Monday, May 10, 2010

SharePoint Governance - Part I - Eating an Elephant

As part of my work doing SharePoint architecture & design at different Puzzlepart customers, the governance aspect always comes up. Everybody seems to know the issues with uncontrolled site sprawl in SharePoint and want a way to manage their SharePoint solution in a controlled manner. I usually refer them to the SharePoint Products and Technologies Governance Checklist Guide and the authoratitive Sample SharePoint Governance Plan by Joel Oleson and Mark Wagner at Technet. The latter plan also available in a revised, shorter SharePoint Collaboration Service Governance Plan variant.

I have to tell you, my customers are always baffled by the size of the plan (33 pages) and the diverse and detailed set of governance areas covered by the plan:
  • Resources: people, teams, roles, technical
  • Governance hierarchy
  • Operational policies
  • Application usage policies
  • Communication plan
  • Training plan
  • Support plan
They understand that all the areas have their importance, but feel that the plan is too comprehensive for their planned initial usage of SharePoint. I agree, it is better to start with a simple viable governance plan covering core governace aspects, rather than taking the big bang enterprise governance plan approach and fail on its execution.

In my consulting knowledge arsenal, I have a leaner governance plan adapated to getting started with SharePoint, focusing on the minimal level of governance needed. The next two posts in this mini-series covers this minimal governance plan:

Part I - Eating an Elephant (this post)
Part II - Start with Simple Governance
Part III - Minimal Governance Plan

The Minimal SharePoint Governance Plan has a functional focus, and do not cover organizational aspects at all. You will need to cover more and more areas in your governance plan as SharePoint grows enterprise on you. Just eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Most importantly, make sure that the governance plan is understood pragmatically, adopted consistently, applied productively, and managed sustainably. Realizing the plan is the daunting task of the organization, and it is your task to make them realize that.


Anonymous said...

hi Kjell
I like the idea of presenting the plan utilizing a phased approach. Then you could take your clients through bite size pieces and they can add into the process as they go along. There is something else to be said about clients that want to get into technology but get overwhelmed with the details of the requirements. For due diligence you need to provide this information for them but you might be able to get away with a more high level approach for buy-in. Given all the problems one can encounter in these projects have too much detail is not a bad thing.
thanks for the plan outline.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kjell, I really like your work. You and your reads might like to know about a simple SharePoint Governance policy document that I have been using. It's not free but it takes all the stress out of the SharePoint Governance Process and that's good enough for me. Check out