Conference Notes

Share2011 – Closing Keynote – Effective SharePoint Workshops: From Requirements to Roadmap, Wireframes and Workflow (Ruven Gotz, Navantis)

In the closing keynote of Share2011, Ruven Gotz from Navantis in Canada is presenting on requirements, roadmaps, wireframes, and workflow. Key ideas:
– We don’t want cowboy projects – “I’ll start coding, you go and see what they want.”
– Requirements – do we need to get them? Ruven says no.
– The three rules – simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. Don’t build stuff you don’t need.
– Requirements – the client will define a huge list of requirements, without understanding what’s really needed. When a price is put on the requirement, people see things differently.
– Some rules:
– … Can we do it straight out of the box?
– … Can we do it fast and light-weight … with some easy configuration.
– … Could we buy some third-party components?
– … Do you need a specialized solution (risk goes right up)
– If you ask a coder to solve the problem, the coder will write code.
– But – sometimes you do need to build a jumbo jet.
– In the final analysis – it’s the destination that matters.
– So … in SharePoint … you don’t have to build everything for the first release.
– Requirements don’t work, because:
– … the environment will change.
– … the unexpected will happen – there’s a new division, there’s a divesture. You need to be lighter weight.
– … a lot of “required” features will never get used.
– How to think differently?
– … don’t demo SharePoint features at this point. It’s irrelevant. It’s too much. Or it sets expectations.
– … run initial discovery workshops – to discover pain (with no promise to fix all of the pain). Do it group-by-group. Don’t mix up the groups. Aim for about 8 people. Gets users who do the work. Hear from everyone. An hour in duration is about the right, but book 90 minutes. It makes people an active participant in the process.
– … develop o roadmap – it’s not a project plan. Show the big chunks that you are going to work on. If Active Directory has to be fixed, get this done first. Demo how SharePoint works with the specific issues that people were talking about. Ruven demonstrated how he uses Mindjet MindManager to help with developing shared understanding.
– … navigation workshops – for developing the structure of your intranet. Ruven uses MindManager to develop and display this during the workshop. It eliminates the need to write a document, circulate it for review, and then having to come back at a later time.
– … wireframing workshops – Ruven uses Balsamiq Mockups, for developing wireframes. It makes it look like a cartoon.
– … business process workshops – Ruven says “avoid automated workflow in phase 1.” You need to understand the process properly first. BizAgi and Microsoft Visio are his tools of choice.