0
Practical SharePoint
Information Architecture

Ruven Gotz
Thank you #SPSTC
sponsors!
About me

@ruveng

spinsiders.com/ruveng
ruven.gotz@avanade.com
Ruven Gotz

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Buy the Book (or Kindle):
http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
SharePoint can be dangerous to
your career!

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Expectations are set very high

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Reality: The waters can be rougher than expected…
…but the results can make it worthwhile
What is an Information Architect?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/racingmix/274777460/

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
What is a Business Analyst?

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
In the SharePoint world, it’s a bit of a hybrid

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Dealing with humans in tough circumstances

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Soft skills

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
You have got to get everyone onto the same page
The key to shared
commitment is
Shared Understanding

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Visual tools are a great
way to get to shared
understanding

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
We will cover visual tools that assist with SharePoint

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Let’s start with Mind Mapping

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Building a simple mind map

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for navigation

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for prioritization

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Discovery workshops

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for taxonomy

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
The BIG
Question

What is
Metadata?
Data about data
@ruveng

spinsiders.com/ruveng
ruven.gotz@avanade.com
Ruven Gotz
The BIG
Question

What is Metadata?

I think I get it
Oh!
INow I see
think
What is
I (Mostly)it
get
Metadata?
What is
Let’s use a
What does a cow say?
What does a chicken say?
What does a duck
say?
The sounds these animals make are
attributes that distinguish them
• Prince
• Pop/Rock
• 1984

Example from Yoav Lurie
Adapted from the “pea
soup” story by Serge
Tremblay
What is our Base Metaphor
for files?
What if we saw this?
Better…
Solve with folders
Hire an intern
What is metadata?
This is metadata!
What is Taxonomy?

Not this!
or this…
Carl Linnaeus
(1751)
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Rodents

Squ...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Reptiles

Ro...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Rodents

Squ...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Rodents

Squ...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Mice

Porcup...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Mice

Porcup...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Birds

Roden...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Birds

Roden...
Taxonomy

Animal
Kingdom

Invertebrates

Vertebrates

Fish

Amphibians

Mammals

Predators

Primates

Whales

Birds

Roden...
Shared Drive Zoo
Taxonomy

X:

Production

Sales &
Marketing

Sales

Web Design

Marketing

Commercial

Industrial

Govern...
As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
Shared Drive Zoo

X:

Production

Marketing

Major
Hospitals

Sales

Web Design

Industrial

Government

Healthcare

Labs
...
Moving this mess to SharePoint
makes it worse
SharePoint Sux
The #1 rule of SharePoint?

Except when it makes
sense
Never use
ever
folders
Folders for Security

Permissions assigned
per folder
A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
A SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata)

Customer Type
• Lab
• Hospital
• Clinic
• Mobile

Sector
• Private
• Public

Size
• Larg...
Adding Metadata (when uploading)
A SharePoint Simulation
Document Type Inventory
Worksheet
What is metadata?

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
What is Taxonomy?
What are content types?
Vacation Request

Drug
Reimbursement

Name _________
Emp. # _________
Date _________

Name _________
Emp. # _________
Date...
Both Content Types in One Library
Content Types Workflo
Policy,Security
for:
w,
Back to the Inventory Worksheet
Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet)

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Dealing with Wicked Problems
Dialogue Mapping

Facilitation
& Mapping

Notation
(IBIS)

Dialogue Mapping

Shared
Display

http://cognexus.org/
© 2012 R...
A very simple example IBIS map

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Real example

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Wireframing with Balsamiq

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Process mapping

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
This stuff is hard

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Social complexity makes every problem ‘wicked’

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Getting to shared
understanding is
crucial

© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Visual tools with shared displays can help
Tools Mentioned:
-

Mindjet MindManager
Balsamiq Mockups
BizAgi Entry Level
Microsoft Visio

Slideshare.org/ruveng
Ruven G...
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
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SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture

