Plan your transition to Microsoft 365


Using a pre-deployment checklist enables companies to create timelines and set goals and subtasks that will help keep their Microsoft 365 deployments on schedule. Having a model to follow will improve quality of life and manage key benchmarks so they don’t become insurmountable.

The following table provides a sample deployment planning checklist that can help you get started. Your organization can use this checklist as a template and then customize it to map to your organization's business requirements.

Deployment Tasks /Events

Start Date

Finish Date



Determine your deployment goals

Complete the following tasks with your internal and external stakeholders: - Agree on scope and timeline - Agree on project tracking mechanism - Develop success criteria and a communication plan

Inventory your current environment and make key deployment decisions

Inventory your current environment

Collect the number of user accounts (sign in names, email addresses)

Collect the number and size of mailboxes (including shared mailboxes and conference rooms)

Collect client versions and configurations (browsers, operating systems, office applications, mobile versions, and so on)

Collect details on your network settings (DNS hosts, proxy and/or firewall configuration, internet connectivity)

Collect information on file storage locations (file shares, intranet file storage)

Collect details about any intranet sites that you plan to migrate

Collect online meeting and Instant Messaging systems that you plan to migrate

Collect the details about any applications that work with existing systems, such as mail enabled applications, workflow, CRM, and so on

Make key deployment decisions

How will you create and synchronize accounts?

How will user accounts be authenticated?

Will you migrate any data and how will that migration occur (email and files)?

Will there be any short or long-term integration with on-premises systems?

What devices will users be able to connect from (from remote mobile devices, or just from your network)?

Fix potential deployment blockers

Clean up active directory accounts

Get your data ready for a migration

Get your network ready (guidance and tools)

Update client software versions

Prepare your environment if you have Active Directory Rights Management Services

Set up Microsoft 365 services to work for your organization

Configure your Microsoft 365 subscription

Verify the domains you want to use with your subscription

Configure application settings (email, instant messaging, online meetings, web collaboration, file storage, Yammer)

Optionally prepare for directory synchronization

Optionally prepare for single sign-on

Prepare your organization

Prepare service desk for upcoming migration

Test the deployment and optional migration process

Tell your users about the upcoming changes and how it will affect them

Roll out to users

Set up accounts and mailboxes

Add your users and assign licenses to users in Microsoft 365 for business

Optionally migrate data

Validate functionality then complete final steps

Migrate DNS settings to point to Microsoft 365

Tell your users when they can start using Microsoft 365

Reconfigure client systems such as Office, Outlook, Outlook for Mac, and mobile devices to connect to Microsoft 365

Knowledge check

Choose the best response for the following question. Then select “Check your answers.”

Check your knowledge


As Fabrikam's Enterprise Administrator, you're using the sample deployment planning checklist provided in this training to help keep your Microsoft 365 deployment on schedule. You determined your deployment goals and inventoried your current environment. Which of the following tasks should you do next?