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May 12
Content Migration Quick Guide

The content migration process is the most important step in a SharePoint upgrade.  The process must ensure that only the necessary content is identified for migration AND that content is mapped properly to the new SharePoint portal.  The process begins with a content inventory of all assets in your existing environment.  Don’t be alarmed at the size of the inventory.  The process will divide the workload to the owners and evaluators who are closest to the content.  From the inventory, you will add the Title of the content and the URL for each item into your Content Migration Spreadsheet.

The Content Migration Spreadsheet will be your road map to a successful migration.  As you work through the process, each owner/evaluator will add information about the content as they work their way through each column of the spreadsheet.  The following Quick Guide below is a good reference for your owners/evaluators as they identify, evaluate and map their content to the new solution.


The title of your content. The title can also be a link to the actual content in the current SharePoint portal.  If you think the title should be updated, then add a note in the notes column with the new title for the content.

URL and/or Folder Path

Displays the URL where the content resides in the current SharePoint portal.  You can use this information for possible terms (see Terms section).  For example, if the folder structure has agendas -> 2015 Q1, then you might consider adding year and quarter as terms in the term section.


The main content owner and a critical decision maker for this area of content. 

NOTE: If multiple owners feel that a specific piece of content is theirs, then work with the other potential owner(s) to decide who should take ownership for the migration process.  The process runs smoother when only 1 person is identified as the owner during the migration process.

NOTE: If no owner is identified for a specific piece of content, then the content will be archived.  (And that is okay)


This field refers to the division/department owning the content.  If a division/department owns the content, then they have the rights to edit and delete the content. 

NOTE: If multiple divisions/departments have edit rights to the content, then enter all division/departments.


Person assigned by content owner to evaluate specific content.  Owners should not evaluate all of their content.  Instead, appoint some other people in your area who know the content to help you through the evaluation process.


Redundant, out-of-date, and/or trivial content.  If content falls in this category, then the content should be archived or updated.  If content is redundant, then identify the other common content and combine the content together into 1 item by choosing to migrate 1 piece of content and archive the rest of the redundant content.

Some other questions to help you evaluate your content:

      ·         Is this content accurate?

      ·         Is this content useful? (Value to user and/or business)

      ·         Who is the audience for this content?

      ·         Does this content require special security or permissions?


In most cases, intranet content will be read-only across the organization unless otherwise noted. Please define any special cases where content cannot be viewed by outside departments.  Also, some content is not intended for external audiences.  If that is the case, then add internal only for that content.

NOTE: Identifying content that should only be accessed by a specific division or department indicates that content will be mapped to a Team Site under that division/department.


3 choices – Migrate, Update and Migrate, or Archive.  If you choose update and migrate, then add a note in the notes column identifying who will update the information and provide a deadline for that update.  

NOTE: New content will be created during this process.  Add rows to your spreadsheet with the information about that new content to ensure it is migrated.

Map to new location

Identify where the content will live in the new site structure.

      ·         Division/Department Site

NOTE: Content should be viewable by the entire organization.

      ·         Division/Department Team Site

      ·         Project Site
NOTE: Content in a Project site should be content that multiple divisions/departments edit.

Some added help:  

      ·         If collaboration is between people in multiple departments in the same division, then choose a division team site.  

      ·         If collaboration is between people in a single department, then choose a department team site.  

      ·         If collaboration is between multiple divisions, then choose a Project Site.

Identify name of new site

Depending on your mapping choice, you need to identify the name of the location for your content.  See choices below

      ·         Enter the name of the division site and department site (if applicable)

      ·         Enter the name of the division or department team site (if applicable)

      ·         Enter the name of the Project Site

NOTE: Your goal should be to group like content in the same site.  The less sites you have, the more manageable your experience.  DON’T CREATE A NEW SITE FOR EVERY DOCUMENT CATEGORY.  You can use terms to display like content in 1 document library AND you can have multiple document libraries in a single site.


Terms are important to this process.  The terms will help identify what metadata to apply to specific content.  Please use the terms provided in the Taxonomy spreadsheet to add any terms that apply to this content.  If you feel like you need terms that are not listed in the Taxonomy spreadsheet, then add them in this field.  

KEY: Look at the folder structure and see if it makes sense to use some of the folder names as terms.


Add any notes that might be helpful in your evaluation.  

      ·         If you want to provide a better title for the content, then make a note of the desired title.

      ·         If this content has specific security concerns, then add information about what permissions are needed for the content.

      ·         If content needs updating, then identify who will update the content and provide a due date. 


Need help planning your SharePoint Migration or Upgrade? Take a look at our SharePoint Pre-Migration Assessment​ offering. 

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