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Regression Testing and User Training Minimizes SharePoint Upgrade Risk for a Local Non-Profit

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Regression Testing and User Training Minimizes SharePoint Upgrade Risk for a Local Non-Profit

Challenge

Our client, a Seattle-based non-profit organization with a large, complex SharePoint 2007 implementation, planned to upgrade to SharePoint 2010. Even with careful planning, integrated applications (including custom and third party products) and more than five thousand sites across the entire organization would be affected. There was significant potential for negative impact on our client’s day-to-day productivity. To determine the effects, a large regression testing effort was required.

Our client asked Plaster Group to manage the scale and complexity of the upgrade to SharePoint 2010. Plaster Group consultants would be responsible for mitigating losses to productivity while migrating the company’s vast quantities of data to the new SharePoint environment. Additionally, Plaster Group needed to find SharePoint 2007 features client teams were using that were deprecated in 2010, and work with FTE administrators to use new features to replicate as much lost functionality as possible. Of specific concern was our client’s highly customized intranet, with numerous custom master pages, stakeholders had grown accustomed to.

Approach

Plaster Group deployed several SharePoint architects and developers to work with our client’s support teams. Consultants led our client through an in-depth evaluation of their SharePoint 2007 implementation as part of the planning for the SharePoint 2010 upgrade, evaluating necessary functionality and discerning what features might be challenged by the upgrade.

Given the scale of our client’s 2007 implementation, it was imperative to work closely with cross-functional teams and executives to manage scope of the transition, implement changes carefully, and to test content across the enterprise thoroughly. Due to the complexity of the customized intranet and its importance among users, Plaster Group consultants advocated for the creation of a second project to bring the customized intranet into the upgrade at a later date.

Solution

Plaster Group consultants focused on testing and how to migrate existing sites and content with the least amount of disruption. Key Plaster Group contributions included:

• Project Management: worked with stake holders and end users to plan, analyze, and manage scope of all upgrade elements
• Regression Testing: created and deployed test environments as close to a replication of the final environment as could be crafted, identifying custom and third party applications that would be affected and used out-of-box SharePoint 2010 functionality or developed custom solutions to restore high risk content into sites
• Training: worked with client’s in-house SharePoint trainer to create training materials and provided team and individual training as new SharePoint 2010 sites were deployed

Results

Our client was able to successfully complete their SharePoint 2010 upgrade without significant impact to other web related work in progress. Solutions that stakeholders had grown accustomed to were replicated and users gained access to increased functionality with features intrinsic to SharePoint 2010. Third party applications identified for replacement during the planning process were phased out saving tens of thousands of dollars and reducing complexity. In addition, preparations have been made to bring the custom intranet into the upgrade.