Summit 2013 - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture


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  • What brings you to this conference?
  • Maybe you’re planning a SharePoint project and you’re feeling a bit lostNot sure where to start – want to succeed
  • Or, maybe you’ve got a project underway, or even have SharePoint deployed, but… it’s not going so well
  • So, you’ve come here – a bit hopeful, but also a bit skeptical – hoping that your time spent here will pay dividends.After all, you’ve paid a lot of money, and you’re away from work… and even worse, your inbox is filling with more and more unread email
  • So, you carefully review the catalogue, agonize over conflicting sessions where you REALLY want to see both. You take lots of notes and you nod in agreement with what the speaker is saying:“Yes!!! That describes my situation exactly!!!”
  • And you think to yourself: Yes! I can do this. I have learned so much and I am going to take this back and implement it at my organization.
  • Get back to the office and put on your work boots
  • You’re all excited to show others the great new ideas, and …
  • … start to get down to work to implement them
  • And then… the road gets bumpy [4-clicks build]You may get messages to slow downChange DirectionSTOP
  • And you start todespair: Can I really do this?
  • And you feel like you know how to move the pieces,But you can’t win the game
  • You wanted to create something awesome
  • And you end up with this
  • The title of the talk is: why is it so hard… where did the slip up happen?You weremotivatedYou learned good stuff from the best of the bestWhat went wrong?
  • The awful truth is that reality is messy and chaoticThe nicely laid out examples that you hear in these sessions don’t seem to be working back at home. You are at a loss of what to do.
  • The dirty secret of conferences (and lots of training too)…
  • Is that the theory that you hear in the classroom does not map onto YOUR reality
  • And (the other dirty secret) is that we – the speakers – know it’s true, and we don’t like it either
  • Now, at this point, you may be thinking: I want my money back… Now!
  • But, let me ask you: Do you want the solution to this problem?Do I have the answer?No, I do not… sorry about that.
  • I can help with the pain by giving you some strategies and some specific work-arounds in specific areas.
  • To have ANY chance of success with any plan, you need to have a shared understanding of the goals with your team, stakeholders, key players, etc.
  • AND: Two main strategies
  • Be flexible, don’t give up, roll with the punches and try alternatives
  • AND: Two main strategies
  • Focus on the right things at the right time
  • Remember I told you about the one law:
  • Let me show you what this means and why this is so important
  • Our project is to build a bridge… so here’s a bridge
  • But so is this,
  • Or this…
  • Even this is a bridge
  • Our stakeholders are excited about this project!We’ve agreed that we need a bridge!But, if one person pictures a giant steel roadway bridge, others a covered bridge and one simple stepping stones… then…
  • Our odds of success are low – in-fact, I’d say zero
  • And that means that our project goes down the … um… drain
  • So, we need to get everyone onto the same pageWhy is this so important?
  • Because SharePoint falls into the category of “Wicked Problems”[I first learned this term from Paul Culmsee of Seven Sigma, Australia’s leading expert in problem wickedness and its solutions]
  • A moon-shot is a hard problem, but it can be stated clearly and simply: Take a man to the moon, bring him back aliveCure poverty: That’s a wicked problem. We can’t even agree on who’s poor, what poverty means, and how to know if we’ve been successful.And, when we’re working on TRYING to solve this, solutions are not right or wrong, they are just better or worse.
  • SharePoint is wicked with a capital WICK.This is because of the social complexity that SharePoint brings- You want to fundamentally change the way people do their jobs… and that leads to wickedness
  • Our stakeholders are excited about this project!We’ve agreed that we need a bridge!But, if one person pictures a suspension bride, others a covered bridge and one simple stepping stones… and…
  • Some of whom, won’t talk to each other.OUR CHANCES OF SATISFACTION ARE ZEROThis is social complexity impacting the success of a technology project
  • To have any chance of success, you MUST have everyone pulling in the same directionThis is a platitude – everyone knows this. The question is “How do we do this!”
  • Use visual mapping tools to work interactively with stakeholders to understand what the issues are and make sure that when people leave the room, they understand the arguments being made. They don’t need to all agree – but they need to feel sure that all options were discussed and how decisions were arrived at.(This approach is, again, something that I first learned about from Paul Culmsee – one of the world’s leading authorities on this technique)
  • Other ways to use maps are for taxonomies and content type relationships.Again, the use of a shared display, visual tools and [THIS *I* taught to Paul]
  • So, Shared Understanding: It’s the one law that you need to obeyLet’s dig into the first strategy
  • Simplicity – Einstein said: Make something as simple as possible, but no simpler.
  • When you are working on your SharePoint project, you may be thinking: Go big or go homeThat MAY be a high-risk, high-reward strategy
  • But… the risk is real – and depending on your skill and experience, quite likely(photo credit:
  • Start with an easier approach: Take the time to learn how things work first
  • Small successes build confidence
  • Try really hard not to stink up the joint.It’s really hard to recover from a project that has a bad smell attached to it.
  • Nothing is as good as a small success.When people get a whiff of THAT, holding back the demand will be your biggest problem.Let’s look at some examples where simplicity works
  • If your governance plans is 1/50th of this, you are in deep deep trouble my friend.<The only thing worse than a governance plan like this is a disaster recovery plan that is kept in a SharePoint site>The effort that goes into many governance plans DOES NOT pay off.
  • It needs to be in a form that is ‘consumable’ (Sue’s great word), in order to get your users to consume it.That is: read it, understand it and act on it.
  • You can frustrate people to distraction by asking them to do things they don’t understand or see value in.The person making this lunch bag must think that you’re crazy for asking them to tag it as ‘lunch’ – isn’t it obvious?
  • If you think governance is locking everything down and doing things like making all fields ‘required’
  • Anger, Confusion and Frustration will be the result, causing adoption failure
  • So, now I want to bring up a controversial idea…
  • Three or even five days of training will not make a business user into an information architect.No matter how much time you spend training them on content types and metadata, they will NEVER apply it to their work (for the vast majority of people).
  • Without content types and metadata, site owners revert to bad old folders and don’t get the value that SharePoint provides.
  • You need a coach – someone who is an expert who can help you get to success.
  • 2 Reasons:An expert can sit down with the site owners, and (usually) in a short amount of time, learn what that user needs and build it for them very quickly, or assist and advise when building out a site.Governance without enforcement is just suggestion. The coach can follow-up at regular intervals to ensure that the client is following the rules and has not gone off the rails.
  • The ultimate message of this strategy – is keep it simple:Keep the technology simpleKeep the training simpleUse experts to deal with the hard stuffKeep it simple – but not TOO simple – it has to do the job.I like Einstein’s “As simple as possible, but no simpler”
  • The next strategy is flexibility: You will hear about the right way to handle stuff here – but you have to be ready to apply it to your unique circumstances.
  • You will probably learn in a number of sessions this week that having a steering committee is crucial to success.They may tell you that your SharePoint project is purely driven by IT (or even one other group) that doesn’t have broad participation from the business, you cannot truly succeed.
  • Well, what happens if you’re on a project – like I was – where the CIO is just not interested.We had one meeting with this good ‘ol boy – and he said “no-one on my team has time for more meetings”After that, we couldn’t get him to respond to any email or meeting requestsAnd then… out of the blue…We had a meeting with …
  • “the savior”This guy had just been assigned an important role, and had just transferred from an overseas branch.He was enthusiastic and excited.He had visionHe had charismaAnd he knew what he wantedAfter he left, I told the team (including our client): Our chances for success have just gone from 25% to 75%And you know what happened next?
  • NothingHe never responded to another emailHe never accepted another appointmentIt was like he had disappearedSo, what could we do… We had no leadership from the top at all
  • We began a grassroots campaign
  • We hit the road and travelled to a number of branches and met with small teams who were having pain with the current intranet.We showed them the comps of the new site and the ideas around content and governance.And they LOVED it.They were enthusiastic and wanted to be involved.
  • We were able to find people interested in being site owners, and even section owners.And we were able to select members to be in the operations team.We were able to get to success without a steering committeeAs we built it from the bottom-up
  • So that was a flexibility story – we needed to have a layer of leadership and direction that involved the business, but without any buy-in from the executive level.And it worked!
  • So now lets look at a strategy of Focus.
  • It’s crucial to be able to focus on the right things at the right time – and not get distracted by the wrong things.
  • [I love this example: I learned it from Richard Harbridge, and when I asked if I could use it, he told me he’d gotten it from Andrew Jolly, who’s a speaker here and who generously allowed me to use it]In 1999, NASA had suffered humiliating failures in two Mars missions – both had been tried using a faster/cheaper strategy, and been totally lost.They revamped and started preparing for the next mission – doing it right this time.
