Intranet Content Migration – a guide to good practice

by | May 3, 2016 | Intranets

Intranets and content management software (CMS) applications both have service lifetimes of probably 4-5 years although this can sometimes be extended with strong initial and ongoing implementation. Intranet teams will have the experience and expertise needed to develop an upgraded intranet on an existing CMS but will rarely have the experience to migration to a new CMS, especially where there is a requirement to introduce a new information architecture, to clean up the amount and quality of the content and perhaps implement a new search application. As a result planning and executing an intranet content migration project become a very considerable challenge.

Intranet Content Migration is co-authored with David Hobbs  a leading authority on website content migration. As far as we are aware this is the first briefing paper to be published specifically on intranet migration. We have set out to present what in our experience is good practice for intranet content migration based on some major projects we undertook individually and together in 2014 and 2015.  Although the principles are similar to website content migration there are a number of specific technical and governance challenges that need to be addressed. Particular attention is paid to the benefits of undertaking a comprehensive planning process ahead of the commencement of migration, focusing on a content inventory process that enables informed decisions to be made on the amount of content that needs to be migrated, and the extent to which this can be accomplished using content rules rather than a time-consuming inspection and migration of each content item.

Other topics covered in this Research Note are the importance of effective risk management, the need to work through the implications for the search application for the intranet, the requirement to have a well-designed and supported communications programme and the importance of deciding how the progress of migration will be reported. Appendices list a set of ten critical success factors and some additional resources on content migration.

Martin White