Microsoft SharePoint

Notes on Joel's Keynote at the NZ SharePoint Conference (July 2, 2009)

My flight was cancelled from Christchurch, so I was late getting into Wellington for the inaugural SharePoint Conference in New Zealand. The conference is being held at The Duxton Hotel, and there’s 200-300 people here. There’s about 30 people standing up at the back of the room. This is the biggest conference I’ve seen at the Duxton before.

When I arrived, Joel was talking about governance in SharePoint. Governance, according to The Burton Group, is the combination of people, technology, processes and policies to define a service, resolve ambiguity. So … first, what’s the business vision / the goal? Joel says that the SharePoint implementation needs an executive sponsor with vision and budget.

“SharePoint is plastic. Don’t create Robot Barbie.” (eg, a product manager is tasked to create a toy that appeals to boys and girls … so comes up with Robot Barbie … a Barbie head, with a robot body. Doesn’t work.) SharePoint can do a lot of different things … but what’s the strategy that brings it all together? It takes some serious work to make it all to come together. Joel says that SharePoint is an “80-20” thing … it doesn’t have the best blog, the best wiki, the best document management tool … but due to the integration, it’s better than other alternatives on the market.

Going to the IT aspect … you have two types of service models.
– if you take out-of-the-box SharePoint, you can go with commodity hosting.
– but if you want to build applications, you move more in the direction of application hosting.
Joel recommends keeping these two service models separate, maybe even going to the degree of different SharePoint farms.

Create the Dream Team
You need to avoid being the SharePoint cowboy … shooting from the hip, rolling things out into production, being the admin and the dev, etc … doing it all. Firms need to answer the question about how to allocate these roles across multiple people.

Joel showed the Forrester slide about different governance roles.

Joel also recommended that you shouldn’t try to become a SharePoint rockstar without first being a SharePoint newbie. Allow yourself time to learn and work through things. Joel recommends taking some hard lines in the first days … “you can have SharePoint Designer if you have been trained in SharePoint Designer”, and “you can have a site, if you fill out our form.” Put the policies and procedures in place … guidelines with some standards, albeit with some flexibility. When you have more understanding and experience, do the harder things.

See Joel’s cheat sheet on hosting.

Adoption is part of the overall deployment lifecycle … the SharePoint deployment is never over. Once you have been around the lifecycle for the first thing (eg, collaboration), and then doing it again for something else (eg, document management).

Keep it simple!
– don’t start with line of business applications and business data catalog.
– start with collaboration, search and profiles
– watch for search creep … it’s very easy with SharePoint
– be careful with development requirements

Look out for some SharePoint governance resources. Go and listen to Paul Culmee’s session on governance later today. Governance can help you solve the challenges.

See Joel’s blog …

See Microsoft’s governance center at TechNet.

Join a SharePoint User Group!

(final slide was Joel wearing one of the Colligo “Share.” t-shirts)