Project Online is Microsoft’s cloud-based project and portfolio management (PPM) tool. It is a comprehensive solution that allows organizations to govern projects while staying aligned with business goals. Migrating to Project Online successfully requires meticulous planning and preparation, including the careful consideration of both technical and business objectives.

Why Migrate to Project Online?

If you currently utilize Microsoft Project Server for your PPM requirements, you know the hidden costs associated with supporting your own system. Customization and implementation expenses, hardware investments, and IT maintenance are ongoing costs that can dwarf the actual licensing fees for the product.

Migrating your current PPM environment to the Project Online shifts many of those continuous costs to Microsoft. They are responsible for maintenance, support, and software upgrades, and you will never need to update or patch your infrastructure. Project Online lowers costs, speeds your return on investment, and allows your enterprise to scale your PPM infinitely – based on your needs.

Tips for a Smooth Migration

To migrate your PPM data, you first need to understand the migration process. The figure below illustrates the eight major steps for moving your data. The first two steps are essential to the outcome of the migration as a whole; without proper analysis, design, and planning, you won’t know where to focus your time and resources.

microsoft project online migration process map

Questions to Guide Your Migration

To develop your migration plan, you must analyze your PPM environment comprehensively. Questions are vital to success, so it’s a good idea to involve key stakeholders from within your project management office (PMO) during this time.

Start by asking yourselves:

  • What has changed since you implemented your last PPM tool? Management? Your company’s vision? If your organization has changed, your PPM techniques need to change, too.
  • What did we learn from the last implementation? What went well/not so well, and what can we improve this time around?
  • Should we take this time to refine our PPM requirements? You don’t want to migrate bad behaviors. Make sure you analyze your practices during the first step.
  • How can we add value to our PPM? Now is the time to alleviate bottlenecks and add enhanced functionality. It may also be the perfect time to incorporate new business groups into the solution.
  • How much content needs to be migrated? The more content you have, the more time and effort the migration process will require.
  • Do we need to integrate any third-party systems, add-ons, or customization? If you still need these solutions, they must be accounted for during the design phase.
  • Do we have obstacles we must address? Certain unresolved actions can crash the migration or make it more complex. Additionally, some features may not be available in Project Online – which means alternatives must be considered.

Find a Migration Partner Who Gets It

Projility expertly migrates enterprises of all sizes to Project Online. Working closely with our clients, we utilize our proprietary migration tool to move both project data and SharePoint content. We even offer optional services such as the migration of custom reports and specialized end-user training.

Migrating to Project Online will benefit your PMO – and bottom line – for years to come. Take the time to do it right by asking yourself important questions and evaluating every answer. Even though the migration process can seem overwhelming, the good news is that it will be the last migration you ever have to do!

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.