Where do you begin with SharePoint?

Christian Buckley

Christian is a 7-time Office Servers and Services MVP, internationally-recognized technology evangelist and collaboration expert, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • “Track the KPIs around their performance increases, measure it, report on it, and demonstrate ROI back to your executive team.”
    Such an important bit that I bet is overlooked whenever SP is dropped in to a company.
    It’s there to improve productivity and/or solve a business problem. You need to do it does that. And that’s how you do it 🙂

  • Christian, I totally appreciate the “high value/high leverage” play and you know how I feel about measurement, but I think there are other factors that are overlooked or at least undersold in this analysis.
    Availability of resources and receptiveness of users are critical success factors as well, and they are frequently inversely proportional to the degree of business-criticality of the solution. If we intend to deploy SharePoint to solve critical business problems in measurable ways, I think we need to add this dimension to our decision-making criteria. You could argue that it’s already baked into ROI, but I rarely see it explicitly mentioned/discussed in a planning process or risk analysis.
    Frequently, when we do, what appears to be the the second- or third most urgently needed solution (e.g., HR self-service forms library) becomes a much more viable “win” because of a lack of ability of business stakeholders on the higher-leverage (automation of a new project initation process, for example, when utilization is 90% and everyone’s maxed out doing their “day job”).
    I like your premise a lot, just wanted to add that oft-overlooked dimension…

  • Jim, rarely is SharePoint measured on par with many other enterprise systems — but it should be. Analytics are the key to understanding the value being achieved, and helping inform teams of where the next investments should be made.

  • Mike, I completely agree with your point. I was attempting to make a point by focusing on one aspect of a generic deployment, but you’re right — resources and receptiveness are huge factors of moving forward with any plan. But I think that also kind of goes to my larger point about having a plan, and building with purpose rather than going live with “vanilla SharePoint”. As i mentioned in a tweet discussion today, it’s the difference between “deploying SharePoint” and “solving a business problem with SharePoint.” There’s a difference.
    There’s nothing wrong with having the scope of ‘get SharePoint up and running’ because it has inherent value, even without specific business solutions in mind in the near-term. You know it will add value, and some organizations just need to get up and running so that they can figure out what to do next. In my experience, however, the more successful deployments are those who go into it with a plan to solve specific business issues. And if they’ve done their planning correctly, they’ve taken into consideration the resource and cultural (receptiveness) issues.