The Anatomy of a SharePoint Strategy Ian McNeice The Salem Consulting Group
Anatomy, SharePoint & Strategy ? Anatomy, a word meaning to cut up, or cut open SharePoint is the appliance of comprehensive technology services to meet a wide range of business information requirements Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or goals.
AIIM Report 2010 In the summer of 2010, AIIM released a report on their findings regarding the current state of play in terms of their client’s approach to SharePoint. The survey was taken by 624 individual members of the AIIM community between May 6th and June 5th, 2010 (Source: AIIM Industry Watch report, “State of the ECM Industry 2010” available for free download at www.aiim.org/research)
AIIM Health Check A third of implementing organizations have NO plans as to where and where not to use SharePoint, suggesting a lack of management direction. 26% reported that the IT department is driving the project with NO input from information management professionals. 50% of SharePoint implementations went ahead with NO business case being made to justify the investment. Only 23% were required to make a financial justification.
AIIM Health Check SharePoint is no passing fad. It is in use in a majority of organizations and is being rapidly rolled out for universal employee access. (500% market growth between November 2010 and April 2011) Two-thirds of SharePoint users have existing ECM, DM or RM suites. For many, there is considerable confusion regarding their future strategy for using and integrating SharePoint.
AIIM Health Check The deployment experience suggests that SharePoint must be considered as an enterprise-wide project. It therefore requires a sufficient degree of planning, training and policy setting to ensure infrastructure integration, metadata standardization and above all, employee acceptance. Third-party additions have a strong role to play in extending and reinforcing SharePoint functionality, and building a rich and robust ECM capability.
AIIM Health Check Most SharePoint deployments are being driven by IT or devolved to individual departments. As a result, traditional information governance and compliance issues are largely being ignored. This is likely to replicate the content chaos of the file share inside of SharePoint, and it will hamper efforts to improve legal discovery and long-term records management. Even if it starts out small, SharePoint is likely to turn into an enterprise programme. Plan accordingly.
AIIM Autopsy “49% of all SharePoint clients have no SharePoint strategy”
The Anatomy – dissected Executive Sponsorship An Institution-aligned Roadmap Institution-aligned Prioritization The Requirements to Scale Timeline Expectations Programmatic Design and Planning Budgeting Resourcing and Skills Adoption Strategy Success Criteria and Metrics Governance and Policy The End Game Technology Considerations
Executive Sponsorship SharePoint requires business leadership & direction SharePoint requires continuity SharePoint requires time, budget, dedication and institutional business alignment SharePoint requires a wide range of business skills SharePoint requires adoption to be driven top down SharePoint requires governance and policy to drive adoption SharePoint will change the way the institution presents and processes its information SharePoint may create ‘turf wars’
Institution-aligned Roadmap Be clear on the key institutional priorities this year and next year and the year after Find out what the institution desires to do better Discover what services are currently simply not provided at all or are adjudged currently ineffective Define a SharePoint service roadmap based on institutional objectives Define who will ‘own’ the programme Define how the programme will be paid for and by whom
Yes But My Institution Doesn’t Know What it Wants From a business perspective yes it does but the thinking may not yet be joined up We can present a SharePoint roadmap and then adapt it year on year We can join up the thinking for the institution using a business-aligned roadmap We can then match the institutional priorities to sequential service delivery We can influence sponsorship & adoption by aligning the roadmap with the institutional strategy We can create a process for agile service delivery We can formalise the approach underpinned by institutional and IT governance We can use an adoption strategy to underpin effective training
Institution-aligned Prioritization SharePoint Service delivery should match specific business priorities and underpin them Logic should be applied to which services are delivered in parallel and in sequence A clear roadmap should be communicated via awareness sessions to allow the business to understand what comes next An ad hoc request system will be required to facilitate creative requests Priorities will change and the ability to re-budget may be required IT and business priorities sometimes conflict
The Requirements to Scale A planned service release mechanism caters for scale Organic growth cannot cater for scale One service delivered in isolation may hinder another future service Early technology decisions must be made to enable growth The design decisions of one service will impact other services and should be anticipated Agility of service provisioning creates growth & underpins adoption Devolution of administration is a key factor for growth Platform design must be made with scale in mind Your staff WILL become creative with SharePoint
