Congratulations! You Have Inherited a SharePoint Team Site!

Ellen Van Aken

by Ellen van Aken on 4/29/2016

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Article Details

Date Revised:

Applies to:
change owner, SharePoint team site, site permission

Do you have a repeatable checklist of what to do when you need to transfer ownership of a SharePoint team site to a new owner? Ellen created a handy list of the steps for inheriting a SharePoint team site and shared it for others.

There have been many organizational changes in my company recently, and many sites have changed hands, not always with a proper handover.

A new “heiress” approached me and asked if I could help with getting her started in her sites. She is now managing all sites for her business, and although she is not responsible for all content, she is the go-between for her business and my team. She has managed a site before, so she knows her way around SharePoint, but not on this scale.

Since I get this type of request quite often, I thought I’d note down the actions we took so I do not have to reinvent the wheel next time. It may help others as well.

Step 1: The Site Collection Admin provides information

  1. Provide her with a list of all the sites and Owners for her business.
  2. Adjust people in the top Owners permissions group to the new situation. Since Owners never own their own group in our setup, they cannot add any new people in that role. It has to be done by a group that is more senior in the site collection; generally, the Business Owner of the site collection or the IM team.
  3. Check to which sites this Owners group has access to (figure 1), and make sure that this group has access to all sites in this business. This helps with getting an overview of the content, and will enable her to provide support where needed.
In the Site Collection Admin you can check which sites, lists and items a group has permissions to
Figure 1: In the Site Collection Admin you can check which sites, lists and items a group has permissions to.
  1. Check ownership of the Owners groups in all relevant subsites and change ownership (figure 2) where needed to the top Owners group.
Change ownership, were needed, in Group Ownership settings
Figure 2: Change ownership, were needed, in Group Ownership settings.

That way they have control over the Owner groups in the subsites.

  1. Send screenshots of the “Site Contents” of every site to the new owner, so she can compare what the SCA sees (everything) and what she sees. There may be lists and libraries that have not been shared with the Owner and that can lead to problems.

Step 2: The new Site Owner checks and adjusts content and permissions

  1. Open every site and check permissions. Is the Owner a group? Are there many individual permissions? Do you see “Limited Access”? That may mean that document libraries or lists have broken permissions. (=different from the rest of the site) Note the sites with apparent complications and investigate. Ask your IM team for help if you do not understand something.
  2. Open each list and library and check permissions. If they have broken permissions, check if this is necessary for this content. If you see no reason to have broken permissions, inherit permissions again. If it is necessary to have different permissions, adjust permissions where needed and add “different permissions” to the description of the list or library. This will make it easier to support – if people report an Access Denied, you can see immediately why this may occur.
  3. Follow the instructions in “12 things to do in your team site after organizational change”.

It was a lot of work, but doing this upfront helped her understand the content and setup she had inherited. She now feels more confident.

What else do you do to help your new site owners get started?

You can see Ellen’s original blog here:

Topic: Administration and Infrastructure

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