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28
Apr

Download SharePoint Governance Framework Infographic

We have created a cool poster with the latest version of the SharePoint Governance Framework for you to download

It’s free and we think will look great on your wall 🙂 When updates to the governance framework becomes available, we will update the SharePoint Governance Framework Infographic as well. If you want to stay updated, just subscribe below.

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(Download facilities are not quite ready yet. No worries – we will send you the poster via email)

 

 

23
Apr

SharePoint Governance Framework: Policies & Controls

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You can expect 3 new articles, addressing different part of the SharePoint governance implementation process;

These articles are a part of the “SharePoint Governance Guidebook” published by SharePointPeople at the European SharePoint Conference in May 2014.

23
Apr

SharePoint Governance Framework: The Managed Systems Catalogue

 This article is a part of a series of three, published with the first edition of the “SharePoint Governance Guidebook” booklet, during the European SharePoint Conference 2014. The two other articles are entitled “Implementing SharePoint strategy & Business Drivers” and “Policies & Controls”. These articles are describing essential parts of the implementation of a professional governance practice for Microsoft SharePoint, using the “SharePoint Governance Framework”.

At the heart of the SharePoint Governance Framework is “The Managed Systems Catalogue”. This catalogue is the collection of everything we need to govern. And we do mean everything. With that definition, you can imagine that everything going on in the Governance practice is – somehow – connected to something inside the Managed Systems Catalogue.

The Managed Systems Catalogue is an important concept when implementing SharePoint Governance, because it helps you build that full list of what it really is you need to worry about. When talking to people about governance, building this kind of structure around governing SharePoint is one of the things people are struggling with the most. How do we make sure we are covering everything we need? What objects impacts others and how do we secure consistency and the relevant focus?

The objects we make a part of the Managed Systems Catalogue are called… “Managed Systems” – you guessed it! A Managed Systems can be anything we identify, that need some level of special attention in terms of governance. Across full SharePoint environment, that can be many different things, and the purpose of the Managed Systems Catalogue is to list all of these, keep them in focus, and at the same time enable conscious decisions on what NOT to make a Managed System.

As mentioned in an earlier article, it is important to the ability to realize business value from SharePoint, that we are able to scope the service correctly; meaning remove all the clutter that just makes SharePoint sprawl and is “non-manageable”.

There are a few characteristics connected to Managed Systems. First of all, the must have an Owner. With a collection of Managed Systems of 25-30 objects (which is normal) it is not possible to have one person own everything. On the other hand, we don’t need 30 people here – some people can own several Managed Systems without any issues. But we want to spread out ownership of the different objects to the people and the organizations where they belong. The Owner group should have representation from both Business and it – makes that a goal for you implementation!

To make the Managed Systems Catalogue more transparent, we are dividing objects the Managed Systems Catalogue into three categories; Business Applications, Platform Services and Managed Processes.

Business Applications

These are the application used by business users – to be general. These all have some sort of user interface and users are accessing them to solve any kind of relevant business task or issue. An intranet is always a Business Application, but also individual functionality inside the intranet – like a News publishing application – can be a Business Application. What really decides if this is a Business Application or not, are the general characteristics of Managed Systems, combined with the object being an application used by business users directly. For ownership of Business Applications, you should always try to find a businessperson. That may not always make sense, but it is a good rule that you can make an exception from, when it is necessary.

Platform Services

A platform Service is the service that is provided by the SharePoint platform, used to build Business Application of. For a start; these are all the services inside SharePoint Central Administration or in the online SharePoint admin site; Managed Metadata Service, Search Service etc. Many of these are quite extensive services that require special knowledge to run effectively. That is especially true for the new Search Service in SharePoint 2013, which incorporates a lot of new concepts built on the FAST engine. Search is not just a technology thing, so any server admin will not be able to own this. The same goes for a few of the other built-in services, while other are quite simple.

In many cases you will also be defining add-on technology to your governance practice as Platform Services. A good example is Nintex Workflow, which is being used by thousands of companies with SharePoint. Nintex Workflow is also a service that can be used across the board, and therefore we define it as a Platform Service, and assigns an owner for it, that understands the capabilities of the product, and therefore this person can drive adoption and oversee delivery of the service.

Managed Processes

The last category of the Managed Systems Catalogue object are Managed Processes. This is where it sometimes gets a little difficult for many people. How can a Process be a Managed System? Well – its really quite obvious. Making SharePoint work – both technically and adoption wise – require you to have a good set of processes in place. A process is a definition of a way to complete a set of tasks, so you can do it effectively and the same way over and over again. Processes adds value to your SharePoint platform in terms of quality, transparency, risk and cost reduction. These all have major impact on almost every business driver you can imagine.

To give a few examples; you need managed process for things like; development, on-boarding new business applications and platform services, user education and adoption, branding and more.

So Managed Processes are the things you do around your SharePoint Service to make everything work in the way you planed it to.

 

Managed Systems business alignment

Now you know what a Managed Systems is, and the three different types we use in the SharePoint Governance Framework. Another thing that is important to say is, that ll Managed Systems are related to at least on of the Business Drivers we identified as a part of the strategy foundation work we did. The first article in this series are covering this a bit more in detail. But the concept is, that you – as a part of building a strategy for SharePoint in your business – identify a set of Business Drivers, that align the purpose of SharePoint to your business priorities.

By making visible relationships between ALL Managed Systems and Business Drivers, you clearly states that we are not adding any systems or services to our platform, unless it adds value – in relation to our strategy. This cannot be said enough! SharePoint will allow you to do much more than what will add value to your business, in any given situation. This is the very reason why you need Governance. To avoid spending resources and money on this that either don’t add value or even expose you to risk that you can not manage.

