SharePoint Governance has become bigger than it actually has to be. It can almost be compared to the burden of carrying the heavy iron on your shoulder.

When starting your SharePoint project, you will be hearing about how SharePoint Governance Plan is crucial for success, but no one tells you how to build it. While Microsoft has released a lot of help on the matter but I think it’s important to have a real world example and explanations for organisations to develop their own plan of action. So I decided to write this series of articles to help you build this SharePoint Governance Plan without over complicating things.

In this 5 part series we will discuss practical ways of developing your Governance plan to support your implementation and support SharePoint environments/applications on an ongoing basis allowing to achieve the benefits and desired outcomes.

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

So what is SharePoint governance plan? The SharePoint Governance Plan is a guidebook outlining the administration, maintenance, and support plan for your SharePoint environments. It identifies lines of ownership for both business and technical teams, defining who is responsible for what areas of the system. Furthermore it establishes rules for appropriate usage of the SharePoint environments.

Following are some of the areas that are included as part of the governance plan:

  • Logical Architecture
  • Site Request
  • Site Template
  • Site Management and Control
  • Site Templates definition
  • Site Retention and Deletion policies
  • User Agreement
  • Security Management
  • General Guidelines
  • Social Policies
  • Multilingual Policies
  • Support Model
  • Working Environments
  • Object Naming Conventions
  • Backup Schedule
  • Communication and Training Plan

An effective governance plan anticipates the needs and goals of your organisation’s business divisions and IT teams. Because every enterprise is unique, we recommend that you tailor a governance plan to your environment by using the following steps.

Step 1 – Determine initial principles and goals.   The governance committee should develop a governance vision, policies, and standards that can be measured to track compliance and to quantify the benefit to your organization. For example, your plan should identify service delivery requirements for both technical and business aspects of your SharePoint deployment.

Step 2 – Classify your business information.   Organise your information according to an existing taxonomy, or create a custom taxonomy that includes all the information that supports your business solution. After your information is organised, design an information architecture to manage it. Then, determine the most appropriate IT services to support it.

Step 3 – Develop an education strategy.   The human element is, after the governance plan, the most important ingredient in the success or failure of a SharePoint deployment. A comprehensive training plan should show how to use SharePoint according to the standards and practices that you are implementing and explain why those standards and practices are important. Your plan should cover the kinds of training required for specific user groups and describe appropriate training tools. For example, your IT department might maintain a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page about its SharePoint service offerings, or your business division might provide online training that shows how to set up and use a new document management process.

Step 4 – Develop an ongoing plan.   Successful governance is ongoing. The governance team (with business & technical users) should meet regularly to review new requirements in the governance plan, revaluate and adjust governance principles, and resolve conflicts among business divisions for IT resources. This should provide regular reports to its executive sponsors to promote accountability and to help enforce compliance across your organisation.

Although this process seems complicated, its goals are to increase the return on your investment in SharePoint, take full advantage of the usefulness of your SharePoint solution, and improve the productivity of your organisation.

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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