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Presented Oct 12, 2013 in Minneapolis.
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  • This answer helps exactly no-one.
  • …and you’ll have to fight hard for the win
  • Afixie riding hipster who does user interface design (UX?)Information Architecture Institute (iainstitute.org), who defines information architecture as:1. The structural design of shared information environments.2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, onlinecommunities, and software to support usability and findability.3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of designand architecture to the digital landscape.
  • Or, more of a business analyst, working with stakeholders to establish requirements?International Institute of Business Analysis (www.iiba.org) :A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements, and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
  • I feel like I have to cover both of those as a consultant who works to understand the goals of my stakeholders, and then architect the solution
  • A lot of doing this job well comes down to soft skills: - Listening - Honesty - Humour
  • If you have three main stakeholders, and they have different mental models for what success looks like, then you have zero chance of real success. Only when you have shared commitment to the same goal, do you have any chance at success.
  • This is the most important message of this talk: You MUST achieve a shared understanding to have a chance at success.
  • Mind mapping – wireframing – process flow diagramming
  • Everyone knows…
  • It’s “Data about Data” as Einstein proved all those years ago
  • This answer helps exactly no-one.
  • I won’t tell you yet but…It is an iterative process – you won’t understand it right away, but you will circle in towards understanding over time[ANIMATED]
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • If you were to ask a child: What does a cow say? How would they answer?
  • Ok, so that was goofing around – now let’s get serious.
  • The music is the contentYou can know a lot of facts about the album:PrincePop/Rock1984You can know all the facts, but it doesn’t substitute for the content (the music)(Purple Rain example originally suggested by Yoav Lurie)
  • How do you sort CD’sArtist?Title?Year?Genre?Colour?You have to decide up-front – and stick to it –because the objects are physical
  • What if the store was full of unlabeled tin cans?You would need to open every can to see if had what you wanted(Tin can example originally suggested by Serge Tremblay)
  • Now we don’t need to open each can, but they are all in a jumble and you have to pick up each can to check if has what you want.
  • Items are grouped by area (canned fruit, canned sauce, canned vegetables)Signs point you to the correct area so that you can quickly find what you need.BUT: Because the objects are physical, you need to pick a method and stick to it
  • This uses the base metaphor that we live with every day.The concept of a “file” and a “file folder” as a way of storing digital data is a metaphor taken from the world of paper managementIt has become so ingrained, that we think of it as natural, but it’s not: It was invented in 1983 by Apple (wikipedia)
  • Old apple interface from the 80’s
  • All your files are stored in one folder and their names are completely meaninglessThis is like the unlabeled cans: You have to open each file to see what it contains
  • You have a bit of a better situationThe naming convention lets you find the file you need (but there’s no way to sort by year)Rely on users to follow the naming convention (religiously)
  • A ha!Now we’re in great shape. We’re like the supermarketStructured and LabelledBUT...
  • ... then, you hire a summer internWho doesn’t know the folder hierarchy and makes up their own
