example, certain business processes that rely on SharePoint need to be accommodated to avoid their disruption. In this migration project, one example was the human resources team’s annual employee benefits open-enrollment period. We built the migration schedule around this and other critical business phases to ensure nothing disrupted work flow at critical times.


Our client trained a set of power users—or “ninjas”—across business units to advocate for and support SharePoint. These power users helped share and distribute custom communications about the migration project. Communications also flowed through standard channels including the corporate intranet and emails. A dedicated email address was set up specifically to receive questions and provide answers to those questions. Also, managers received information on a regular basis to share and discuss with employees in their areas.


We prepared presentation materials for large-scale in-person training sessions to prepare users for the transition.


By its nature, a SharePoint migration to the cloud is usually a significant undertaking not only for technical and customization reasons but also because of the many ways the platform is used across an enterprise. By emphasizing the OCM component throughout the project, an organization can ease the transition and best assure successful user adoption.