It’s been awhile since I posted on this series. My last entry was on how standard templates can help you to get more from SharePoint. This time, we’ll look at the benefits of developing an excellent governance strategy.
Governance for SharePoint is worth a whole white paper in and of itself, and maybe even a whole book! So we don’t expect to address all of the key points of governance here, suffice to wave the flag that getting your governance strategy and approach in place before going too far with SharePoint is really important. Here’s why: on the social side, SharePoint can fundamentally re-wire the way that people get their work done and thus what is expected of them in order to carry out their work. Thus you have tremendous power over the way that people work. And on the technology side, there are a raft of decisions that you have to make that have deep technical consequences and implications for your business. A governance strategy ensures that this power is wielded well and for the good of the business.
Some examples the technology decisions are:
- The number and variation of content types to use.
- The metadata to put in place, and which metadata values to mandate vs which are optional.
- The variation permitted in site templates, as we’ve discussed above.
- The degree of custom development that will be embraced.
- The willingness of the firm to customize templates that come from Microsoft.
A governance strategy puts in place the checks-and-balances to ensure that decisions of this nature, in addition to a host of decisions about appropriate use and adoption of SharePoint, are made with due process. The benefit of a great governance strategy is that it launches SharePoint on a trajectory for success, by lining up all of the social and technical factors required to make SharePoint work at a social and technology level.
There are many resources available on governance for SharePoint, and a browse or search of the Internet will bring a plethora to light. Three resources of note as you start on your governance journey with SharePoint are:
- Microsoft’s SharePoint governance web site
- Chapter 12 of my book Seamless Teamwork, which addresses the thinking involved in scaling the Seamless Teamwork approach to the enterprise. Chapter 12 was co-authored with Grant Margison of Information Leadership; and
- The book Flapping to Flying, co-authored by Grant Margison and Sarah Heal of Information Leadership in New Zealand.