Top tips to ensure your project SharePoint project fails
A slightly tongue in cheek view on the ways clients, partners Microsoft etc. combine to trip up delivering a successful project. Any references to projects, companies and clients will be fictitious or at least heavily disguised to protect the guilty
Install SharePoint completely out of the box
Put the discs in, hit next, next, next. Hand over the users (they don’t need anything more.) Job done.
Ensure it’s an IT led project.
Don’t allow the business to provide input – this is about technology and what do they kno
Allocate at least 50% of your project budget on visual design
It doesn’t matter what it does, as long as it’s pretty.
Invest the other half in the technical platform
- Buy lots of shiny servers with flashing lights and have fun setting them up
- Ensure you have at least 6 servers in the farm, but ideally go for the full 16 server Microsoft white paper recommendation.
- Don’t worry about the number of users and likely throughput and adoption curve; it’s much easier to over specify everything now than to have to scale up or scale out late.
- Ideally ones who haven’t had hands on experience with SharePoint. They can learn an enormous amount by hand coding features that already exist in SharePoint.
- Always use Visual Studio for any configuration and development task. The browser interface is for WIMPS and SharePoint Designer is really just FrontPage and we all remember how good that was.
- Custom developed code ensures that you really know what the application is doing. You are unlikely to ever want to upgrade your SharePoint solution (SP2013 is at least a year away) and supportability is hardly an issue, is it?
- Also don’t bother with InfoPath for building eForms – as good developer can build one in only a week and the business users aren’t going to want any iterations or enhancements anyway.
Don’t build any kind of Information Architecture
- Information structures are simple. As long as you have a file name and have put it somewhere obvious then people will find it. SharePoint search is really powerful and can find everything anyway.
- SharePoint adds quite enough metadata – you get a title, automatic created/modified information for author and date. What more would anyone want
- Ensure you test you navigation and views with at least 10 documents/items in a list
- Communication and engagement plan
- A launch plan
- On-going training
- Content governance
- Platform strategy
- Contractors are marvellous. Any contractor knows all anyone needs about SharePoint, so they can do technical design, configuration, development, visual design, administration, business analysis etc.
- Contractors are world famous for sharing their knowledge with their employers and their staff. Knowledge Transfer is often their middle name.
- Besides, they will probably be in the organisation for years (at £400+/day), so it’s not like there is any immediate threat
Massive leap – do everything in phase 1
- SharePoint has loads of components, capabilities and features. So naturally the best way is to implement as many as possible in phase 1. Users will be fine with the amount of process change this requires.
- You don’t need any kind of maturity in processes or specific experience before enabling advanced features such as records management, so just turn it on.
- And don’t forget that every list and library should use version control, check in/out and approvals
Never, ever use partners.
- They are expensive, self serving
- It’s not like they really know that much and SharePoint is so simple you can certainly make a good job with your in house team. Many of your team have coded in .NET and know SQL, so that’s all there is to it really
- And because it’s so simple you won’t need to send anyone on a SharePoint Admin course
- If, for some strange reason, the business insists that they want to be able to do things without the implacable hand of IT then it’s best to wash your hands of the whole thing and give everyone design rights.
- Let it be entirely self governing
- Don’t encourage a governance or steering board. If they insist then you don’t actually need to be part of it.
- How long that takes
- Definitive versions
- File plans
- Database sizes
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