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Migration to Microsoft Project Online: FluentPro Best Practices & Insights

October 22, 2018

PPM data migration to Project Online is essentially a part of the digital transformation strategy for an organization. A large number of different factors and moving variables make the process of migrating from Microsoft Project Server 2010/2013/2016 to Project Online a complex one. As such, it requires, first of all, developing a thoughtful and detailed migration strategy to ensure overall data integrity and to set accurate expectations within your customer or user PMO.

If you’re looking to migrate from Project Server to Project Online, please consider our findings, migration insights, and best practices that we share in this post.

Project Server vs. Project Online – what changes to keep in mind?

1. Infrastructure management becomes limited.

If you had Project Server in-house, you could always make changes and any adjustments you needed. Now, you will need to rely on Microsoft as a SaaS provider and submit tickets for the issues you might have.

2. Cloud infrastructure does have technical limits.

Therefore, you will need to understand how much data you can upload and extract.

3. PPM infrastructure can be easily and instantly deployable.

This is great news since it can be leveraged more in testing and in serving the entire organization, not just IT.

4. It allows access to data exclusively through OData.

You will have to adjust your reporting strategy to the available tools and, if needed, create a mirror of your Project Online database in your offline database or data mart.

5. Backups are not available out-of-the-box for Project Online.

Therefore, PWA administrators will need to have appropriate tools in place to address disaster recovery requirements.

Is there any way to migrate without third-party tools?

Not at the moment. If you have a small or not customized environment, you can save the .mpp and .mpt files to your tenant, but it is not an option for bigger environments. Regardless of your goal, whether it is migrating from an on-premises environment to Project Online or within the Cloud – there’s currently no suitable way to do a complete migration without middleware. Make sure you consider this before moving to Project Online or setting up a new environment.

FluentPro G.A. Suite provides a complete and easy-to-use toolset to manage the lifecycle of
Microsoft Project Online environments and helps organizations implement governance practices for Microsoft Office 365 PPM, including migration to Project Online.

Once you’ve chosen your migration software, follow our guidelines that will help you migrate to Project Online.

1. Set clear expectations with your business customer and estimate the data to be migrated. Spend enough time on assessment, planning, and tests before you commit to a completed Project Online migration delivery date.

2. Take into account the technical limits of Project Online. For example, how much data can be uploaded at once, what can or cannot be migrated, etc.

3. Develop a proper Project Online migration strategy and create a detailed migration project schedule. The key factors that typically affect migration speed are the amount and quality of data.

4. Prepare the migration environment (source and target) and Project Online PWAs for migration.

5. Perform a test migration on a small dataset to familiarize with the tools and environment.

6. Perform the production migration. After you’ve gone through the test migration and figured out how to overcome the challenges that came up, you are ready to move on to the actual production migration.

7. Complete the post-migration validation tasks. The best way to do this is through the reporting of your source data against the target data in the environments.

Migrating to Project Online will benefit your PMO for years: it allows for greater accessibility, increasing collaboration, and leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 and Project Online. Take the time to do it right by following the best practices described above, or send us a request to do it for you. At FluentPro, we offer our customers Migration to Project Online services, where we do all the migration work, consulting, and implementation.

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