  • Findability is challengingPutability is the real problemThis is Bill English’s word for knowing where to save a documentWhat if we could make putability easier while also improving findability?This is the promise of metadata
  • Data about dataYes, but not enough info Seth Maislin of Earley & Assoc. says it's the "Is-ness" of something:This 'is' a contract. That 'is' a pop album.For us it enables findability, policy and processFindability for locating the right documentsPolicy – records managementProcess – Status of a business process (e.g. Not started, In process, Complete, Approved, Archived)
  • So, let’s create an alternative structure that is logically equivalent, but that makes putability much easier while preserving findabilityBy the way: One way to start to figure out an organization’s metadata is to look at the folder names.You will probably not want to simply copy this, but it can be a good guide/starting point
  • It’s not this… (visual joke)[ANIMATED]
  • It’s not this… (visual joke)[ANIMATED]
  • It’s this…Not really this, but let’s use these creatures to understand.
  • Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy
  • This works because it’s really about governance – this is a stable structure that can’t be changed by just anybody:Changing this structure requires a world-wide meeting of the top scientists in the field, usually involving name-calling and fist-fights (or so I’ve heard)[ANIMATED]
  • Did you catch the subtle change here.The taxonomy is now of your ‘X’ drive.
  • And this is a common result
  • The asymmetry is that you’ll spend less time looking for a place to save something then you will looking for something after the fact.
  • Problem here is lack of governance – anyone can add any folder anywhere anytimeThis boils down to the ‘putability’ problem – I’ll search for a long time to find a doc, but not for long to see where to put it.[ANIMATED]
  • Once you’ve migrated your x drive to SharePoint, and all the promised benefits fail to emerge, The reaction is: (next slide)
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED] Here is one reason to use folders: Application of security and then simplifying it for the user by using the ‘no folders’ view.
  • I’m not Carl, but let’s talk about why this works.After all, it’s the same as a directory treeThe difference is governance
  • Is this too many to ask for?Do we force users to answer all these questions/enter all this data?
  • Instead of confusing people with the SharePoint interface, I use a familiar tool: ExcelUsing some simple macros, I am able to illustrate the power of filters and views.There’s no free lunch however: People now have to enter metadata.We can simplify this by defaulting values like “Date” to today and “Year” to current year.We can leverage content types as well
  • Explain metadata and then use this worksheet for ‘homework’
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED]
  • Using mind-mapping tools to build the taxonomy from the homeworkI use MindJet MindManager – and I like and highly recommend it.There are other tools that are less expensive.
  • There are two types of problems: Tame & Wicked.Landing a person on the moon is Tame (but really, really complex)Solving poverty is wickedYou don’t understand the problem until you’ve developed the solutionYou don’t really know when you’ve accomplished the goalSolutions are not right or wrong, they are just better or worseEvery wicked problem is uniqueEvery solution is a one-shot operationYou are dealing with social complexity
  • All the mapping that I’ve shown so far, uses facilitation and a shared display.The new thing is IBIS: Issue Based Information System
  • IBIS grammar has only four elements: Question, Idea, Pro, and ConIdeas respond to questions (and ONLY questions)Pro’s support ideas (and ONLY ideas)Con’s challenge ideas (and ONLY ideas)Questions can respond to anything
  • Transcript of "SPS Twin Cities - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture"