  • So, after 4 years of planning, design, testing & re-testing, in June 2003, they launched. (spirit & opportunity)
  • And everyone cheered!Were they done? Had the project reached it’s goal? Was the mission over?
  • 7 Months later, it landed on Mars. It was a crazy, bouncy-ball contraption
  • And, guess what? The NASA engineers cheered again. Was the mission over? Had they done their job?
  • Now, the robot could crawl along the surface and run its experiments.
  • The NASA engineers cheered again. Was the mission over? Had they done their job?
  • NO! they still weren’t done! It was only when data was actually gathered and received back on earth for analysis that the mission was accomplished. And, although these little robots had only a 90 day mission to fulfill, they were designed so well that they went on for YEARS – providing a wealth of value and ROI over a number of years.
  • NOW the scientists were truly happy: The mission was accomplished!
  • So, let me ask you again: Is launch the goal?No: It’s just the start.
  • Many of the projects we work on are incredibly focused on the launch: The energy, the money and effort and the time are all focused on launch. But, if you’re not thinking about what happens in the hours, days and weeks after the launch, you are not focused on what is going to bring you value out of our SharePoint deployment and you’re not going to have a successful mission.
  • If it is one day after the kick-off of your project and have not discussed a communication plan and change management strategy yet, you are already behind.
  • So, to wrap this up, This stuff is confusing and hard.
  • So, to wrap this up, what is your success strategy?
  • One law above all others: Shared Understanding.By hook or by crook – make sure that your stakeholders are on the same page, or you simply CANNOT be successfull
  • What are the three strategies I’ve given you?Simplicity, Strategy, & Focus
  • You can do this!
  • [P xix]Responsible for SharePoint projects at a high levelResponsible for SharePoint projects from start to endHelping to define stakeholders goals and scope and budget for the project
  • InformationArchitecture Institute (, 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 ( :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
  • The valley of despair is a dangerous place, with creatures that have their own agendas ready to ‘eat’ your project
  • A lot of doing this job well comes down to soft skills: - Listening - Honesty - Humour
  • Everyone hates the current portalCan’t find anythingNot sure if content is validBUT- They do know where some stuff is, and this was hard-won knowledge and change to something that won’t be better – just different – is not what they’re looking forward to.
  • NEEDS WORKNow, the team working on the new portal has a different state of mind:They are envisioning a fantastic future state and foresee a climb, but the slope isn’t too severe – this is the ‘path of hope’.What they don’t realize is that their immediate rise in Optimistic Excitement is followed by a steep fall into the valley of despair. There are dangerous creatures there – ready to devour your proeject.But, once the reality of the project sets in The valley of despair is a dangerous place, with creatures that have their own agendas ready to ‘eat’ your project
  • set up multiple phases toward the eventual future goal, rather than trying to reach that peak inone step, because it is only once you start the journey that you will discover the issues and roadblocksthat are going to make the project much harder than it seemed at the start.Even though it is useful to break the project into phases, it is very important that you do your initialplanning with the ultimate goal in mind so that you don’t paint yourself into a corner by designing a solution thatgets you to the end of phase 1 or 2, but that needs a lot of rework or workarounds to reach the true, final goal.
  • You need to be perceived as the leader of your project, and the team, the stakeholders and the customers must have confidence in you.This does not mean that you have to pretend to know all the answers when you don’t. You can say ‘i’ll get back to you’.But you can’t be uncertain about every question.If you THINK you may be right, answer confidently. When you do a follow-up check – if it turns out that you’re wrong – you can follow up and explain why you changed your answer.You have to come to terms with the fact that, despite all the books and blogs out there, each circumstance is different, and you’ll need to be able choose your own path without a clear map of correct and incorrect.One of my favorite bloggers is Bob Sutton of the Stanford Design School. In one of his posts he writesabout Paul Saffo of the Palo Alto Institute for the Future who taught that leaders must have strong opinions. Weakopinions are uninspiring and don’t motivate people to test them or argue passionately for them. But, it is alsoimportant not to be too strongly wedded to your ideas, because it prevents you from seeing or hearing evidencethat contradicts your opinions. So to be a strong and wise leader you need to have strong opinions, but you need tobe ready to move off those opinions when the evidence requires it. This is summed up in the phrase that youshould take to heart: Strong opinions, weakly held.
  • You need to listen to your customers or you will miss important information. If you are conducting aworkshop, you are there to facilitate and gather information, not to impose your vision. You have to bemindful and in the moment. You need to eliminate all possible distractions. This means you turn off orsilence your phone, close your Twitter client (yes, I’ve seen people check their tweets during aworkshop!), and close or silence e-mail (it can really throw a meeting off track when an e-mail “toast”notification pops up on the screen while you’re working).There are a number of books and blogs on how to improve your listening skills. Search the Internetfor “active listening” or “mindful listening.” Choose a book or a program and then practice these skills.It is very important to fully hear what is being said without focusing on what you are going to say inresponse, because once you start to think of your response, you’re not listening anymore and there maybe valuable additional information you are missing.
  • Workshops can be stressful for everyone involved. Your customers are taking time out of their busy daysto attend this workshop. They don’t want you to waste their time and, at first, they may not really trustthat you are going to use their time effectively. You are under the gun to deliver a successful workshop,and you need to keep the meeting focused, but you can also keep it a bit light by using humor. This doesnot involve telling jokes, but rather making light of certain situations—especially if you are the target. Ittakes a pretty good level of trust and familiarity before you can make a joke at the expense of one of yourclients, and this is dangerous territory—I have seen it backfire (on me!).Here is an example of light humor in a workshop: We were talking about who would be the editorin-chief of the portal and I nominated someone in the room to be the “Queen of the Portal.” Everyonelaughed (I know, you had to be there), but from then on, she referred to herself (as did the rest of theteam) as the Queen of the Portal, and it served to lighten the mood of the room.
  • You need to be brutally honest about yourself. As I said above, if you don’t know something, say so.People can tell when you’re faking—either immediately or later when they find out you didn’t reallyknow. People will rely on your integrity, and once they trust you, they will believe you when you arguethat a particular choice or course is the right oneBeing brutally honest is no excuse for being rude
  • Analyst: I’m here to help you to implement SharePoint.Customer: Great! What can SharePoint do?Analyst: Lots of things: What do you want it to do?Customer: Um, I’m not sure . . . maybe you can give me a demo.Analyst: Sure: Imagine that you are a bicycle manufacturer in the Pacificnorthwest.Customer: But we aren’t a . . .Analyst: Isn’t this feature cool? It has a bike as a background image.
  • So it’s all about the requirements, right?Except it’s not
  • Because I said so, and I’m the customer.If you don’t include my requirement, I’ll shootOne of my biggest jobs as a SharePoint BA is to manage this desire. My three rules of SharePoint:
  • It’s hard enough to get to success, to get adoption, to build the right thing.Do you know the best way to avoid making a design error in what you build?DON BUILD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!Start simple – get some success and then grow from there.
  • Cheap: Do it!
  • Wait a sec – maybe we can think of some alternatives(Hey! Maybe it’s no longer a ‘requirement’)
  • Really? Do you really?So, what happens when the customer says “I need this”This is the “we need it all” solution – often arrived at before defining the problemDid you know that a jumbo jet has six million components? IT IS NOT A SIMPLE SOLUTIONThe “Hammer” problem
  • You know the hammer problem – when that’s the tool you’ve got, Every problem looks like a nail,Except… SharePoint is a giant, massive mother of a hammer and youJust. Want. To. Squash. Everything. With. It.
  • Like, out of the box?
  • Streamlined solutionLike just a bit of config/CQWP/DVWP/JQuery
  • Yes, a bit restrictive, but cost effective.
  • Is the destination specialized and particularly hard to get to?You may need to write some code
  • A combination of everything
  • Bottom line: Arrive at outcomes based on business needs, not requirements
  • The other problem with requirements is that you only have one time to mention them, so you want ALLLLL of them to be met.So, you put everything in that you can think of…SharePoint lets you be ‘agile’Start with the three rules: Simplicity/Simplicity/SimplicityIdeas from: PragPub Feb 2011 – Pragmatic ProgrammersWay of the Agile Warrior - by Jonathan Rasmusson
  • But the reality is that most requirements never get used as designed because the landscape changes under your feet.
  • And this causes you to change course, sometimes even before that ‘required’ item is even finished being built or tested.
