I run a small SharePoint 3.0 implementation for my company, Bridge Consulting International. We also include SharePoint sites as part of our deliverable to clients, so that we can collaborate on projects and involve them in creating solutions. In my experience any implementation of a web site with a large number of diverse users requires a governance plan. An aggregation of sites can get widely out of control, and content can atrophy quickly if not monitored.
I have worked on governance plans for knowledge and learning functions and I firmly believe in the value of addressing these issue early in planning and deployment. This post by Mauro Cardarelli, which quotes Sue Hanley (www.susanhanley.com) is a very useful guide:
A few days ago I wrote a post on the need for a good governance plan in order to ensure the scalability of a SharePoint 2007 depoyment. Since then, a few folks have asked me about what a governance plan actually contains. I liken a governance plan to a disaster recovery document... the concept is simple but when you start to peal away the layers and actually document things it gets very big.
I know no better expert on the subject of governance plans than Sue Hanley (www.susanhanley.com). I've had the pleasure of working with Sue on client engagements and, most recently, putting our book together. She's taught me a lot about the required (up front) effort necessary to fully "control" the launch and growth of a portal (and that applies to all technologies). Here's a snippet from Sue on the definition and value of a governance plan. Do you have one?...
Any portal, of course, is only as good as the value of its underlying content. A strong governance framework is essential to ensure that a portal delivers worthwhile content to its users in an effective way. A governance framework is required to:
· Avoid portal, team site, and content "sprawl" (e.g., un-managed sites and content that is not periodically reviewed for accuracy and relevance) by defining a content and site review process.
· Ensure that content quality is maintained for the life of the portal by implementing content quality management policies.
· Consistently provide a high quality user experience by ensuring that the governance plan is followed.
· Establish clear decision making authority and escalation procedures so that policy violations are dealt with and conflicts are resolved on a timely basis.
· Ensure that the portal strategy is aligned with business objectives so that it continuously delivers business value.
A governance framework refers to the processes and roles that accomplish these governance goals. Some examples of the elements of MOSS governance include the following:
· Vision Statement: a statement that describes, at a high level, what you want to want to achieve with MOSS. For example, "the company portal will be the primary means of accessing line-of-business (LOB) data within our organization."
· Guiding Principles: organizational preferences supporting the vision. For example, "Corporate provides guidelines and optimal standards, but individual offices or departments may vary from the corporate guidelines if absolutely necessary from a business perspective."
· Policies: specific policies reflecting decisions about rules and standards for MOSS. Examples of policies could relate to file names. For example, "File names should be topical and descriptive. Generally, file names should not include dates or versions." Policies may also relate to who has access authority to design pages and author content as well as provide standards for content metadata.
· Roles and Responsibilities: specific documentation describing how each employee as an individual or as a member of a particular role or group is responsible for ensuring success of the MOSS solution.
· Procedures: instructions describing how to execute processes, including, for example, adding content, removing content, and adding metadata attributes to the corporate taxonomy.
Adoption of a new MOSS solution often involves a dramatic change in user behavior �� specifically, greater integration of technology into day-to-day work and increased collaboration. In more traditional IT solution deployments, the solution business logic changes relatively infrequently. In a MOSS solution, both the back end database and business logic change frequently and often, significantly. Moreover, both the business and market and technology are guaranteed to change during the lifetime of the MOSS solution. This implies that business stakeholders must be continuously engaged since MOSS's ability to meet user needs is critically dependent on areas such as data quality, content relevance and currency, and frequent updates, all of which are business user responsibilities. In addition, unmanaged MOSS implementations can suffer from unconstrained growth of team sites and content that is not managed or updated on a regular basis. Developing a clearly defined governance model for your MOSS solution is an absolute necessity to ensure a successful deployment.
Source: What is a SharePoint Governance Plan?
Originally published on Sun, 04 Mar 2007 11:29:00 GMT by Mauro