    1. 1. Practical SharePoint Information Architecture Ruven Gotz
    2. 2. Thank you #SPSTC sponsors!
    3. 3. About me @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com Ruven Gotz © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    4. 4. Buy the Book (or Kindle): http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
    5. 5. SharePoint can be dangerous to your career! © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    6. 6. Expectations are set very high © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    7. 7. Reality: The waters can be rougher than expected…
    8. 8. …but the results can make it worthwhile
    9. 9. What is an Information Architect? http://www.flickr.com/photos/racingmix/274777460/ © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    10. 10. What is a Business Analyst? © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    11. 11. In the SharePoint world, it’s a bit of a hybrid © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    12. 12. Dealing with humans in tough circumstances © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    13. 13. Soft skills © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    14. 14. You have got to get everyone onto the same page
    15. 15. The key to shared commitment is Shared Understanding © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    16. 16. Visual tools are a great way to get to shared understanding © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    17. 17. We will cover visual tools that assist with SharePoint © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    18. 18. Let’s start with Mind Mapping © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    19. 19. Building a simple mind map © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    20. 20. Using a mind map for navigation © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    21. 21. Using a mind map for prioritization © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    22. 22. Discovery workshops © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    23. 23. Using a mind map for taxonomy © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    24. 24. The BIG Question What is Metadata?
    25. 25. Data about data
    26. 26. @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com Ruven Gotz
    27. 27. The BIG Question What is Metadata? I think I get it Oh! INow I see think What is I (Mostly)it get Metadata?
    28. 28. What is
    29. 29. Let’s use a
    30. 30. What does a cow say?
    31. 31. What does a chicken say?
    32. 32. What does a duck say?
    33. 33. The sounds these animals make are attributes that distinguish them
    34. 34. • Prince • Pop/Rock • 1984 Example from Yoav Lurie
    35. 35. Adapted from the “pea soup” story by Serge Tremblay
    36. 36. What is our Base Metaphor for files?
    37. 37. What if we saw this?
    38. 38. Better…
    39. 39. Solve with folders
    40. 40. Hire an intern
    41. 41. What is metadata?
    42. 42. This is metadata!
    43. 43. What is Taxonomy? Not this! or this…
    44. 44. Carl Linnaeus (1751)
    45. 45. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Birds
    46. 46. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Reptiles Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Superclass Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Birds
    47. 47. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Birds Class
    48. 48. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Real Hamsters Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Birds Order Mice & Rats Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Gerbils
    49. 49. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Real Hamsters Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Birds Rodents Squirrels Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Suborder
    50. 50. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Real Hamsters Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Birds Rodents Squirrels Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Family Gerbils
    51. 51. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Birds Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Subfamily
    52. 52. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Birds Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Gerbils Genus
    53. 53. Taxonomy Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Fish Amphibians Mammals Predators Primates Whales Birds Rodents Squirrels Mice Porcupines Mice & Rats Voles Guinea Pigs Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Reptiles Gerbils Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Roborovski Hamster Species
    54. 54. Shared Drive Zoo Taxonomy X: Production Sales & Marketing Sales Web Design Marketing Commercial Industrial Government Labs Healthcare Hospitals Clinics Private Medium Mobile Public Large Urban Not Associated Newsletter Rural University Small Social
    55. 55. As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
    56. 56. Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
    57. 57. Shared Drive Zoo X: Production Marketing Major Hospitals Sales Web Design Industrial Government Healthcare Labs Commercial Sales & Marketing Hospitals Clinics Private Medium Urban Not Associated Rural University Social Mobile Public Large Newsletter Colleges Big Small Small
    58. 58. Moving this mess to SharePoint makes it worse
    59. 59. SharePoint Sux
    60. 60. The #1 rule of SharePoint? Except when it makes sense Never use ever folders
    61. 61. Folders for Security Permissions assigned per folder
    62. 62. A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
    63. 63. A SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata) Customer Type • Lab • Hospital • Clinic • Mobile Sector • Private • Public Size • Large • Medium • Small Location • Urban • Rural University • Yes • No
    64. 64. Adding Metadata (when uploading)
    65. 65. A SharePoint Simulation
    66. 66. Document Type Inventory Worksheet
    67. 67. What is metadata? © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    68. 68. What is Taxonomy?
    69. 69. What are content types?
    70. 70. Vacation Request Drug Reimbursement Name _________ Emp. # _________ Date _________ Name _________ Emp. # _________ Date _________ Dates Requested: From __________ To: __________ Drug Used: Name __________ Cost: $ _________ Manager ________ Approved Y/N Manager ________ Approved Y/N
    71. 71. Both Content Types in One Library
    72. 72. Content Types Workflo Policy,Security for: w,
    73. 73. Back to the Inventory Worksheet
    74. 74. Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet) © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    75. 75. Dealing with Wicked Problems
    76. 76. Dialogue Mapping Facilitation & Mapping Notation (IBIS) Dialogue Mapping Shared Display http://cognexus.org/ © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    77. 77. A very simple example IBIS map © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    78. 78. Real example © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    79. 79. Wireframing with Balsamiq © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    80. 80. Process mapping © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    81. 81. This stuff is hard © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    82. 82. Social complexity makes every problem ‘wicked’ © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    83. 83. Getting to shared understanding is crucial © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    84. 84. Visual tools with shared displays can help
    85. 85. Tools Mentioned: - Mindjet MindManager Balsamiq Mockups BizAgi Entry Level Microsoft Visio Slideshare.org/ruveng Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com
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