  • Leading to a bunch of rusty tools lying around that cause trouble for years.e.g. what happens when you need to upgrade or migrate? Someone has to chip the rust off to see if this stuff is even useful anymore
  • The result is wasted money
  • But First: DO NOT DEMO SharePoint Confuses peopleSets unreasonable expectations
  • The focus here needs to be on pain points and outcomes: NOT RequirementsTry to stick to one team at a time3 – 8 people is ideal – up to 12-15 can work.Need to make sure you hear from everyoneDon’t let manager dominateMake SURE you get front-line workers, not just managersBook 1.5 hours – plan on an hour and a bit.People love some extra un-booked time at the end.
  • The following slides are a sample deck that I use in workshops
  • Build a ‘day in the life’ demoUse their language, colors, logo
  • If you are lucky, you can take the results of these workshops and create a roadmap for a phased, rational approach to SharePoint deployment. Push HARD to do this step.Summarize workshop resultsBuild Gap AnalysisIdentify dependenciesLay out a timeline (not a project plan at this point)
  • You take the estimated value and divide that by the estimated level of difficulty then times (*) it by 100 to get the percentage of ROI.
  • Mind mapping is not newBeen around a long time, and used for brainstorming
  • Everyone knows the answer to this…
  • It’s “Data about Data” as Einstein proved all those years ago
  • Thanks for coming, we’re done now…This answer helps absolutely no-one – well, maybe Einstein
  • I’m not telling yet, but…It’s an iterative process – you won’t understand it right away, but you will circle in to understanding over time.
  • The sounds that these animals make are attributes that distinguish them from each other. The sound is NOT the animal, and does not replace the animal, but if I asked even a 3 year old, which one goes ‘quack’ they could point it out to me.So now, a more serious example…
  • How do you sort your CD’s?Artist? Title? Genre? Date? Cover 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? How could you tell which can had the corn?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.(Also, the fact that you may not know the language that the label was printed in could pose a problem)
  • Items are grouped by type (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 itAND: Can cause duplication: Canned chilli’s may be in the veggie isle, but also in the ethnic food aisle
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Review the animal kingdom taxonomy
  • Did you catch the subtle change here.The taxonomy is now of your ‘X’ drive.Which is your shared drive zoo!Let me zoom in
  • Here is where your file lives
  • 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.
  • 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) [But they really stole it from Xerox]
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Now we’re in great shape!This is nicely structured and labeled, just like the supermarketBUT…
  • What a mess! Now, when you have to search for a document, you have to look in the ‘tree’ and also in all the other spots where the files could be.Another issue… If your boss needs you to find all ATT consumer files across all years, you have not alternative other than clicking all the parent folders open and drilling down to the documents that you need, one at a time.
  • There is a balancing act around finding and saving. The investment you make on one side, pays off (or costs you) on the other side.
  • On the findability side (searching or browsing) [Not a ‘real’ English word]If you really need that needle, you’ll look through a lot of haystacks
  • There is an essential asymmetry to putability [Also not a real English word]: (Except that I learned them from Bill English)You can give up fairly quickly on deciding where to save something – there is always a fast and easy way out….It’s called: I’ll just put it here – I’ll remember later where I left it. THIS IS A BIG LIE
  • 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.
  • All columns (metadata) exist in the same list, even though the user is only prompted to fill-in the ones for the content type that they are using.
  • Content types cannot be used for security
  • What is this a picture of?With a lot of experience, training or imagination, you may figure something out – but the concept is ABSTRACT
  • This is something that people understand and agree on.It is concrete (no, not made of concrete – it’s marble)Visual tools can help make the abstract into the concrete
  • MindManager (from MindJet) is a tool that has changed the way I work. Here is a quick demo of how it works.
  • 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 such as X-Mind and freemind.
  • A technique to get input orfeedback from usersYou may have great ideas of how to organize you intranet, but you users may have different ideas
  • To continue to quote Donna:Card sorting is best understood not as a collaborative method for creating navigation,but rather as a tool that helps us understand the people we are designing for.
  • In an open sort, people are not given any categories, they just have to organize concepts into groups.In a closed sort, people are told the headings and then they have to sort concepts under the categories that they’ve been given
  • The analysis can be useful, but it is the process of watching people do the sorts that helps provide the real value
  • This tool called ‘Balsamiq’ makes it extremely simple and fast to make wireframes.They look cartoonish, but that makes it easy to focus on what’s important (not color, font, etc.)
  • After you’ve designed and built a SharePoint solution that meets your user’s and stakeholders’ needs, do you just hand over the keys and say “Done”
  • I hope your answer to that question is “No.” Your beautiful site is like a garden, it will soon becomeovergrown with weeds, and all the carefully cultivated plants will die if they aren’t taken care of. Tendingyour SharePoint garden is an ongoing task; you need to assign people to care for it and care about theoutcome, and they need to be people who know what they are doing.
  • To stretch the gardening metaphor a little further (maybe too far?): You also can’t just hand overshovels and seeds to people who are going to fill in some of the empty spots you have left for laterexpansion. The work they do has to fit in with the original plan so that the whole system will fulfill itspurpose and so the garden will “make sense” to those who use it.
  • The first time I heard of the concept of SharePoint governance was in late 2006 when Joel Oleson started blogging about it. Joel was working for Microsoft at the time, and his early work lit a fire under the governance movement in the SharePoint world. Joel’s perspective was that of an IT professional, and so his take on governance heavily emphasized that perspective. His posts talked about things like quotas, data retention policies, cost models, and managed deployment. But in addition to these, Joel did take a wider view, asking questions about branding, communications planning, and stakeholder and ownership.The first time I saw the famous Pyramid Diagram was on Joel’s blog. (You can see the one Joel first shared at When I saw Joel speak about governance, I learned that his term for below the line was “Wild Wild West” because in most SharePoint sites, it was chaos down there. The work that Joel and others started led to a surge of activity around creating governance plans.[This is a jump back to chapter 4 for these next few slides]ABOVE THE LINE vs BELOW THE LINEWhat I have found to be most useful about this diagram is the heavy black line that crosses throughthe middle of the pyramid. When talking to stakeholders, I describe the difference betweencommunication sites (above the line) and collaboration sites (below the line). In the communicationsites, the content is created by a relatively small number of people for consumption by a relatively largenumber of people. The content is carefully written and checked before publication, and it is the placewhere a lot of thought needs to be given to make material easy to find by a broad spectrum of users.When my project stakeholders understand this model (which they grasp pretty quickly), it helpsthem to think about where a particular type of content belongs and who would have control over it.
  • There is another distinction that often (but not always) separates the content above the line from that below: publishing versus nonpublishing (or collaboration) infrastructure in SharePoint. The content that appears above the line is almost always built using web-content management (WCM) tools and concepts. This is content that is made of text, images, and graphics, where the content is created and managed by people who are specifically trained in how to create these types of pages. There is often a workflow around getting the pages approved and published, and the pages are not usually veryinteractive. There is a lot of enforced consistency (through the use of templates and style limitations) so that all of the content has a consistent look and feel.Marcy wrote a great post to help understand this distinction
  • I have recently modified the pyramid diagram to take into accountthe concept of departmental sites that have an outward facing side and an inward facing side.The reason for including the dashed line this way is to indicate that while the departmental sites have been split, they are both still “above the line,” in the sense that they are tightly controlled and make use of the publishing infrastructure (WCM) to display their content.
  • However, there is another way to construct this. Some departmental sites may have an external view, especially if they have a story to tell to the rest of the organization. However, many or most of thedepartments don’t have a wide audience within the company, or due to constraints on resources, they are going to be more autonomous and self-governed. For this reason, these sites are created below theline, near the Projects and Workspaces area, as collaboration sites (Figure 4-9), even if they do have parts that are shared more widely with the company.Helping your stakeholders understand the different capabilities of SharePoint (collaboration versus publishing) and how these can be applied to the structure of your site will help them determine wherenew sites and content should be added, how that content should be governed and managed, and how your users will find what they are looking for when they use the site.
  • There were lots of great sessions on this conference (particularly Sue’s) that attempt to answer this question.Here are my simple definitionsIncorporating all of these points of view into one governance plan usually leads to a giant, monolithic document. It includes descriptions of how the governance committee should be constituted, what the rules should be for myriad settings, ownership, branding, new site requests, and so forth. I have to confess that I have written a number of these types of plans myself. The result is a lot of great work gets turned into shelf-ware: a document that sits in a binder and never gets referred to again.
  • There are a few rebels in the world of SharePoint governance who’ve taken a non-rulebook approach to governance. One of them is Paul Culmsee (, who wasthe first person who showed me that the actual root of the word govern comes from the Greek for steer, and he introduced me to the concept of governance as steering. When I attended Paul’s SharePoint “Governance and Information Architecture Master Class,” he tried to steer us (ha!) away from complex, highly detailed definitions of governance. He explainedgovernance as a process you follow to move from an unhappy present state toward an aspirational future state (Figure 10-1). This definition brings governance out of “listing a set of rules” and onto ahigher plane that focuses first on what you are really trying to accomplish and then asks you to explore how you will get there.
