Microsoft SharePoint Governance Areas
In my last blog, I discussed why it’s important to establish a ‘Governance Plan’ for your Microsoft SharePoint implementation. Without some controls and guidelines for proper usage, it can quickly degenerate into a disorganized, difficult-to-use, non-solution.
So, how do you approach developing a Governance Plan for your Microsoft SharePoint environment? It’s helpful to start by breaking it down into several separate, but related ‘Governance Areas’:
- Information Governance
- Applications Governance
- Operations Governance
When developing a SharePoint Governance plan method and sequence is important. There is a logical order to the list of Governance Areas, with each building upon the decisions made and guidelines developed in the previous area.
Information Governance primarily covers information architecture and security, which defines the navigation and site structure of your SharePoint environment, along with access controls and accountability. This is the foundation upon which SharePoint success is built- ensuring that information is well-organized, well-managed and easy to find is of upmost importance.
Applications Governance deals with things like visual design, customization and automation. SharePoint’s out-of-the-box usability is good, but some well thought-out enhancements to its aesthetics and user experience can really inspire people to embrace and adopt it more fully. Actively managing those customizations and their deployment ensures a stable and predictable environment for end users.
Operations Governance includes all of the other things that have to happen ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure the availability and integrity of the SharePoint environment. Disaster recovery, monitoring, database maintenance and many other aspects of the deployment should be defined and documented, based on the ‘best practices’ and the particular needs of your organization.
As part of a comprehensive ‘Governance Plan’, each of the above ‘Governance Areas’ is important to consider carefully. There are a variety of key decisions to be made in each area, and it’s critical to make well-informed choices and document the resulting guidelines and processes in a way that can be leveraged by all users of the solution. When everyone clearly understands what they should (and shouldn’t) do in SharePoint, success is much easier to achieve and real business value follows.