Conference Notes

Notes on "From Chaos to Corporate Governance with SharePoint 2007" (Chandima Kulathilake, Knowledge Cue)

Chan from Knowledge Cue is talking about moving from chaos to corporate governance with SharePoint 2007. His business helps organizations have better experiences with SharePoint.

– What is SharePoint?
– What’s new with SharePoint?
– Single site by IT or many sites by everybody?
– 10 Steps to Governance
– Going it alone

What is SharePoint?
Question … how many people have seen a SharePoint site? About 30 of the 35 people here put up their hands.

Question … what do you think of when you think of SharePoint?
Answers from the floor … “the elephant in the living room”, “a platform”, “something very confusing”

Chan’s picture of SharePoint … a platform that offers key services (storage, security, workflow, management and topology), with then a set of solutions built on the SharePoint platform (collaboration, portal, search, content management, business forms, business intelligence).

Things in SharePoint 2007:
– versioning of items and documents
– slide libraries
– calendar for the team
– customization of the user interface
– site templates, eg, collaboration, meetings, enterprise, publishing. Chan’s advice: build a custom site template for your organization, rather than using the out of the box ones.

Chaos with SharePoint
SharePoint can lead to huge chaos, eg, “Where is that document?”

Three areas of chaos with SharePoint:
– Site proliferation … no plans
– Server proliferation … people and groups doing their own thing
– Technology proliferation … many different tools, where do you put things?

Governance for SharePoint … “governance uses people, process, technology and policies to define a service, resolve ambiguity, and mitigate conflict within an organization” (The Burton Group)

10 Steps for Success
1. Executive Sponsor … “you will be spending some money when you go SharePoint … you need a sponsor with budget”
2. Governance Plan … clear goals, vision, mission and metrics
3. Skilled teams … you need a team with business analyst, creative designer, SharePoint trainer, architect, and infrastructure specialist
4. Training … it is essential to provide training. For key IT pros, developers, designers and end users.
5. Service definition and service model … dealing with site collections, sites, Web apps, and farms.
– Need to define storage space for different applications.
6. Easy to find and discover: Information architecture … need to map it out and provide structure.
7. Standards and policies
8. Change, configuration and release management processes … need a development, staging and production environment (more servers!)
9. Culture and adoption
10. Keep it simple … enable search (“the biggest quick win” … it takes three days to deploy), use workflow for everything, watch for scope creep

Things that cause problems:
– “My devs are my admins”
– “My DBA will install SharePoint”
– The SharePoint project is no longer SharePoint … it’s a custom application environment
– “SharePoint is a simple install”

Chan blogs at, and will be running a 2-day workshop for BrightStar on SharePoint governance … see BrightStar.

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