  • I like the way this definition extends Paul’s model by adding “how account is rendered.” I once heard someone say that governance without enforcement is just suggestion. While I don’t think that accountability and enforcement are synonyms, they drive toward a key concept that seems to be at the root of most governance planning failures: no follow-up, no enforcement, and no real accountability. Without these, the governance plan falls by the wayside and SharePoint fails to live up to its potential. Dux Raymond Sy (, one of the most accomplished and popular speakers at SharePoint conferences, is famous for saying: “SharePoint doesn’t suck. You suck.” I thinkwhen he says this he is most commonly referring to either poor planning or poor governance.
  • Adoption is a hot topic these days.Cory Banks talked about “When you talk about risk: What’s the risk that no-one will use the platform that you’ve spent so much time and money creating”One of the strangest things about the failure of governance is that the governance plan itself often describes mechanisms that are intended to ensure that accountability exists; it describes in elaboratedetail the composition and responsibilities of the governance committee, as I have just done above. But without the right level of engagement from the leadership, users don’t get a robust system that they are encouraged or required to use. The lack of engagement by leadership leads to limitations of resources, and, as a result, adoption suffers. With lack of adoption comes even less perceived value by management, and the cycle spirals downward from there.
  • Leaders don’t careIT tries to avoid chaos and locks down SharePoint.Training is too soon, too late, not targetted.
  • THERE NEEDS TO BE ACCOUNTAB ILITYVery early in my career I learned about the power of leadership when it comes to SharePoint. I was working for a consulting firm that had a strategic planning meeting every Monday morning. The CEOwould sit at the head of the table with a keyboard and mouse, and his computer would be projected onto the screen at the front of the room. All meeting notes were kept in SharePoint, along with links to key documents, which also were housed in SharePoint.At one point in the meeting, the CEO asked me about how I was coming along with a particular proposal. I said it was 90 percent done. He wanted to see it and asked me where it was in SharePoint. I said, “Sorry, I have it saved to my desktop, I’ll upload it after the meeting.” He said, “No, we’ll wait while you go and upload it now.” From then on, everyone knew: Documents must be saved intoSharePoint. I was held accountable for not following the company policy on documents: I never made that mistake again.■ Note I have worked with a lot of IT teams and found them to be willing to listen and be flexible up to a point.The issue is that they are usually overworked and understaffed, so they need to get their critical work done underdifficult circumstances. It is precisely for this reason that leadership is important: Priorities need to be set andresources allocated if you are going to have a chance at getting the maximum value out of your SharePointinvestment.LACK OF COMMUNICATIONThe goals and rules (governance) are often very poorly communicated. Change is hard – you have to do everything right (esp communications) if you want a chance at success.
  • There is a group of people outside your operations team who can help you succeed with your SharePoint project. Wherever I have gone, there is always a group of SharePoint enthusiasts out there.These are people who see the potential of SharePoint, and in many cases they have already started to harness it for their own needs (sometimes in a non-sanctioned way). If you can find these people and give them some recognition, such as private lunch-and-learns or a site for them to share information or answer one another’s questions, or even a “sandbox” site to experiment on, they will be your champions, informal helpers, and evangelists throughout the company.
  • Not really talking about end-user training here…Too soon or too lateNot relevant (too generic)Too time constrained (can’t schedule a day or more away from work)ExpensiveIT DOESN’T STICK – you can’t teach IA to users in 2-3 daysROI Sucks!
  • Video training sucksGenericOr, ExpensiveNeed to find what you need when you need itCan show basic functions, but not so good at creative application of featuresHard to get the granularity right
  • If you don’t train your users, there is no way they are going to figure out a tool as complex as SharePoint on their own. They will manage to get some work done and find some ways to get some things to work.The more dedicated will go out and buy a book. But the reality is that they will not learn to use SharePoint efficiently, and they’ll be frustrated and unhappy. These people tend to say (loudly and towhomever will listen): “SharePoint sucks!”
  • Coaching is the answerCoaching for migration and content creationCoaching for governanceFollow-up to ensure the rules are being covered
  • People need training in how to use and navigate the portalHow to add and modify contentHow to SEARCH!!!
  • Exec engagementCoached site admins/ownersTrained users= Governance, Adoption= Success
  • Four symbols, very simple(tricky to master)
  • Among my friends who do the type of work I do, we sometimes debate the question: Is it the practice orthe practitioner? What we are trying to get at is, how much of the success we experience in our projects isdue to our skill and experience in general and how much is due to the specific methods we use? Wegenerally agree that the practitioner is a large component of the equationThe techniques and tools I have presented in this book have made a big difference in the way I work,and I have seen them be tremendously helpful to others. However, there are no silver bullets. Thismeans that even the use of these methods does not guarantee success. SharePoint projects are complexand often political; the stakeholders have other priorities and other projects and people who are seekingtheir attention. You may not have the level of senior management buy-in that you need, the project maybe underfunded, or you might not be able to hire the right technical resources in time. In short, there aremany things that can interfere with the success of the project. What I have covered in this book is notgoing to guarantee success. You will need to use these tools and combine them with your experience andskills as a facilitator and business problem solver to navigate the rocky shoals of potential shipwreck foryour project.
  • You need to know who the key stakeholders are. There are really two groups to get a handle on: who willbe on the project team and who will be on the governance committee. These will probably be differentindividuals, though there may be some overlap. You want to know who the final decision makers will beboth during the project and after delivery. You want to know who is going to make up the top two layersof the governance hierarchy
  • It’s important to get a good understanding of who your users are. Create persona profiles representingthe different groups that will be users of the intranet in your organization. Don’t go crazy with this one.It’s possible to do a lot of ethnographic studies and devote a lot of resources to building very detailedprofiles for each persona. I think that this may be a worthwhile exercise for a public-facing e-commerceweb site, I am not sure that it’s worth a huge investment for a corporate intranet. But it is good to have aclear picture of who your users are and what they are expecting to get out of the site (
  • If you are replacing or upgrading an existing SharePoint intranet, or just investigating where to startdoing so, go to and download the “Maturity Model” (shown in Figure 12-4)developed by Sadalit Van Buren (with input from the wider SharePoint community). It is a great place tostart, and it will help your stakeholders get a picture of the current state of the organization and to helpthem set targets for where they would like to be at some point in the future.
  • INVENTORY: There is usually a ton of content already in existence. Your goal is to migrate content of value, create newcontent where it is needed, and remove ROT (redundant, obsolete, and trivial) content.WRITING: One of the best resources for this is Jakob Nielsen’s blog ( His“Writing for the Web” articles (Figure 12-6) give you the research-based answers on how to writeeffectively so people will read and be able to absorb your content.Create content as early as possibleNO LOREM
  • Designing the site navigation is one of the most critical elements of building a new site. Although it ispossible to change a site’s navigation after it goes live, this is very costly in terms of user confusion andfrustration. This task has added complexity due to political forces that can impact the process: Peoplewant their content to be easier to find or more prominent
  • It is very important that your stakeholders understand what the difference is between the portal areasand the collaboration areas. The use of the pyramid (Figure 12-8), with the “above-the-line” and “belowthe-line” concept, is a very useful way to communicate this.
  • Building your SharePoint infrastructure is a crucial part of the process of building out or upgradingSharePoint. The problem is often one of timing. In order to meet project timelines, the infrastructurecomponents have to be designed, budgeted, signed-off, ordered, installed, and configured according to aset of project milestones. The pressure is often high to get the design finalized as soon as possiblebecause of hardware-ordering lead times. The problem is that this is asked for before the businessproblem is fully defined, leaving your technical team in a quandary: They will have to make guesses andestimates before they really have all the information they need. This is another reason to get the keydecision makers involved early and to use the mapping techniques discussed earlier to ensure thateveryone has a shared understanding of what is required so that reasonably accurate infrastructureplans can be made.
  • The single most important thing that SharePoint can do for your organization is to improve informationfindability. The concept of findability encompasses both browsing and searching.
  • Getting the page layouts right is where wireframing comes in. With an easy-to-use tool (like Balsamiq,covered in Chapter 5) and easy-to-change page layouts, you can work with your stakeholders to come upwith a set of layouts that will work with their different types of content. These wireframes can then beused for quick and relatively inexpensive usability tests to see if people can perform the tasks they needto accomplish.