TimelineExpectations Be realistic and pragmatic – the impact of the academic year will take precedence Governance and policy definition takes time End user adoption takes time End user training takes time Technical training takes time A programme runs over years not months Break each year into logical and sequential deliverables as projects Define a three year logical map from the outset Run an awareness campaign from the outset Set realistic expectations from the outset
Programme Design and Planning SharePoint should be approached as a unified business programme not an IT project The primary purpose of SharePoint should be to solve successive institutional business information problems A SharePoint programme: unifies information and collaborative working techniques and info sources gradually builds layer upon layer of rich services following a progressive path defines clear budget requirements over multiple years defines resourcing requirements well in advance requires specific knowledge and skills sweats the IT assets and provides far greater return on investment
Strategic Budgeting You cannot budget for the unknown but you can anticipate by using a business-aligned roadmap Early technology decisions will affect budgeting later in the cycle Do not budget for SharePoint until a defined business-aligned strategy has been agreed You must budget for adoption and training to be successful Effective budgeting requires executive sponsorship Skilled resources cost money Adoption and training must be budgeted for Budget on a service by service basis as part of the roadmap
Resourcing and Skill Requirements There are at least 15 technical skilled roles in SharePoint, not three (e.g. architect, administrator, developer) One single person cannot perform all SharePoint skilled roles effectively Developers are not an early SharePoint requirement in most instances Understand the range of institutional roles required well in advance and plan for them The vast majority of resources required are not IT-based (communication, early adopters etc.) Plan for the wide range of roles you will need to resource Skilled resources are in high demand
Governance and Policy Clear governance and policy leads to effective SharePoint adoption and training If a user doesn’t know the rules of engagement they will not adopt the technology Establish an institutionally-representative governance board from day one to define policy IT governance compliments business governance Governance will be required throughout the entire programme lifecycle – plan for the impact on business time
Success Criteria You will need a method of defining success You will need a method of quantifying success By proving success you will be able to budget more effectively Many aspects of collaborative success are difficult to quantify The success criteria should be defined by a steering committee Success in adoption is as much a business issue as an IT issue
The End Game Meet institutional objectives progressively Meet institutional priorities timely Meet institutional requirements methodically User SharePoint to be a business service facilitator easily Drive down the cost of IT efficiently Increase and enhance IT services dramatically Integrate and enhance access to information effectively Unify information through a single window cohesively Reduce eclectic and expensive IT skills pragmatically Drive your institution forward successfully
Technology Considerations A medium server farm catering for up to 30,000 users is already clearly defined by Microsoft To build and configure a SharePoint environment requires explicit expertise It takes time to learn to administer SharePoint effectively – use an expert Microsoft Partner for cross skilling Deliver out of the box services long before taking a development route (if at all) Commodity application solutions are readily available for many business scenarios Define your IT governance and policy framework from the outset Do NOT treat SharePoint like any other application Employ a SharePoint Project Manager from the outset Organic growth has been proven not to work
An Ideal World ? No it’s the reality. Salem is contacted by companies every week who have hit a brick wall with SharePoint after attempting to deliver and scale with no sponsorship, no business alignment, no strategy, no roadmap or who took the DIY approach and failed to gain business adoption and sponsorship.
The Surgeon’s Notes Many IT-driven SharePoint projects fail as they are not aligned with business objectives – seen as technology for technology sake Business-driven SharePoint programmes have a high success rate Technology exists primarily to service business requirements. Define those requirements in advance SharePoint programmes require planning and reliable budgets in place from the start A business service delivery plan drives governance Governance drives effective policy Policy drives effective adoption Adoption drives effective training Training drives effective administration …Most of the thinking has already been done
The Anatomy of a SharePoint Strategy – complete Executive Sponsorship An Institution-aligned Roadmap Institution-aligned Prioritization The Requirements to Scale Timeline Expectations Programmatic Design and Planning Budgeting Resourcing and Skills Adoption Strategy Success Criteria and Metrics Governance and Policy The End Game Technology Considerations
A Final Thought on SharePoint Strategy “Always begin with the end in mind”
Contact Salem www.salemconsultinggroup.com www.sharepointstrategy.net Sharepointstrategy.blogspot.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0207 788 9445 London, United Kingdom