 

Policies & Controls

The last thing you need to know when defining your Managed Systems Catalogue is that all of these Manages Systems must have policies and controls. The last article in this series will go into building these and making them operational.

 

Learn more

You can expect 3 new articles, addressing different part of the SharePoint governance implementation process;

These articles are a part of the “SharePoint Governance Guidebook” published by SharePointPeople at the European SharePoint Conference in May 2014.

23
Apr

Your SharePoint strategy & Business Drivers

This article is a part of a series of three, published with the first edition of the “SharePoint Governance Guidebook” booklet, during the European SharePoint Conference 2014. The two other articles are entitled “The Managed Systems Catalogue” and “Policies & Controls”. These articles are describing essential parts of the implementation of a professional governance practice for Microsoft SharePoint, using the “SharePoint Governance Framework”.

A strategy is the foundation for any governance practice. It’s as simple as that. For SharePoint that is particularly true, as only a very few people is really able to clearly define what SharePoint is really about.

Building a strategy for SharePoint will force you to think about what role SharePoint is really playing in your business. For most organizations, SharePoint is becoming a big thing. Big in terms of investments put into building and maintaining it. Big in terms of the amount of users “touching” it every day. Big in terms of the data that lives inside it. And – you may not even be aware of how big – in terms of the risk that it exposes your company to, if you are not on top of things.

There is this thing called “SharePoint sprawl”. SharePoint has a tendency to spread all over the place. This is a well know issue and people have been trying to deal with it for years. The “easy” in SharePoint has become an issue for many organizations, and with new functionality; social, tagging, OneDrive, Sharing etc. – combined with multiple platforms in production at the same time; 2007, 2010, 2013 and SharePoint Online – is making the platform very complex. More and more resources are put into managing this thing, and what is left behind is all the good intentions to create real value for the business.

What the SharePoint Strategy will do for you, is to help you scope your SharePoint service to only consist of the things that are really making value. This is done by identifying what we call “Business Drivers”.

SharePoint Governance Framework 4.1 overview.

Business Drivers

A Business Driver is a description of an area, where SharePoint is supporting an important business goal. If your business is trying to engage closer with partners, SharePoint can perfectly support that goal, and a Business Driver for your SharePoint platform could be “Optimizing partner collaboration”. Now – having a business driver like that identified, makes it easy to identify relevant parties to work with on the business side. Who own partner relationships? This person will now suddenly be interested in SharePoint; taking ownership and responsibilities in designing and adopting services from you platform.

On the other hand; if you end up with a business driver that you cannot find an owner for; then that driver is probably not important for your business, and you should not support it with SharePoint. In that way the SharePoint strategy process is a great way to work out what the role of SharePoint should be in your organization.

 

So who owns the SharePoint strategy then? We like to have ownership at the senior IT level – preferably with the CIO. CIO’s are worried about risk, cost and value. All of these things are very relevant when talking about SharePoint. SharePoint is the de facto information management platform in thousands of companies, and the risk that you expose yourself to when not having that under control, is on the top of the agenda with the CIO., according to Gartner. Another reason why the CIO / Senior IT management level is good to have own this is, that these guys already own the overall It strategy, and a part strategy for SharePoint must obviously be aligned with that – and with the business strategy, to be ensured relevant.

Our model for implementing SharePoint based on a set of strategic Business Drivers, enable you to build solid governance practices on top of your strategy. One of the foundational principles in The SharePoint Governance Framework are not to implement any business application, managed process or platform service on SharePoint, unless it has a clear relationship to at least one of the Business Drivers.

Getting your SharePoint strategy in place is the first step of implementing SharePoint Governance and being successful doing it.

In the next article, I will talk about how you use the Business Driver from your SharePoint strategy work, to scope the functionality in you SharePoint platform, in something we call “The Managed System Catalogue.

You can expect three new articles, addressing different part of the SharePoint governance implementation process;

15
Apr

SharePointPeople are sponsoring international basketball tournement

Basketfestival_billede

SharePointPeople are proud to be the sponsor for referees at the annual Basketball Festival (www.basketball-festival.dk) in Aarhus, held by Skovbakken and DBBF pro-league team, Bakken Bears.

Why would a SharePoint Governance Consulting and Software company sponsor basketball referee’s? It’s a good question that deserve a good answer. We think that this partnership makes excellent sense, and here’s why.

First of all; We love basketball! This high intensity, high velocity game, with technical complexity and extreme athletes is just amazing. And like any other sport, the referee is an important part of the game. Not unlike to SharePoint, the referee’s need to pay attention to every detail of the game, plan ahead, be strategic, make quick decisions and be able to control the game from tip-off to the last second runs out. Two or three refs need to work together as a team, establish trust, make clear agreements and stick to own areas of the court. And perhaps the most important thing of all; facilitate and control the game – instead of decide the game!

At SharePointPeople we feel that this is very similar to what we are doing every day. When implementing and operating a complex SharePoint platform (the game) you need to have rules and policies (agreements) on how we want things to run. The Governance practice is not there to make decisions for the people working in your organization, but there to set some boundaries inside which people can safely work, to be productive and meet business goals.

When you think of it, it’s just like a basketball game; players are working to be as productive as possible; to win the game, as referees are facilitating the whole thing to make sure everyone is safe and the game is fair.

This week, thirty basketball referees from all over Europe will be governing hundreds of players on their path to win the trophy, with our support. We are looking forward to be a part of that, and learn.

If you like to join us, you can read more about the tournament at the tournament Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aarhus-Basketball-Festival/336942776325292

 

 

 

 

 

 

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