  • I attended a presentation about four years ago (I wish I could remember who presented it) where themessage was: If you’ve had your project kickoff meeting and you haven’t started your communicationsstrategy yet, you’re late!As much as people generally dislike their current intranet, they’ve at least figured out where the stuffthey need is. If they arrive on a Monday morning to find a brand new, super well-designed, and beautifulintranet waiting for them, chances are they’ll hate it. People generally don’t like surprises at work
  • I explained why I think that training as a classroom exercise is less than optimal.However, I realize that my coaching manifesto may be too much too soon for some organizations. If thisis the case with your organization, then yes, send your content owners and authors on training, but youmust make sure they have enough support once they get back to work, otherwise they will have to just dotheir best with whatever parts of the training stuck
  • And that is how I want to conclude this workshop, with the bookends that are the mostimportant success factors for a SharePoint project: good planning at the start with shared understandingof business goals, outcome alignment, and an understanding of the complexity facing the team; And then proper support at the end of the project through the application of coaching and governance thatcarries the project from the build phase through deployment and maturation, while ensuring that theinitial goals set by leadership continue to be met.
  • And that is how I want to conclude this workshop, with the bookends that are the mostimportant success factors for a SharePoint project: good planning at the start with shared understandingof business goals, outcome alignment, and an understanding of the complexity facing the team; And then proper support at the end of the project through the application of coaching and governance thatcarries the project from the build phase through deployment and maturation, while ensuring that theinitial goals set by leadership continue to be met.
  • To Impose Specific Storage QuotasWith SharePoint Site Collections you can define specific storage quotas and email warnings to notify users when they are approaching a defined threshold on their site collection storage.To Impose Specific Sandbox QuotasWith a SharePoint Site Collection you can define the maximum number of points sandbox solutions can use per day. Additionally you can also configure an email warning when storage exceeds a certain number of points.
  • For Search SeparationFor Workflow Separation
  • So Your Site Collection Does Not Have The Same Active (or Inactive) Site Collection FeaturesThere are many times when this comes in handy. In SharePoint 2010 there are quite a few Site Collection level features you may not want active on specific site collections.Site collection features that are not active on other site collections (for example, the Publishing Infrastructure feature)
  • For Search SeparationFor Workflow SeparationSo Your Site Collection Does Not Have The Same Active (or Inactive) Site Collection FeaturesThere are many times when this comes in handy. In SharePoint 2010 there are quite a few Site Collection level features you may not want active on specific site collections.Site collection features that are not active on other site collections (for example, the Publishing Infrastructure feature)To Have a Separate Help Library to Store Custom Help
  • Disadvantages of Using Site CollectionsAll out-of-the-box Web Parts understand and work well within the boundaries of a Site Collection. None of them, including the significantly used Content Query Web Part, will cross Site Collection boundaries. Thus, the aggregation of information across Site Collection boundaries is not possible using out-of-the-box Web Parts.You need to consider this when determining how you will split your information across Site Collections. Any situation that requires you to aggregate and display information across Site Collection boundaries will require a custom development effort or the purchase of a 3rd party Web Part.Your branding and content publishing customization efforts will also have to be duplicated. Currently, all master pages, page layouts, and CSS files, common publishing images and reusable content is bound to a Site Collection.
  • For Security Management Benefits:Every site collection creates a security boundary between one collection of sites and another collection of sites. Each site collection has its own collection of SharePoint groups and ACL references.You cannot see a complete list of Users who have permissions to the site or ObjectUsers are members of more than one AD GroupWork backwards to figure out permissions2010 – 1000 objects in an ACL, 5000 Objects per SharePoint GroupThe more ACLs you have, the more ACLs you have to manageKnow the Software Boundaries and Capacity limits Privacy or Management Benefits and Different Site Collection AdministratorsEach site collection has a role of “Site Collection Administrator” and a person or more assigned to that role. There are times when either for privacy/confidentiality reasons you cannot have a specific site collection administrator with the rights to see that sites content, or where you have different people that should be assigned to manage that collection of sites. The second is an extremely common scenario in large enterprise organizations where there is a need to distribute the technical ownership of site collection administration.
  • Summit 2013 - Practical SharePoint Information Architecture

    1. 1. Practical SharePoint Information ArchitectureRuven Gotz – Director, Avanade
    2. 2. It’s all about me…Ruven - AnimatedLondon, UKJohannesburg, SASydney, AU
    3. 3. SHARE 2012 | 3Buy the Book (or Kindle):
    4. 4. Agenda for the day• Mini-Keynote (30 min)• Introduction (15 min)• Preparing for successful outcomes & Requirements gathering (30 min)• Coffee(15 min)• Introduction to Mind Mapping (30 min)• The Magic of Metadata (35 min)• Lunch (60 min) @12:00• Catch-up (15 min)• Card Sorting & Wireframing (30 min)• Business process mapping (30 min)• Coffee (15 min)• Governance, Adoption & Training (30 min)• Wicked Problems & Dialogue Mapping (30 min)• Conclusion & wrap-up (15 min)
    5. 5. MINI-KEYNOTEFront matter
    6. 6. SHARE 2012 | 6Why areyouhere?
    7. 7. SHARE 2012 | 7Lost
    8. 8. SHARE 2012 | 8Notgoingso well
    9. 9. SHARE 2012 | 9Show me
    10. 10. SHARE 2012 | 10Attendsessions
    11. 11. SHARE 2012 | 11I cando this
    12. 12. SHARE 2012 | 12Back to work
    13. 13. SHARE 2012 | 13Show others
    14. 14. SHARE 2012 | 14Getdown towork
    15. 15. SHARE 2012 | 15
    16. 16. SHARE 2012 | 16Can Ido this?
    17. 17. SHARE 2012 | 17Can’t win the gameKnow how to move
    18. 18. SHARE 2012 | 18Wanted:
    19. 19. SHARE 2012 | 19Got:
    20. 20. SHARE 2012 | 20Why is this so hard?
    21. 21. SHARE 2012 | 21Reality ismessy(and chaotic)
    22. 22. SHARE 2012 | 22Dirty secret
    23. 23. SHARE 2012 | 23
    24. 24. SHARE 2012 | 24We know it’strue & wedon’t like iteither
    25. 25. SHARE 2012 | 25I’d like mymoney back.Now!
    26. 26. SHARE 2012 | 26Do I havethe answer?NoDo you wantthe solution?(sorry)
    27. 27. SHARE 2012 | 27But, I canhelp withthe pain
    28. 28. SHARE 2012 | 28One Law
    29. 29. SHARE 2012 | 29Shared understanding
    30. 30. SHARE 2012 | 30Twomainstrategies
    31. 31. SHARE 2012 | 311. Simplicity
    32. 32. SHARE 2012 | 322. Flexibility
    33. 33. SHARE 2012 | 33Threemainstrategies
    34. 34. SHARE 2012 | 343. Focus
    35. 35. SHARE 2012 | 35Let’sdivein
    36. 36. SHARE 2012 | 36One Law
    37. 37. SHARE 2012 | 37Shared understanding
    38. 38. SHARE 2012 | 38
    39. 39. SHARE 2012 | 39
    40. 40. SHARE 2012 | 40
    41. 41. SHARE 2012 | 41
    42. 42. SHARE 2012 | 42Yes!A bridge!
    43. 43. SHARE 2012 | 43Odds ofSuccess?
    44. 44. SHARE 2012 | 44Projectgoes?
