I’ve had several customers ask me recently for SharePoint 2010 governance information. I consider this a very good sign. The message is finally getting out that a governance plan is absolutely essential to any SharePoint deployment. Especially as SharePoint has grown significantly in capabilities over the past two releases. This wasn’t always emphasized in the past with SharePoint, and poor governance has certainly led to several chaotic SharePoint deployments.
I fully expect the number of SharePoint 2010 governance content to explode in the next few months, which could make this post quickly out-of-date. But since I’ve had several customers ask me for this content in the past week, I thought a post was necessary. First, a quick look at what I mean when I refer to governance. I follow the definition used by The Burton Group: “governance uses people, process, technology, and process to define a service, resolve ambiguity, and mitigate conflict within an organization.” This is close, but not exactly, to the definition out on our TechNet site: “Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that guide, direct, and control how an organization's business divisions and IT teams cooperate to achieve business goals.” Close enough.
So with this in mind, what are the best SharePoint 2010 governance resources today? Here are my top three:
1. TechNet SharePoint 2010 Governance Site.
In my view, the best place to get started is the SharePoint 2010 Governance Site. This site provides a great overview of SharePoint governance, a deeper look at SharePoint 2010 governance features (focusing on the technology aspect of governance), a deeper look at sandbox solutions which is a big new feature area for SharePoint 2010, and finally a book excerpt focused on SharePoint 2010 governance. Plenty of information to get you started.
2. SharePoint 2007 Governance Resource Center
We don’t have a SharePoint 2010 governance resource center yet. But going back to the definition of governance, technology is only one aspect of the plan. Along this line of thinking a lot of the content found in the SharePoint 2007 governance resource center still applies to SharePoint 2010.
3. SharePoint Governance – 10 Steps to a Successful Deployment
This presentation/article created by Joel Oleson, a well-known SharePoint guru, is based on SharePoint 2007 but even with the new release it is incredibly relevant. Sure the containment hierarchy might be drawn differently with the introduction of service applications, but the key points remain the same. Governance at the center of your deployment planning is key. Here’s the top 10 list in article format as well as in slide format.
More to Come
As I said up above, I expect to see much more to come on this topic. Specifically on the new features and areas of SharePoint. For example, how do you create a governance plan on Visio Services? How about Access Services? PowerPivot? I’ve already reviewed several internal SharePoint 2010 MSIT showcase governance presentations that will hopefully find their way out to the main MSIT Showcase site for SharePoint soon. These decks highlight how we do SharePoint governance at Microsoft. There are already a few SharePoint 2010 related articles and videos on the showcase site. Stay tuned.
Now more than ever customers need to look at SharePoint differently. There are so many new features, capabilities, and options in SharePoint 2010. Organizations can not afford to deploy SharePoint without a plan, specifically a governance plan. Just look at all the out-of-the-box service applications. Each service application requires planning. And every organization is different in terms of what’s important to add value to their business. One size definitely does not fit all.
So my #1 recommendation in terms of governance is to view SharePoint as a platform that enables I.T. to deliver solutions that add value to the organization. Each solution is enabled through SharePoint services, or service applications. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pick a few significant pain points within your organization (lack of…. team collaboration, enterprise search, document management, social, easy-to-use web publishing, etc.) and define the services within SharePoint 2010 to deliver a well-governed solution. At the end of the day it’s not exactly rocket science. 🙂