Intranet Best Practices - SharePoint Intelligence Conference 2011


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  • The prevailing consensus is that far too many SharePoint 2007 implementations were launched into the wild with no plan for how to maintain them. Industry seems to have recognized this and is making a change with SharePoint 2010.
  • One client has spent several month in internal discussions about what an intranet is. It is very important to have broad agreement on what exactly an intranet means to an organization. This can manifest itself as simply as vision statement.It is equally import to have clear ownership of the implementation and steady-state system. Good ways to do this are a project steering committee and system governance committee.
  • It is not uncommon for excitement about SharePoint features fail to align with budgets allotted for a SharePoint project. Talk early with key stakeholders about the capabilities and limitations of the editions and make sure expectations are properly aligned.
  • In many ways SharePoint is not that much different from any other web applications. Understanding the resource usage of mySites, certain features and planning for the volume of data in the content database are the big SharePoint specific things to consider.
  • A message we have heard time and time again is, we just installed MOSS and let people start building sites. It a mess now and we want to do it right this time. Many organization understand that more is required, but are not quite sure what it entails.
  • Farm: Service Account, Logging, Usage Data, Web Analytics, BackupsWeb App: Content DBs, File Type Policy, Security, App PoolsSolutions and Features: Farms and Sandboxed SolutionsSearch: Content Sources, Search OwnershipBranding: Theme, Master PagesSharePoint Designer: Allow and what will be allowedSite Controls:Security, Quota, Provisioning, how will people be allowed to use this sitePublishing Process: Define how content is deployed to the site
  • Robust taxonomy management is new in SharePoint 2010. Not only will effective use of the taxonomy tools make your implementation more successful, but the process of defining that taxonomy can bring new clarity and insight into how you view your organization.
  • Term Store Ownership – periodic review of current term store, rules for adding and removing termsSearch – Using taxonomy to refine search resultsNavigation (List Filtering) – Use MMS to quickly and effectively refine list viewsDocument Discovery (Legal) – Tag and identify documents to aid in eDiscovery and eHold.Records Management – Application of retention policy by taxonomy
  • Information and architecture and taxonomy are very closely related, but they serve different purposes. Taxonomy informs the language of the information architecture. Taxonomy describes how you label your organization (East Coast, West Coast) information architecture is how that is manifest in the site (top level navigation for East Coast and West Coast).
  • Site Map – A hierarchical listing of all the sub-sites and pages in the siteWireframes – How contented is presented on a pageContent Types – How information is grouped together into an artifactContent Inventory/Planning – Where content lives and what that content isNavigation – This is often a very direct translation of a portion of the taxonomy
  • Search is an area that either doesn’t get the planning attention it needs, or if it does, the attention ends when the project is completed. Search management needs to become part of your operation.
  • Search Ownership – who will own the ongoing maintenance and tuning of searchContent– Look at tagging, security and search scopes for site contentPeople – What in formation from Active Directory will be surfaces, what can be editedNon-SharePoint Sources – Other web sites, file shares, databases of contentReview logs – Look for patterns in search and address tools like authoritative pages, best bests and thesaurus to help people find what they are looking for.Authoritative pages – Identify pages that shouldhave extra relevanceBest Bets – Direct people to pages that you want them to seeThesaurus – Help translate different terms and acronyms into a common experience
  • There are tips and tricks that you can use for enhancing user adoption. Things like “Easter egg” content hunts, getting executives to stop accepting email attachments, etc. But at the end of the day it comes down to understating your user base. Surveys, focus group and pilot deployments can help you understand what their needs are and then build a program to address them.
  • Start Simple – Small content/functionality for the entire organization, or a lot of content/functionality for a small groupIdentify Owners – Key stake holders, site admins, passionate end usersCommunication (Pre and Post) – Tell them what you are going to do, do it, then tell them what you just didFeedback – Be transparent about how the feedback is applied. That’s the best way to get more feedback.Retire old systems – Change is hard. Accommodate that transition but at some point commit to the change.Power User Training – Power users can take a tremendous amount of pressure of IT support when well trained and their existence is communicatedEnd User Training – Give your people a running start at understanding SharePointPublisher training – The best way to bring publishers on board and up to speed is have them do the content migration.
