5 deadline sins of SharePoint in the Enterprise

Dux Raymond Sy presented a very informative webinar organized by O’Reilly on the “5 deadline sins of SharePoint in the Enterprise”. The topic is of interest to me because as I was discussing with my colleagues, our company is guilty of all of the sins Dux listed:

  • Treating Governance as a one-time event
  • IT leadership abdicating responsibility for Information Architecture and Roadmap
  • Treating user adoption & training as an after thought
  • Underestimating Human Resource implications
  • Failing to educate and engage executives

Here are my notes from the webinar, presented here with gratitude to Dux!

SharePoint implementation continuum ranges from the draconian IT control to the wild wild west but you want to aim for governed empowerment.

Sin #1: Governance as a One Time Event:

SharePoint Governance is more than just a document:

  • Importance of SharePoint governance plan in addition to general IT governance
  • Balance of collaboration capabilities and their benefits vs. organizational requirements
  • Ensuring the plan evolves with the business
  • Who creates the plan? Who owns the plan? Who enforces the plan?
  • Defined roles and responsibilities
  • Making governance part of the training process
  • Enforcenent vs. empowerement approach

Dux provided a Sample governance plan!

Sin #2: Leadership Not Involved in IA

  • Inability to find information quickly and easily is one of the biggest frustrations.
  • Involve business decision makers on information architecture design is critical
  • Establishing a common language structure can greatly improve findability
  • Having a defined taxonomy strategy and ongoing management of metadata management
  • Understanding how to tag information correctly
  • Will out-of-the-box provide sufficient search capabilities or is a custom solution necessary?

See IA Design Guidance from Microsoft for example.

Sin #3: Training & Adoption an Afterthought

It is common to see IT take a technology first approach and rollout SharePoint with little consideration for the user impact:

  • Engage the business early on – identify and prioritize business solutions
  • Always remember the WIIFM user mindset
  • Relevant training approach (Process vs technology focused)
  • Support mechanism

See training and adoption resources:

Sin #4: Underestimate Human Resources Requirements for SharePoint

  • Management overlooks how broad SharePoint is and relies on existing personnel with little expertise to deliver platform and business solutions
  • Various skillsets are needed — not just developer and / or admin
  • Having a SharePoint business analyst is a key

Dux showed us a very handy spreadsheet for analyzing the scope of effort for each functionality of SharePoint implementation based on business priorities.

Sin #5:  Failed Exec Education & Engagement

Common theme among IT departments is that SharePoint doesn’t get enough executive attention and support. Executives want the benefits but fail to make the investments that are necessary.

Lack of understanding of how SharePoint can deliver business value is the cuprit:

  • What are you trying to accomplish and why?
  • What is the value? If it is quantifiable, then half the battle is won.

When executives understand the Report portion of the equation, it is much easier to get them to commit to the Investment side.

Dux clearly knows SharePoint!