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Sharepoint Saturday in Belgium

Anyone that has attended any of my presentations or training will understand that I do not do a presentation but very much prefer to create an interactive environment for discussion, learning and usually lots of laughs .

We did just that opening up to understand what the people in the room thought about Governance and then through a series of images and music understood that Governance affects many of us in many ways.

Music would not work without governance and our speed is governed on the roads ….

We considered the sponsors of the event and a big thanks to them before looking at myself and what Sei-IS Business Consultancy did in the SharePoint space. Is it really 12 years since I first touch a SharePoint site (thanks Clay Scott!!) yes we briefly laughed

at the dozen or so Speeding tickets I had got this year…

Governance Presentation

It was surprising how different people had approached Governance within their organisations and we had people in the audience without any Governance structure or just no governance and others with a Governance review board in place and a level of control to ensure it was accurate and up to date.

In the main people had some idea about governance but attended the session looking for direction and assistance with questions leading us away from the prepared slides to consider the content of the governance document, the owner and life cycle of the process.

The content question lit up the floor as I suggested that Governance should include such items as Training documentation (at some level) and management processes information. The depth of input increased when we considered at which point the creation of the Governance document should be started.

The governance document will define how SharePoint is expected to work within the environment it is being built for… so why not let the governance document drive the one-pager instruction sheets for the end user. This way if the Governance documentation is updated then any associated changes for the end user can also be updated.

The inclusion of the end user help sheets ensures that users have access to the latest operating instruction and they get direction based on the way they should be using it, not the way Mr Google says it should be used.

If we park this idea for the second and consider that the Governance document should start immediately after the functional specification is finished in which case the Governance documentation in draft form, is available for the Development and testing stages which helps to remove any surprises for the end user.

If you are lucky you might even get a Developer reading the Governance documentation alongside the functional and Technical specification and your SharePoint solution might do what you are expecting it to do and the way you defined it to work.

Assuming you are still listening and taking notes then starting the governance document is easy. You now have a functional specification for the proposed SharePoint build. If you consider the roles that will need to be in place from the top level (either SharePoint/Information/Collaboration Architect or Business Application owner, depending on how forward thinking the company is) down through to the user/reader role and consider this against the functionality you are planning to have in place then I would suggest you are more than 80% of the way to a complete and fully encompassing Governance document…. think about it. What else would you need?

Finally we looked at the Review process and discussed what was required to make this successful. I argued that the review is often led by the wrong person who usually understand that there is a lot of power in owning the governance of an application and if this is a business person then I see nothing to worry about. But if it is for example the Farm Administrator or the Architect then their concerns will be about doing nothing that might risk service levels and the business requirements might not be considered as a high enough priority.

Ensuring, if possible, that a review is bottom upwards then when the governance review is complete I would expect it to be very business driven and your SharePoint installation is well on the way to driving Business Change….

….now that is another story.

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