  • Intranet Best Practices - SharePoint Intelligence Conference 2011

    1. 1. Best Practicesfor Building anIntranet inSharePoint 2010Ethan YarbroughPresidentJeremy SymeDirector of Project ServicesSharePoint Intelligence ConferenceSeptember 27, 2011Bellevue, WA
    2. 2. Allyis Intranet – Content Publishing
    3. 3. Allyis Intranet – Collaboration
    4. 4. Value of a Corporate IntranetMeasurable benefits can be categorized under three key areas;Innovation, Engagement and Efficiencies:• Innovation – An increased ability to share ideas – Improve company performance as awareness and knowledge increase – Being able to find information quickly allows time for further analysis which spurs thought and innovation and can lead to new product/service ideas• Engagement – Improvement of departmental synchronization and alignment – New employees on-boarded quickly – Employees know each other – Having a more rounded and diverse range of information rather than just email pieces• Efficiencies – Reduction in costs (as much as 10% decrease1) for travel, operations and communications – More rapid access (as much as 30% increase1) to knowledge experts – Reduction of email by 30%+1 – Ability to quickly respond to opportunities – A SharePoint Intranet can force the streamlining of processes as well as the implementation of governance and strategy1: Palo Alto Application Usage & Risk Report:
    5. 5. Why Planning Matters• Question: – How many of you have a SharePoint implementation that would be at home in the Wild West?• Areas we are going to look at: – Define your intranet – SharePoint edition and sizing – Governance – Taxonomy – Information Architecture – Search – User Adoption• All of these areas are interconnected
    6. 6. What is an Intranet?• A simple question sometimes without a simple answer• Do not assume everyone defines it the same way• Two categories of intranets – Content Presentation • One-way communication • “Classic intranet” – Collaboration • Document Collaboration • Social Computing • Business Process• Often an intranet is a blend of the two• Many of the activities in planning both are similar
    7. 7. SharePoint Edition• Foundation – Basic collaboration and publishing• Standard – Foundation + Social + Search• Enterprise – Standard + Enterprise Services (e.g., Excel, Access, Visio)
    8. 8. Sizing• Understand how you will use the site(s) – Balance of collaboration and content publishing – Features and solutions that will be used – Give special consideration to using mySites• Basic web application sizing holds true – Capacity Planning – Performance and reliability requirements• Everything is stored in the database – This means at some point performance could degrade – Remote Blob Storage (RBS) should be considered
    9. 9. Governance• Wild West approach to intranets did not work• SharePoint is not a fire and forget application• Failure to plan for governance – Site sprawl – Poor user experience – Inability to provide appropriate SLAs
    10. 10. Governance ConsiderationsAreas of Focus Collaboration Content PublishingFarm  Web Applications  Solutions and Features*  Search  Branding*  Taxonomy  SharePoint Designer Site Controls Publishing Process * These can be minimal in some publishing intranets.
    11. 11. Taxonomy• How your organization describes itself• Managed Terms – Controlled terms (taxonomy) – Managed Metadata Service• Managed Keywords – User-generated tags (folksonomy)• Failure to plan for taxonomy – Poor user experience – Inability to find relevant content
    12. 12. Taxonomy ConsiderationsAreas of Focus Collaboration Content PublishingTerm Store Ownership  Search  Navigation (List Filtering)  Document Discovery (Legal)  Records Management 
    13. 13. Information Architecture• How your organization views itself• Site structure – Includes content types, sub-site types, process management features• Will influence things like taxonomy, security, site creation, navigation• Failure to plan for search – Poor user experience – Inability to find relevant content – Site sprawl – Poor user adoption
    14. 14. Information Architecture ConsiderationsAreas of Focus Collaboration Content PublishingSite Map  Wireframes  Content Types  Content Inventory/Planning  Navigation  
    15. 15. Search• Search will not fix poor planning• Search management needs to be operationalized• Failure to plan for search – Poor user experience – Inability to find relevant content – Initial success will fade without maintenance plan
    16. 16. Search ConsiderationsAreas of Focus Collaboration Content PublishingSearch Ownership  Content  People  Non-SharePoint Sources  Review logs Authoritative pages Best Bets Thesaurus 
    17. 17. User Adoption• Know your audience and plan accordingly• Develop an adoption plan that demonstrates how this will improve their work experience• Failure to plan for user adoption – Confused users – Users revert to old way of doing things
    18. 18. User Adoption ConsiderationsAreas of Focus Collaboration Content PublishingStart Simple  Identify Owners  Communication (Pre and Post)  Feedback  Retire old systems  Power User Training End User Training Publisher training 
    19. 19. Conclusion Areas of Focus Impact of Lack of Focus• Define your intranet • Site sprawl• SharePoint edition & sizing • Poor user experience• Governance • Inability to provide appropriate SLAs• Taxonomy • Inability to find relevant content• Information Architecture • Site sprawl• Search • Poor user adoption• User Adoption • Initial success will fade without maintenance • Confused users • Users revert to old way of doing things Plan to make SharePoint part of how you do business.
    20. 20. West Coast Intranet Managers Group• LinkedIn group of Intranet Managers• West Coast based• Share ideas, questions and best practices for developing and managing an employee intranet• Periodic in-person gatherings to listen to speakers, show features of intranets that are working and network Stop by the Allyis booth for more information.
    21. 21. About Allyis• Technology Consulting, Business Consulting, and Technical Staffing• Founded 1996 | 170 Employees | Privately Held• Washington Best Workplace (Seattle Business Magazine)• Microsoft Partner – Portals & Collaboration Solutions – Content Management Solutions – Midmarket Solutions• Key Clients: – Microsoft, Group Health, WTIA, WellPoint, Disney Interactive, Wild Tangent, Anchor QEA, Children’s Hospital, Cascade Energy