Successful projects deliver the desired benefits and outcomes. We have been talking to various organisations and here are some lesson learned.

Usually the complaints range from  –  “my application runs very slowly”, “there are too many sites and we don’t know why and who is using it”, “not many people are using the application” & “it is a failed project”. These complains varies from governance, user adoption to solution architecture.

These are some of the lesson learned that we have gathered over the years based from our successfully implemented SharePoint based projects:

Don’t boil the ocean- all or nothing approach

SharePoint platform provides a huge amount of features and capabilities. In order to be digitalised quickly, we have seen organisations trying implement all the features at once. These features are great but they can be overwhelming for end users. If they are not rolled out in a managed and structured way, this can be a disaster in waiting.

In order to create a successful SharePoint platform in your company, you need to take it step-by-step approach.

We at Prometix always have a simple motto – “Don’t boil the ocean at once”

SharePoint is like a Swiss knife – you only turn on the feature that is required. This allows users to learn and improve. By prioritising and delivering these features in phased approach can certainly will certainly get some wins on the board. This will then allow greater success and user adoption.

When people see the results, they become enthusiastic to follow suit, then start working with the remaining departments. You will have a much better chance of user engagement and success.

Clearly understanding the limits and boundaries

Before you commence your commence your next SharePoint based project please take your time to understand its threshold limits & boundaries. This will surely stop head

Also clearly understand the differences between limits and boundaries:

  • Boundaries: These are hard limits that cannot be changed by you, your site owner, or your IT department. This is a strict limit set by Microsoft.
  • Thresholds limits: Both are suggested limits that can be changed or surpassed, but values put in place are recommended based on Microsoft testing. You want to break the limit? Take your chances on performance. The limits are based on the ability for SharePoint to perform a given action (e.g., you can upload a 2-GB file—SharePoint’s cool with it—but it takes a long time and you could experience a browser timeout error during it, making the limit a practical one, and not even one that SharePoint can always control) or limit performance issues on the user side of things (e.g., having tens of millions of files in one document library will affect how quickly that library loads whenever you open it).

Setup governance plan from DAY ONE

We have seen organisations leave governance to the end of the solution build. This can be a disaster – before you realise the content will 200Gig mark. Setting up policies, defining roles and responsibilities and processes to guide how your company is going to use SharePoint is crucial. Without doing so, you’re taking a huge risk.

Without a governance plan, the people in your organisation (e.g., end users, managers, developers, support staff, administration staff) will not have realistic expectations. Realistic expectations can only be set by defining the policies, people, and processes that will deliver SharePoint services.

So, if you don’t have a governance plan in place, dedicate your time and resources into formulating one, even if you’ve already implemented some SharePoint projects. (Make formulating a governance plan your next SharePoint project.)

Don’t take SharePoint project lightly

Project resourcing and  specialist skills forms one of the most important aspects of SharePoint project. A successful team has a good combination of technical resources, Business users. and specialist skills (PM, Change Manager, Ux Designer,  SharePoint specific skills and more)   SharePoint has a real potential for increasing end user productivity and offers array of features – collaboration, search, portal, business process automation, content management, and business intelligence—BI.

Unfortunately, most organisations don’t take the time to accurately estimate the cost of employees’ time when determining how much money a SharePoint project can save a company.

Horses for courses

Making a SharePoint project success has many facets. Some organisations rely completely on their internal IT staff who has some SharePoint knowledge to get projects over the line. This lack of knowledge can lead to a disaster.

For example, SharePoint is pretty easy to install. But if the administrator doesn’t understand the effect of version control, archiving, records management, and a whole lot more, then the site can come to a grinding halt within 12 months. Make sure you have the right resources to complete the SharePoint based projects.

 

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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