"We need a portal..."


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Presented at the International SharePoint Conference 2012 held in London. Part of the business track, exploring approaches to SharePoint projects. In this case, starting from the business statement 'We need a portal...' The session looks at understanding why and how to approach building one.

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"We need a portal..."

  1. BUS308 “We need a portal”Sharon Richardson joiningdots.comJoining Dots @joiningdots
  2. Slideshare NotesThis presentation was delivered at the International SharePointConference held in London during April 2012The session was exploring the project scenario that starts with„We need a portal‟ but little else in terms of defined businessrequirements. A fictional company „Fizz Oil‟ was used as acase study to frame activitiesSlides have been modified to fit Slideshare formattingrestrictions (sadly, means losing some useful animations) andsome notes have been added due to the absence of apresenterMore notes are available in a corresponding blog posthttp://www.joiningdots.com/blog/2012/08/do-you-need-a-portal/
  3. “…Why?”To improve decisions and actions Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions By Gary Klein Published 1998
  4. “…Why?”To improve decisions and actions Notes: Helps to first consider what decisions or actions could be improved and how – answer should be about more than just Sources of Power: How implementing technologies People Make Decisions Gary Klein‟s book is highly recommended. For lighter reading, try By Gary Klein Malcolm Gladwell‟s „Blink‟ (references Published 1998 Sources of Power)
  5. What is a portal?
  6. A web portal is a web site that brings together information from diverse sources in a unified way Source: Wikipedia
  7. Portal or Platform?Portal = aggregate multiple sources ofinformation for a unified purposePlatform = framework with standard featuresand services to build solutions
  8. Portal or Platform? Portal = aggregate multiple sources ofNotes: information for a unified purposeClarify terminology. People often say „Portal‟ when what they reallywant is a platform, that may have a portal-like home page as thestarting point but is tasked with delivering much more than the unified Platform = framework with standard featurespresentation of diverse sources of information… and services to build solutions
  9. Types of Portal
  10. Information Data People Search
  11. Communications-drivenInformation Unstructured content Manual (& formal) publishing
  12. Process-drivenStructured content DataAutomatic updates
  13. Activity-drivenMixed content sources SearchSeeking answers
  14. Contact-drivenPeople Conversations and links Making connections
  15. How hard can that be?
  16. Priorities? Compliance Dashboards Importance „Know How‟ Search Directory News Intranet Practicality
  17. Priorities? Notes: Compliance The main priorities are always requirements that are of high Dashboards importance to the business. The amount of resources they will need to implement depends on how practical the Importance requirements are. „Know How‟ If the focus is on „low hanging fruit‟ – low importance and Search high practicality (easy to implement) – the project has a weak business case and probably lacks executive sponsorship. Directory Beware insufficient resources to achieve desired outcomes. News Intranet Practicality
  18. Resources? IN Value Miracle occurs ? OUT“Good work! … but I think we need just a little more detail right here”
  19. Where‟s the content? Notes: Web CRM EDRMS Site EDRMS Diverse sources of information. CRM Often multiple Bespokeinstances, duplication and Web Bespoke DB varying lifecycleWeb Site DB management…Site Web Site File ERP File ShareBespoke Share KM File KM DB ERP Share System SystemAccess Standards Quality Connectivity, Bandwidth, Ownership
  20. Where‟s the content going?
  21. Where are the users?Location Language Culture
  22. What about the future?
  23. Online
  24. When the Intranet goes online…Online IdentityProcess AccessAnonymous Limited public content Read-onlyCreate your All „public‟ contentown account Login to participate/contributeRequest an Role defines access to „private‟ dataaccount Customer, Partner, Employee
  25. Mobile
  26. Portal vs Apps
  27. Where do we start?...Case study: Fizz Oil
  28. Business Goals • Improve accuracy of exploration assessment • Timely access to information for all • Raise standards through shared experience, knowledge and working practices Notes: • Integrate compliance Beware bland requirements – drill down into specific business needs as much as possible
  29. Challenges Three companies in one • Competing business priorities • Multiple systems and content sources • Different cultures, distributed workforce Conflicting business goals • Maintain Compliance vs Share Knowledge
  30. “We need a portal” Target priorities • Exploration Assessment • Social Network Business Requirements • Remote access (increasingly mobile) • Real-time updates Technical Scope • Central vs Distributed vs Cloud
  31. Is it Feasible? Personas Conceptual Model Scenarios Resource Constraints
  32. Personas & Scenarios FIO Petroleum geologist based in the Antarctic. Leading prospecting team for FIZZ FIZZ in bidding war to acquire rights to land in a location of high seismic activity Zenith Geophysicist based in the Arctic and Prospecting team need to specialising in mitigation evaluate and make final offer of natural hazards …within 48 hours
  33. Personas & ScenariosNotes: help frame requirements –PersonasFIO Petroleum geologist prioritising what matters,targeting business benefits, highlighting potential roadblocks - it‟s based in the Antarctic.never justLeading prospecting about technology. Stories trump statistics for achievingproject buy-in team for FIZZ FIZZ in bidding war to acquireIdeally, base on real roles within the organisation and actual rights to land in a location ofscenarios that could be improved with better uses of technology high seismic activityIn this example –Geophysicist have merged and there is a need Zenith two companies based in the Arctic and Prospecting team need toto break down „in-crowds‟ in each company to share knowledge – specialising in to seek expertiseevaluatetheir traditional offerhow to encourage people mitigation outside and make finalnetwork of contacts hazards of natural …within 48 hours
  34. Conceptual Model (Simplified)„as is‟ „to be‟
  35. Conceptual Model (Simplified)„as is‟ „to be‟ Notes: Visualise the current scenario „as is‟ and the desired improvement „to be‟ using the personas This is a highly simplified model to demonstrate. Current system – two organisations are functioning indepedently and there is no single social network or corporate directory. The Blue team know an independent expert (Mr Yellow) who could be pivotal to a major business deal being managed by the Red team. By creating a single enterprise social network, it becomes easier to find people across different teams with shared expertise and the network of contacts spreads beyond organisational walls.
  36. What‟s the alternative? Next Steps • Wireframes • Process Flows (Interaction) • Technical Specification vs • Prototype?
  37. What‟s the alternative? Notes: Next Steps The sanity check – is the proposed „to be‟ scenario feasible. In this • Wireframes example, the risk is that people will fall back on traditional and comfortable habits – email trails and individual folders of documents • Process Care versus a social network and centralised knowledge repository. Flows needs to be taken to balance competing requirement. (Interaction) • Technical And if it looks feasible, beware devil in the details. The next steps are to flush them out through wireframes and more detailed process Specification flows that lead to defined requirements and a technical specification. vs Still unsure, consider prototyping and proof of • Prototype? concepts before committing full resources.
  38. Wrap-up When the business says „We need a portal‟…
  39. “We need a portal”1. Define the purpose (portal ≠ platform)2. Identify business priorities/commitment3. Consider future demands and trends4. Check feasibility of the concept5. Confirm resource constraints6. “We need a stakeholder”
  40. Sharon Richardson joiningdots.comsharonr@joiningdots.com @joiningdots