We’re going to look at the IT Challenges that an organisation faces around Lifecycle management & Governance when implementing SharePointSome options to assistHow PS can helpAnd a few takeaways…
So we’re going to start with a story.Your organisation has installed SharePoint, you have clicked next nextnextYou’ve gone through rounds of workshops and set up your go live governance strategy,Things like,What will be turned on, What won’tWho is responsibleAnd you’ve launched it. SharePoint has taken off, the organisation loves it, they see the potential of the platform, and that’s what it is, a platform, and start to think, wouldn’t it be great if we moved xxx to SharePoint, built a new list, built a dashboard etc.
Three different categories of SharePoint business requestsSelf Service Include simple tasks that can be performed without impacting the platform, typical business as usual.Usually in the region of minutes / hours to performIT Minor ProjectInclude things like a new Site Collection, restoring, feature activation. May require access to Central Admin, may require design and definitely testing before they are deployed into the production environment.Typically range from hours through to weeks of workIT Major ProjectThings like moving to the next version of the platform, installation of a Service Pack. Activating new core features that require regression testing, planning, change management, training etc. Custom web parts. The big itemsCan take many weeks of months to complete.
With these kind of requests, there are a number of typical challenges that face the IT dept.QUESTION : What do you guys think the typical challenges are?Managing change in the production environmentNeed to ensure that your production environment is not too loose, nor too restrictiveOn one hand you don’t want a platform that sprawls and is uncontrolledBut you need to provide a platform that is flexible to the business.The governance plan needs to be just right.Capturing proposals and requests for new functionalityHow many proposals or requests come in via a telephone call or an email to your friendly SharePoint guy in ITNeed to put a formal process in place to capture new business requests, to provide visibility and to ensure that everyone’s request is captured.Objectively evaluating and prioritizing solution requests[Question] How do you choose which SharePoint requests to do? First come first served is not the best wayForecasting resource needsNot every organisation has hundreds of SharePoint resources available, they are often scarce and over-resourced. So we need a way to forecast our resource needs and go out and supplement the team if it is required.Effectively managing selected projectsOf the projects that are going to be done, have we estimated them correctly and formally organised. Bigger requests will need to be run like full on projectsTesting changes large and smallTesting is a major challenge for SharePoint request. Even the smallest change on a shared platform could have an impact on other business groups. You’ll need to organise testers, regression testing etc
QUESTION : How do you MANAGE BUSINESS REQUESTS?ManuallyUsing Paper a simple trouble ticket solution.Most start off this wayBecomes unwieldy and opposed to all the good you’ve done by putting in SharePointExcelCreate a spreadsheet in Excel and track it that waySharePoint ListCreate a simple custom list in SharePoint where you can track relevant info, you can also attach documents, or if you want create separate workspaces for the projects. Great for capturing the initial requests, but poor for tracking the implementation etc.Project ProfessionalProvides a better view of tasks, schedules, assignments and the status of the projectsIf you use it with a SharePoint task list, can synchronise information with a SharePoint site and get team members to directly update their progress, providing visibility etc.Project ServerCreate and manage the portfolio of SharePoint proposals and existing ProjectsConsistently evaluate and prioritise SharePoint proposals through Project Server’s in built portfolio optimisation capabilitiesProvide a graphical dashboard of SharePoint projects
SharePoint blue donut, all familiar with.Sync to SharePoint with Project ProfessionalProject Server 2010, a service application for SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise, works with SharePoint to provide these capabilities
So I am going to look at this sample SharePoint Project Lifecycle and specifically how Project Server can assist us in implementing this lifecycle..Capture Business RequestsCapture the project ideas, and additional information required in order to understand the need and to provide enough information to fully understand the problem.Including things like cost, effort, risk, high level understanding of schedule and a high level understanding of resource requirementsProject SelectionAssess each of the projects, based on business drivers and perform analysis against those items.Resource PlanningAssign real resources to the project, to perform the project delivery.ExecutionImplement and track the project using the toolReporting and AssessmentReview and continuous improvement
There is a caveat… its nearly all out of the box..
Significant IT ChallengesWe saw that organisations can face significant IT challenges from requests to modify SharePoint, these can range from:Capturing proposalsObjective assessment of those proposalsResourcing needsProper management essentialBusiness requests need to be managed effectively to ensure, understanding the resources that will be doing the work, but also tracking progress and ensuring the teams know what they are doingProject Server 2010 can helpProject Server provides a mechanism to:1. Collect User Requests through a fully configurable forms and workflow mechanism2. Objectively assess each of the projects against drivers3. Plan resources4. Manage delivery5. Assess success criteriaNo Code Solution Available nowWhat I have shown you today is available:2 x white papers and 5 db attachPredefined custom fields / objective drivers Solution StartersVisualisation and DM Dynamic.