Thursday, August 05, 2010

Why Move to SharePoint 2010?

From a technology road map perspective, I think it makes sense to migrate to the SharePoint 2010 platform to be current with technology. Doing so extends the lifespan of platform support and work efforts by three years (typical product cycle). The 2010 platform provides a more stable and scalable architecture too. Furthermore, innovation in the community occurs with the most current version, so to participate in the knowledge sharing on the Web, at events, and conferences, it requires remaining current.

Beyond these reasons, business needs continue to evolve and mature. The product features of the latest version enable the delivery of better solutions, with less effort, with less customization. Aggregating information from different systems is easier now (Search, BCS). It is easier to provide end user conveniences, such as Outlook calendar integration or multi-select actions in document libraries. Branding is easier with the themes engine. There are more Search tools (e.g. navigators) available, allowing search experiences to be more like what people expect from using Web. In fact, the 2010 Search technology is rich enough to use as a development tool. Taxonomy and Folksonomy features help make organizing and navigating through content easier, while Managed Metadata Services help ensure consistency.

Different scenarios require different thought processes and approaches to 2010. For example, existing SharePoint Web sites which are flat and primarily exist to push Web content to many consumers, may benefit from a straight software upgrade. On the other hand, redesign opportunities exist for other types of SharePoint applications which are more interactive; which support business processes or facilitate workflows.

At this point, it makes sense to design and develop anything new directly in 2010, to take advantage of the technology and community benefits. Doing so also reduces duplication in efforts since there will not be a future need to upgrade the new solutions to 2010; they will already be there. That, by itself, is a legitimate reason to go 2010.


Microsoft (2010). SharePoint 2010 Product Information Overview. Retrieved August 5, 2010 from http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/product/capabilities/Pages/default.aspx.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Missing the Point on Spirit of Governance

Over a short period of time in the SharePoint community, the term "governance" has evolved to describe a class of software products or features. Yet, IT governance has nothing to do with what tools a SharePoint administrator has. Instead, IT governance has everything to do with the people and processes side of things; and the decision making framework that, when in play, can be used to determine that a portal should exist, who should manage it, who it should serve, how decisions will be made affecting it. Governance is really about policies, processes, roles, responsibilities, and priorities (Ross, 2004).

The scope of an effective Information Management Governance Model spans beyond a specific solution, such as SharePoint Intranet or collaboration portal, and encompasses the Information Management practices occurring throughout the organization. A SharePoint governance model should be a subset to that. Putting this in the context of documentation, an overarching Information Management Statement of Governance document should exist and define the framework at the global level, while specific statement of governance documents should be maintained for each Information Management system within the organization; SharePoint being one of those.

The IT project management framework is another significant and relevant topic to governance. The project management framework established the processes followed to initiate, plan, and execute IT projects. These processes should include such activities as the evaluation of new SharePoint projects in the context of the organization's overall information architecture. Aligning the project management decision making with Information Management, business, and IT decision making results in solutions that have backing, are sustainable, and actually provide business value.

The spirit of governance is really about defining what the processes should be, and if generous enough, explaining why to some extent. In the end, governance models maintain decision making integrity amongst people...that is not something a portal administrator can do by running a report or recovering a deleted site.


Ross, J., Weill, P. (2004). Recipe for Good Governance. Retrieved August 4, 2010 from http://www.cio.com/article/29162/Recipe_for_Good_Governance.

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