    45. 45. SHARE 2012 | 45Samepage
    46. 46. SHARE 2012 | 46Wickedproblems
    47. 47. SHARE 2012 | 47Hard(but tame)Wicked
    48. 48. SHARE 2012 | 48Guess whatSharePoint is…
    49. 49. SHARE 2012 |Usually a bunchof people who allhave a differentidea of whatsuccess looks like
    50. 50. SHARE 2012 | 50, won’t talk to each other
    51. 51. SHARE 2012 | 51
    52. 52. SHARE 2012 | 52
    53. 53. SHARE 2012 | 53
    54. 54. SHARE 2012 | 54SHARE 2012 | 54Shared understanding
    55. 55. SHARE 2012 | 551. Simplicity
    56. 56. SHARE 2012 | 56Go Big orGo Home
    57. 57. SHARE 2012 | 57Photo:
    58. 58. SHARE 2012 | 58Learn howthings workfirst
    59. 59. SHARE 2012 | 59
    60. 60. SHARE 2012 | 60Don’tstink-upthe joint
    61. 61. SHARE 2012 | 61Barthedoors
    62. 62. SHARE 2012 | 62Yourgovernanceplan
    63. 63. SHARE 2012 | 63Simple &Consumable- Sue Hanley
    64. 64. SHARE 2012 | 64Yourmetadatastrategy
    65. 65. SHARE 2012 | 65Handcuffingyour users isnot a strategy
    66. 66. SHARE 2012 | 66Anger + confusion + frustration= Adoption failure
    67. 67. SHARE 2012 | 67A controversial idea
    68. 68. SHARE 2012 | 68Yourtrainingstrategywon‘t work
    69. 69. SHARE 2012 | 693 days of trainingTraining fail
    70. 70. SHARE 2012 | 70You won’t squeeze thejuice out of SharePoint
    71. 71. SHARE 2012 | 71You needa coach
    72. 72. 1. 2.SHARE 2012 | 72
    73. 73. SHARE 2012 | 73Follow theKISSprincipleAs simple as possible, but no simpler- Albert Einstein
    74. 74. SHARE 2012 | 742. Flexibility
    75. 75. SHARE 2012 | 75SteeringCommitteeIssues
    76. 76. SHARE 2012 | 76ThecowboyCIO
    77. 77. SHARE 2012 | 77Thesavior
    78. 78. SHARE 2012 | 78(nothing)
    79. 79. SHARE 2012 | 79Grassroots campaign
    80. 80. SHARE 2012 | 80Hit the road
    81. 81. SHARE 2012 | 81
    82. 82. SHARE 2012 | 82Flexibility
    83. 83. SHARE 2012 | 833. Focus
    84. 84. SHARE 2012 | 84Focuson theright things
    85. 85. SHARE 2012 | 85Projectfailure
    86. 86. SHARE 2012 | 86
    87. 87. SHARE 2012 | 87
    88. 88. SHARE 2012 | 88
    89. 89. SHARE 2012 | 89
    90. 90. SHARE 2012 | 90
    91. 91. SHARE 2012 | 91
    92. 92. SHARE 2012 | 92
    93. 93. SHARE 2012 | 93
    94. 94. SHARE 2012 | 94Is launch the goal?
    95. 95. SHARE 2012 | 95Why do weput all thefocus on alaunch date?
    96. 96. SHARE 2012 | 96If you are not planningfor change on day 1You are already behind
    97. 97. SHARE 2012 | 97This stuff isconfusing anddifficult
    98. 98. SHARE 2012 | 98Yoursuccessstrategy
    99. 99. SHARE 2012 | 99SHARE 2012 | 99One Law
    100. 100. SHARE 2012 | 100Three StrategiesSimplicity Flexibility Focus
    101. 101. SHARE 2012 | 101You cando this
    102. 102. INTRODUCTIONFront matter
    103. 103. SharePoint can be dangerous to your careerSHARE 2012 | 103
    104. 104. SHARE 2012 | 104Expectations are set very high
    105. 105. The waters can be rougher than expectedSHARE 2012 | 105
    106. 106. SHARE 2012 | 106…but the results can make it worthwhile
    107. 107. My point of view
    108. 108. What is an Information Architect?
    109. 109. SHARE 2012 | 109What is a Business Analyst?
    110. 110. In the SharePoint world, it’s a bit of a hybrid
    111. 111. Dealing with humans in tough circumstances
    112. 112. SHARE 2012 | 112You have got to get everyone onto the same page
    113. 113. SHARE 2012 | 113The key to sharedcommitment isShared Understanding
    114. 114. SHARE 2012 | 114Visual tools are a greatway to get to sharedunderstanding
    115. 115. PREPARING FORSUCCESSFUL OUTCOMESChapter 1.Everything should be made as simple aspossible, but no simpler.Attributed to Albert Einstein
    116. 116. SHARE 2012 | 116Soft skills
    117. 117. Machiavelli (not exactly  )It must be considered that there is nothing moredifficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success normore dangerous to handle than to initiate a newSharePoint project; for the project team has enemies inall those who profit by the old portal, and onlylukewarm defenders in all those who would profit bythe new portal; this lukewarmness arising partly fromthe incredulity of mankind who does not truly believein anything new until they actually have experience ofit.
    118. 118. Dealing with humans in tough circumstances
    119. 119. Dealing with humans in tough circumstances
    120. 120. Building confidence
    121. 121. Listening
    122. 122. Humor
    123. 123. Brutal Honesty
    124. 124. Requirements gathering
    125. 125. Requirements
    126. 126. What makes something a requirement?
    127. 127. My three rules of SharePoint1. Simplicity2. Simplicity3. Simplicity
    128. 128. We can do that for $10
    129. 129. We can do that for $1,000,000
    130. 130. We require a jumbo solution to get to our destination
    131. 131. The SharePoint “Hammer Problem”
    132. 132. Is it really close by?
    133. 133. Is fast and light-weight the way to go?
    134. 134. Is a pre-built solution the best course?
    135. 135. Do you need a specialized solution?
    136. 136. Do you need to think outside the box?
    137. 137. Sometimes you need the jumbo solution
    138. 138. It’s the destination that matters
    139. 139. The environment will change
    140. 140. The unexpected will happen
    141. 141. A lot of “required” features never get used
    142. 142. DON’T demo SharePoint
    143. 143. Initial discovery workshops
    144. 144. SharePoint Workshop
    145. 145. Agenda• About the Project , Our Team & Goals• SharePoint Overview• Department and Role• Document Collaboration• Document Storage and Search• Compliance, Records Management & Off-line• Questions
    146. 146. About the Project, Our Team & GoalsAbout this Project• Determine the requirements and scope for a SharePointimplementation at ABC Corp.Our Team• Alison Andrews – Project Manager• Bob Baker – Technical Architect• Carol Conrad – SharePoint Analyst• Don Drummond – Infrastructure AnalystWorkshop Goals• Set expectations• Gather your input• Keep it to an hour (+ optional half-hour for further questions)
    147. 147. SharePoint 2007 OverviewCollaborationPortalSearchEnterpriseContentManagementBusinessProcessandFormsBusinessIntelligenceDocuments/tasks/calendars, blogs,wikis, e-mail integration, projectmanagement “lite,” Outlookintegration, offline documents/listsVirtual Teams/Global TeamsEnterprise Portaltemplate, SiteDirectory, MySites, socialnetworking, privacycontrolEnterprisescalability, contextualrelevance, rich search forpeople and business dataIntegrated documentmanagement, recordsmanagement, and Webcontent management withpolicies and workflowOOB workflows,WF integration,rich and Web forms–basedfront-ends, LOBactions, pluggable SSOServer-based Microsoft OfficeExcel® spreadsheets and datavisualization, Report Center,business intelligence WebParts, KPIs/DashboardsPlatformServicesWorkspaces, Mgmt,Security, Storage,Topology, Site Model
    148. 148. SharePoint 2010 Overview Ribbon UISharePoint WorkspaceSharePoint MobileOffice Client and Office Web App IntegrationStandards SupportIntranet, Extranet, Team CollaborationTagging, Tag Cloud, RatingsSocial BookmarkingBlogs and WikisMy SitesActivity FeedsProfiles and ExpertiseOrg BrowserEnterprise Content TypesMetadata and NavigationDocument SetsMulti-stage DispositionAudio and Video Content TypesRemote Blob StorageList EnhancementsOrganizing InformationSocial RelevancePhonetic SearchNavigationFAST IntegrationEnhanced PipelineSearchPerformancePoint ServicesExcel ServicesChart Web PartVisio ServicesWeb AnalyticsSQL Server IntegrationPowerPivotBusiness IntelligenceBusiness Connectivity ServicesInfoPath Form ServicesExternal ListsWorkflowSharePoint DesignerVisual StudioAPI EnhancementsREST/ATOM/RSSBuilding complex solutionson top of SharePoint
    149. 149. Department and RolePlease introduce yourself:• Name• Department• What is your role within your department?• How do you interact with technology to do your job?• How does the current technology help you (or hinderyou) from doing your job?
    150. 150. Document Collaboration• Do you work on documents with others?• How do you collaborate (e-mail, shared drive) ?• What document types do you create?• Which programs do you use?• Do your documents require multiple reviews and edits? Isapproval required?• How do you implement the required workflow?• How do you get the final information out to the audiencethat needs it?• Do you publish PDF’s?• How are they distributed/posted?
    151. 151. Document Storage and Search• Can you find the documents that you need, when you needthem?• Does your shared drive folder hierarchy work well?• How long does it take to find a document? At what point do yougive up?• When you create a document, do you know where it shouldbe saved?• Are documents saved in more than one location to easeretrieval?• Does search work well?• What features would you like to see in search that would makeit better for you and your team.
