SharePoint Governance – Informational Operational and Administrational Policies

This is a series of 9 articles. Click here for the full TOC

Previously we've talked about Development and Customizations Policies. Now to the final set of policies that are related to information architecture and operations.

Informational Operational and Administrational Policies

This set of policies are the most important ones because they are going to be used on daily basis. It's all about deciding where to put the new coming sites, service offerings to your internal customer and more…

Policy Sample: Available Service Offerings

All companies usually servicing to the business four main types of sites that are fulfilling the business needs and a fourth one will be planned for future. These services offerings are:

  • Intranet Offering: the intranet is based on the SharePoint publishing portal and it contains information that concerns all employees. It may contain departmental sites; however, it is meant to have information, services, policies that are provided by this department to the rest of the company. This is not meant for document sharing or collaborations.
  • Team Sites Offering: the Team Sites are based on the SharePoint collaboration portal and it is meant to host a divisional and departmental sites. These sites would contain information that concerns the immediate group for collaboration and their own internal business.
  • Project Sites Offering: the Project Sites are based on the SharePoint collaboration portal and it is mean for cross group collaborations.
  • My Site Offering (currently disabled): the My Site offering is based on the SharePoint my site and it is meant for personal and 1:1 collaborations among employees.

With each offering, you need to define set of policies because depending on the offering the freedom varies. The figure below could articulate this idea:

Policy Sample: Sites Management

The site management is controlled in this governance model.

Example: Team Sites Offering - Site Management

For team sites management (Requesting a new Team Site, Deleting a Team Site, requesting a subsite creation and deletion a subsite),there is an automated solution that is ensuring the site owners get the required trainings, get the owner to agree on the licensing agreement between the owner and Your Company. Then, getting the management approval and finally actions to the administrator to do create/delete the site collections manually. For subsites creations and deletions, they will be logged and executed automatically.

Example: Intranet Site Offering - Site Management

The intranet would have one single instance and shall not have another site with same feature or same purpose. For subsites creations/deletions will be controlled by the Marketing Department.

Example: Project Sites offering – Site Management

The project site shall enable the self-service so that any group of people wants to create a project site, will click on a link and will automatically create a project site for them. The site will use the 60 days policy in order to disable the site if it didn't have any traffic or activities. The site deletion will not be automatic. Finally the subsite creation and deletions will be controlled by the project site owner.

Policy Sample: Site Quotas and Storage limits

Site quotas should create a balance between providing sufficient room for teams to store documents related to their project and helping the teams plan and respond to disk and database usage requirements. Short-term site quota considerations focus on ensuring the proper use of the site. Quotas prevent unmanaged or inappropriate site growth while enabling IT to quickly respond and guide end-users with their site usage.

Service Offering

Quota Warning Level 

Default Quota Size Limit

Project Sites 



Team Sites 

1.5 GB

2 GB

My Sites 

25 MB 

30 MB

Intranet Portal (publishing)

1.5 GB

2 GB


Policy Sample: Enterprise Site Collections Administrators Policy


Auditing of indexing logs; search and index tuning. 

Monitoring: Usage analysis and tuning. 

Policy creation and enforcement 

Determine content crawling of regional WSS sites (data sources and crawl schedules)

Assist with determining what data stays local in WSS and what data gets stored on the Intranet 

Integrate regional WSS locations into Intranet 

Enforcement of allowable / prohibited file type storage

Perform routine releases and upgrades to the application. 

Create site templates for various business scenarios. 

Responsible for modifying permissions for WSS sites.  


These policies are subject to the Customization Policies. For example, Collaboration infrastructure Administrators will adhere to the site provisioning policy as defined under Application Usage Policies when provisioning sites.

Coordinate with Collaboration infrastructure Strategy Team for policy creation and enforcement 

Cannot install custom web parts on the server without testing and approval. 

Cannot install other apps including custom web applications. This specifically includes SQL Server applications.

No customization of site templates, definitions, or navigation without consensus of Collaboration infrastructure Administrators. 


Other policies might be:

  • Policy: use the hybrid approach Active Directory Groups within SharePoint Groups
  • Policy: Obey the security principle limitation in SharePoint
  • Farm Administration and SQL Administrator Policy
  • Enterprise Site Collections Administrators Policy
  • Changing Passwords for Office SharePoint Server Accounts Policy
  • Policy: Keep it clean - Maintain databases in a healthy state
  • Policy: Keep SharePoint current with the latest updates
  • Policy: Be sure that you back up and truncate the log files
  • Restoring data: Test backups and have a standby environment available for service continuity
  • Policy: Monitor sites and content and perform clean-ups regularly
  • Policy: Enforce site and content size limits
  • Backup, disaster recovery and restore strategy (What should be backed-up and how)

Read from the beginning: SharePoint Governance – Table of Content

Comments (3)

  1. Mohammad Shamim, SABIC says:

    Thanks Wael for sharing this great info….Can you please share the complete documented on SharePoint Governance that you presented during MS Open Door, Riyadh event…


  2. Nilesh Mehta says:


    Very well done. I am working on a set of governance documents for SharePoint 2010 and following a similar approach. The biggest challenge that I am facing is how to document the various deployment options for the DTUP process, what kind of customizations fall in the DTUP category and how to roll them back. With SharePoint, there are just so many approaches, it is difficult to identify a single stream lined process…any thoughts on how a user can do a single click DTUP deployment?



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