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SharePoint Governance

December 9th, 2011 Comments off

It has been a while now since the SharePoint Connections 2011 in Amsterdam (22/23 November) but I am still excited about the focus on SharePoint Governance. My company has a focus on Enterprise Content Management so I understand importance of Governance. SharePoint has a reputation for being easy and out of the box and it has not always been easy to convince clients of the importance of Governance when using SharePoint. That is why it is exciting to see increasing awareness in the community of the importance of Governance.
During the SharePoint Connections conference Dan Holme spent the keynote and another session talking about SharePoint Governance. A few months back I also attended the SPGov+IA workshop by 21apps and a common theme in both was the fact that often the definition of Governance is not clear and different people have different interpretations.

What is Governance?

SharePoint Governance means having an answer to the following questions:
1. Where
2. When
3. What
4. How
5. Who
6. Why
…knowing where you are now, where you want to go and how you plan to get there.
Below I will detail a few highlights from Dan Holme’s keynote speech. For the whole story you can see his presentation on http://bit.ly/danholme1111spointnl.
I can also recommend the SPGov+IA workshop (http://www.spgovia.com/) to get familiar with tools that can help you plan and implement your SharePoint Governance and Information Architecture.
Where
It is important to make sure the company has a vision and understands how SharePoint fits into the enterprise strategy.
When
Architect SharePoint as a platform that happens to first delivers a solution instead of only producing what is easy, cheap or quick for the current project.
What
Focus on the requirements to make sure you know what you are doing, why you are doing it, what is behind each requirement and how you can make sure it worked in the end.
How
Establish a process to define how you introduce and deploy solutions.
Who
Define roles & responsibilities.
Why
Make clear why you are doing the project. Involve your users in the change management process to help with user adoption.

It is our responsibility as SharePoint consultants to make sure these questions are asked and answered and to explain their importance to the business. I am hoping that with the wider spread awareness that Governance is a key factor for a successful project it will become a standard part of all projects.

Astrid Verhoef
ECM Consultant