    152. 152. Compliance, Records Management & Off-line• Do you have any regulatory requirements that you need tomeet?• ISO 9000• Sarbanes-Oxley – Bill 198• How are records management policies implemented?• Are there specific policies for document retention anddestruction.• Do you have a need for off-line access?• Do you travel off-site for your work• Do you need to work when you are disconnected from thenetwork.
    153. 153. Questions
    154. 154. NOW it’s ok to demo SharePoint
    155. 155. Roadmapping
    156. 156. The Simplest Prioritization Formula Ever…Estimated ValueEstimated Difficulty
    157. 157. Prioritization Example I have a difficult solution. It’s an 8 in difficulty (out of 10). I have an easy solution. It’s a 2 in difficulty (out of 10). The expected value of the difficult solution is 4 (out of 10). The expected value of the easy solution is 6 (out of 10).Estimated ValueEstimated Difficulty
    158. 158. CentralizeKnowledge andResourcesEnhanceCollaborationAutomate andImprove BusinessProcessesEnhanceGovernanceModelReduceRedundancy andImprove EfficiencyCentralizeKnowledge andResourcesCentralize Centralize Centralize CentralizeEnhanceCollaboration Improve BP Governance RedundancyAutomate andImprove BusinessProcessesGovernance RedundancyEnhanceGovernanceModelRedundancyReduceRedundancy andImprove EfficiencyPaired Comparison MatrixObjective WeightCentralize 4Collaboration 0Improve BP 1Governance 2Redundancy 3
    159. 159. The Power Of Zero $$ Change Orders
    160. 160. Morning Coffee (15 min)
    161. 161. INTRODUCTION TO MIND MAPPINGChapter 2What do you call what we just did there? That wasamazing!More than a few of my clients on morethan a few occasions after a workshopwhere I used mind mapping
    162. 162. Mapping for Navigation
    163. 163. Mapping for Prioritization
    164. 164. Mapping for Scoping
    165. 165. THE MAGIC OF METADATAChapter 3If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like aduck, it must be a duck.—Proverb
    166. 166. This is a Meta-Presentation• Two Goals and a Meta Goal:• Understand metadata• How it applies to taxonomy• How it applies to content types• Understand why it matters in SharePoint• Meta Goal• Educate you• Give you tools to educate YOUR stakeholders
    167. 167. The BIG questionWhat isMetadata?
    168. 168. Data about data
    169. 169. Questions
    170. 170. The BIG questionWhat isMetadata?I thinkI get itOh!Now I see(Mostly)What is Metadata?I think I get it
    171. 171. To understand what are
    172. 172. We’ll use a
    173. 173. What does a cow say?
    174. 174. What does a chicken say?
    175. 175. What does a duck say?
    176. 176. What’s the difference?
    177. 177. What is the ‘content’?What are some attributes?• Artist: Prince• Genre: Pop/Rock• Year: 1984Example from Yoav Lurie
    178. 178. Organizing Content
    179. 179. Another metaphorAdapted from the “peasoup” story by SergeTremblay
    180. 180. Labels can help
    181. 181. Food taxonomy nirvana
    182. 182. So, what is metadata?
    183. 183. or this…Not this!What is taxonomy?
    184. 184. It’s this…
    185. 185. Carl Linnaeus (1751)
    186. 186. TaxonomyAnimalKingdomInvertebrates VertebratesMammalsPredators Primates Whales RodentsSquirrels MiceMice & RatsHamsters andVolesPorcupines Guinea PigsFish Amphibians Reptiles BirdsSuperclassClassOrderSuborderFamilyKingdom
    187. 187. The bottom of this tree AnimalKingdomInvertebrates VertebratesMammalsPredators Primates Whales RodentsSquirrels MiceMice & RatsHamsters andVolesReal HamstersShort-taileddwarf hamstersDjungariandwarfhampstersRoborovskiHamsterLong-taileddwarf hamstersVoles GerbilsPorcupines Guinea PigsFish Amphibians Reptiles Birds
    188. 188. Taxonomy X:ProductionSales &MarketingMarketingCommercial Industrial Government HealthcareLabs HospitalsPrivate PublicLargeUrbanNotAssociatedUniversityRuralMedium SmallClinics MobileSales Web Design Newsletter SocialShared drive zoo
    189. 189. Taxonomy X:ProductionSales &MarketingMarketingCommercial Industrial Government HealthcareLabs HospitalsPrivate PublicLargeUrbanNotAssociatedUniversityRuralMedium SmallClinics MobileSales Web Design Newsletter Social
    190. 190. We’ve all seen how well this works out…
    191. 191. Taxonomy X:ProductionSales &MarketingMarketingMajorHospitalsCommercial Industrial Government HealthcareLabs HospitalsPrivate PublicLargeUrbanNotAssociatedUniversityRuralMedium SmallClinics Mobile CollegesBig SmallSales Web Design Newsletter SocialShared drive zoo
    192. 192. Moving this mess to SharePoint only makes it worse
    193. 193. SharePoint Sux!SharePoint is confusing! Why?
    194. 194. What is our base metaphor for files?
    195. 195. Folders on the Mac
    196. 196. What if we saw this?
    197. 197. Better…
    198. 198. Solve it with folders!
    199. 199. Now, you hire an intern to add documents
    200. 200. Finding vs. Saving
    201. 201. Findability
    202. 202. Putability
    203. 203. The #1 rule of SharePointNever usefoldersExcept when it makes sense todo soever
    204. 204. When it makes sense…Permissions assignedper folder
    205. 205. SharePoint Taxonomy
    206. 206. SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata)Customer Type• Lab• Hospital• Clinic• MobileSector• Private• PublicSize• Large• Medium• SmallLocation• Urban• RuralUniversity• Yes• No
    207. 207. Adding metadata (when uploading)
    208. 208. A SharePoint Simulation
    209. 209. Inventory worksheet
    210. 210. What is metadata?
    211. 211. What is taxonomy?
    212. 212. What are content types?
    213. 213. Name _________Emp. # _________Date _________Dates Requested:From __________To: __________Manager ____Approved Y/NName _________Emp. # _________Date _________Drug Used:Name __________Cost: $ _________Manager ____Approved Y/NVacation RequestDrugReimbursement
    214. 214. Both content types in one list
    215. 215. Content types for: Workflow, Policy, Security
    216. 216. InventoryWorksheet
    217. 217. Mind Mapfrom InventoryWorksheet
    218. 218. Key Points to Take Home• Metadata takes a while to understand• Use of metaphors can help• Use of visual tools can help a LOT• Much more than technology, it’s governance that makes thedifference• Folders are bad, except when they’re not
    219. 219. Lunch (60 min)
    220. 220. Morning Recap (15 min)
    221. 221. This is tough, but the results can be worthwhile
    222. 222. Differences between BA and IA
    223. 223. Getting to Shared Understanding is crucial; visual tools can help
    224. 224. Soft Skills need to be developed:Confidence, Listening, Humour & Honesty
    225. 225. Gather requirements – Focus on business outcomesRequirements
    226. 226. Run the discovery workshops and build the roadmap
    227. 227. The magic of metadata
    228. 228. CARD SORTINGChapter 4
    229. 229. What is Card Sorting?
    230. 230. “Card sorting is a great, reliable,inexpensive method for findingpatterns in how users would expectto find content or functionality.”- Donna Spencer
    231. 231. What are the types of card sort?Open & Closed
    232. 232. Open card sorting processGerbil
    233. 233. ResultsGerbil
    234. 234. But not always what you expectFordGerbil
    235. 235. But not always what you expect (2)FordGerbil
    236. 236. Analysis
    237. 237. WIREFRAMINGChapter 5You cant do sketches enough. Sketch everythingand keep your curiosity fresh.John Singer Sargent
    238. 238. I used to hate wireframing!
    239. 239. A useless wireframe
    240. 240. Way too much workErik Swenson
    241. 241. Balsamiq: Just right
    242. 242. BUSINESS PROCESS MAPPINGChapter 7If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process,you dont know what you’re doing.—W. Edwards Deming
    243. 243. Information doesn’t just ‘pop’ into existence
    244. 244. Afternoon Coffee (15 min)
    245. 245. GOVERNANCE, ADOPTION & TRAININGChapter 7Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Withsilver bells and cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row.—Nursery Rhyme
    246. 246. Done?SHARE 2012 | 267
    247. 247. You need to tend the gardenSHARE 2012 | 268
    248. 248. Final gardening metaphor SHARE 2012 | 269
    249. 249. Above the line vs. Below the lineSHARE 2012 | 270
    250. 250. Marcy Kellar’s Publishing Cheat SheetSHARE 2012 | 271 86
    251. 251. The modified pyramidSHARE 2012 | 272
    252. 252. SHARE 2012 | 273
    253. 253. What is governanceSHARE 2012 | 274
    254. 254. An outcome based concept (Paul Culmsee)SHARE 2012 | 275
    255. 255. A definition from outside SharePointSHARE 2012 | 276
    256. 256. SHARE 2012 | 277
    257. 257. Steering committeeSHARE 2012 | 278The job of the steering committee includes:• Establishing vision and strategy,• Creating and managing the portal roadmap,• Synchronizing the vision across businessunits,• Acting as champions within individualbusiness units as well as enterprise wide,• Defining success factors and keyperformance indicators and measuring results,• Procuring and allocating the intranet budget,• Reviewing and tracking intranet projectbudgets,• Providing operations team oversight.
