It is no surprise to me when I go to visit a client who “wants to do SharePoint” to find out during some common themes during the initial assessment.
- They have already deployed a test environment
- Their test environment has now turned into their production environment
- Their user base has grown organically and without much guidance in structure
- They have blended permissions throughout their structures
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me when they talk about ALL the things they want SharePoint to do for the organization. I’m going to make some general statements here and hope that by keeping things general 1)no one will know I am talking specifically about their organization and 2) no one will get offended.
The reality is that these are not the exceptions, but rather the norm. There is not much education out about SharePoint in how to phase it into a company. When an organization thinks about having an intranet, they don’t always have a formal project wrapped around it. They don’t always have a Governance Plan, they almost never have a Taxonomy, and they don’t understand the differences between and intranet, team sites, and workspaces.
So, how do we tackle SharePoint? One site at a time. Start with a department, or a business process. One of the best things an organization can do when introducing a new technology is select a project that has a clearly defined scope, can reach a broad audience, and has a positive impact on the business. One example is an employee On Boarding process. Many different departments are involved when a new employee is hired. The HR department, accounting, IT, and others. This process is significantly different at every company, but still has commonalities across them all. Most employees need 1) a physical place to work 2) a phone (mobile or otherwise) 3) access to the building 4) a computer … you get the idea. So in most companies this process can be automated. This type of SharePoint site does not belong on an intranet, however it can be linked from an intranet so employees can go to the intranet to start the process. The reason this type of site does not belong on the intranet is because the permissions are going to be unique to the process.