    258. 258. Operations TeamSHARE 2012 | 279The operations team is a partnership betweenIT and business owners of the portal. Its job isto communicate and cooperate to ensure thatthe portal runs smoothly and efficiently. Theteam members have to work together tobalance the needs of IT for control andmanageability and the needs of the businessforresponsiveness, reliability, performance, andflexibility. The team as a group doesn’thave specific roles and responsibilities; thoseare dictated by their individual roles furtherdown in thehierarchy.
    259. 259. IT ManagerSHARE 2012 | 280The IT manager is responsible for the physicalinfrastructure as well as operational aspects ofthe SharePoint service, including:• Hardware service and upgrades,• System assurance (uptime, performance,availability, security, disaster recovery,system updates and upgrades, monitoring),• Development or procurement andsubsequent deployment of new features,• Help desk, second-level support,• Training and coaching (Optional: In manyorganizations, this is owned by other groups),• Key member of the operations team and thegovernance committee.
    260. 260. Editor in ChiefSHARE 2012 | 281The editor in chief (sometimes called the portalowner) is the person responsible for thecontent that appears on the site. His or herresponsibilities include:• Approving overall content on the site,ensuring consistency of look, feel, tone,style (words and pictures), and overall sitequality,• Taking ownership of the home page,including approving content that appearsthere, ensuring it is fresh and accurate,• Nurturing and supporting the internalSharePoint community,• Leading communications efforts (letting thecompany know of new features orchanges to the portal),• Being a key member of the operations teamand governance committee.
    261. 261. Site Owner/Section OwnerSHARE 2012 | 282The responsibilities of these owners include:• Maintaining quality for the content in thissection or site,• Ensuring that high-risk(confidential/inappropriate) material is notexposed on the portal,• Ensuring that existing content is updated asrequired,• Ensuring that content is removed from thesite if it is out of date, expired, orotherwise no longer relevant (while adheringto the records management policy),• Remaining aware of content in other areas toensure consistency and to ensurethat duplicate content does not existelsewhere,• Ensuring that published content adheres tostyle policies.
    262. 262. Site Owners/Section OwnersSHARE 2012 | 283
    263. 263. Content ApproverSHARE 2012 | 284This role is not usually assigned to a separateperson; the section owner may be theapprover of content for the sites containedwithin that section. Or a site owner may be theapprover for subsites. In some cases, wherethere are legal or other high-risk issues, theremay be approvers assigned from the legal orother departments. The responsibilities of theapprover include:• Checking that content is factually correct,• Providing oversight to ensure that high-risk(confidential/inappropriate) materialis not exposed on the portal,• Ensuring that content follows corporate policies forstyle and content,• Being responsible for timely approval (not being abottleneck),• Ensuring that metadata has been properly entered,• Ensuring content is posted to the correct location.
    264. 264. Content OwnerSHARE 2012 | 285The content owner may be the same person asthe site owner, or that person may just beresponsible for a subset of content within aparticular area of a site.There is a lot of overlapping responsibility hereThat is because at every level, people have anabsolute responsibility to ensure the qualityand impact (safety and risk) of the contenton the site. As we move up the responsibilityhierarchy, each level can catch issues missedby the layer below.See P 195 for details here
    265. 265. Content AuthorSHARE 2012 | 286The next layer is where the actual work getsdone: authoring. Content authors areresponsible for:• Creating content,• Ensuring content adheres to corporatepolicies,• Ensuring that high-risk(confidential/inappropriate) material is notexposed on the portal,• Ensuring that appropriate metadata areproperly and completely entered,• Ensuring that the content is placed in thecorrect location within the site.
    266. 266. Visitors/ReadersSHARE 2012 | 287Finally, we get to the layer of those who haveno hand in the creation, approval, ormanagement of content: the readers. And yet,within an organization, you must putresponsibility into the hands of readers tonotice and point out material that isinaccurate, out of date, or that could put theorganization at risk. You have to enable thereaders to report issues by making it easy forthem to do so. There should be a link on eachpage to report issues or at least to contact thepage owner (every page must displaywho the owner of that page is).
    267. 267. Adoption in the real worldSHARE 2012 | 288
    268. 268. Disengaged leadershipSHARE 2012 | 289
    269. 269. The power of leadershipSHARE 2012 | 290
    270. 270. Build a communitySHARE 2012 | 291
    271. 271. Classroom TrainingSHARE 2012 | 292SUX
    272. 272. Video TrainingSHARE 2012 | 293SUX
    273. 273. No TrainingSHARE 2012 | 294SUX
    274. 274. CoachingSHARE 2012 | 295
    275. 275. Your end-users DO need trainingSHARE 2012 | 296• Classroom• Video• Lunch and learn• Community
    276. 276. A new worldSHARE 2012 | 297
    277. 277. COMPLEXITY, WICKEDNESS ANDDIALOGUE MAPPINGChapter 6“Something wicked this way comes”—Ray Bradbury
    278. 278. Two books you must read
    279. 279. What are wicked problems?• You don’t really understand the problem until you’vedeveloped the solution• You don’t know when you’ve accomplished your goal• Solutions are not right or wrong, they are just better orworse• Every wicked problem is unique• Every solution to a wicked problem is a one-shotoperation• You are dealing with social complexity
    280. 280. Tools that can help
    281. 281. IBIS Notation
    282. 282. I use Mind Manager to express the same notation
    283. 283. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    284. 284. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    285. 285. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    286. 286. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    287. 287. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    288. 288. Dialog mapping to capture argumentation
    289. 289. Dialogue Mapping for scoping
    290. 290. CONCLUSION & WRAP UPChapter 7Things done well and with a care, exempt themselvesfrom fear.—William Shakespeare
    291. 291. Practice or Practitioner
    292. 292. Kick-off – Identify the players
    293. 293. Nail down the vision
    294. 294. Roles & Personas
    295. 295. Assess Current Maturity
    296. 296. Run your discoveryworkshops
    297. 297. Managing Content• Inventory content and identify content owners• Writing for the web – learn to do it properly• Create and approve content as early as possible
    298. 298. Navigation Workshops
    299. 299. Collaboration strategy
    300. 300. Infrastructure
    301. 301. Search strategy
    302. 302. Wireframing & Branding
    303. 303. Communication Planning and Community Building
    304. 304. Training, Adoption& Governance
    305. 305. Summary
    306. 306. This presentation will be available on the TorontoSharePoint Summit web site a few days after the event.Thank you
    307. 307. Please rate this session!Fill out the survey and get a chance to win a Surface
    308. 308. www.sharepointsummit.orgRuven - Animated
    309. 309. Summary
    310. 310. SharePoint Containment HierarchyDocuments, Items andPagesFolders and DocumentSetsLibraries and ListsSitesSite CollectionsDatabasesWeb ApplicationsServersFarmWhat we care about from aninformation architectureperspective.
    311. 311. SharePoint Containment HierarchyMetadataItemDocuments, Events, Pages, Custom Item, Image, etc.Folders and Document SetsListsDoc Libraries, Pages, Calendars, Discussions, Surveys, etc.SitesTeam Sites, Publishing Sites, Meeting Workspaces, etc.Site Collections
    312. 312. Site Collection or Site (Subsite)?OR
    313. 313. Site Collection
    314. 314. Site Collection
    315. 315. When To Use A Site Collection
    316. 316. When To Use A Site Collection
    317. 317. When To Use A Site Collection
    318. 318. When To Use A Site Collection
    319. 319. When To Use A Site Collection
    320. 320. When To Use A Site Collection
    321. 321. When To Use A Site CollectionSite Collection 1 Site Collection 2Webparts &AggregationWebparts &AggregationMasterpages& Page LayoutsMasterpages& Page LayoutsSearch Across Site Collection BoundariesNavigation Navigation
    322. 322. When To Use A Site CollectionGroup AGroup BGroup CCollection Admin ACollection Admin BGroup YGroup ZCollection Admin YCollection Admin ZSite Collection 1 Site Collection 2