March 2007 Archives

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 ( 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 (  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

Untitled 1
Creating Team Innovation - Ten Principles Ten Principles for creating highest performing teams that produce continuous Team Innovation
Creating Team Innovation - Seven Traits Seven Characteristics of a high performance team that lead to steady and substantial Team Innovation
Creating Team Innovation - Effective Teams Examples of effective teams in an organization, what made them effective, what could have been done better
Five Principles for Successful Innovation Five Principles for creating successful business innovations that drive growth
Six Ways to Find Innovation How do you find innovation? Can you find innovation blind-folded or using the same lens? Six Ways to find innovation
Unblocking Creativity and Innovation Nine Processes to create at your organization to unblock creativity and drive innovation
Top Ten Creative Leadership Traits Top Ten characteristics and traits of Creative Leaders. Are you a creative leader?
How much Creativity is enough? How much creativity is enough? Is there an optimal level of creativity for a person to have?
Leadership Driving Innovation How are innovation and leadership linked? How do leaders lead in a way that generate Innovation? Top Ten leadership ideas to drive innovation
Is Innovation Cyclical? Avoiding the innovation cycle, and Four Common innovation blunders
Failures Driving Innovation How can failure drive innovation? Five Takeaways stimulation innovation
Co-Creation Driving Innovation Online engagement with customers creating new innovative solutions
Marketing Innovation and Leadership Marketing Innovation in Growth market, Emerging market, Existing market, Replacement market and Untapped market
The Disruptive Innovation Gap Innovation driven by creativity and excellence in products, operations, and distribution


BPM can become a real driver of innovaiton.  An article in (March 1, 2007) describes how process management can become a platform for innovation.  BPM provides a lens to look at the business and find inconsistencies in service delivery or operations.  Frequently the opportunities that BPM makes visible offer significant potential for profitable change.  By implementing BPM companies have, by default, implemented the required processes for monitoring and analyzing opportunities for innovative change.

"To foster innovation, you have to capture an and idea and put it to use. If you distribute the idea to that person's peers, they can put it into a development process." says Barry Smith, a systems advisorat Syncrude Canada Ltd.


Source: How business process management can drive innovation
Originally published on Fri, 02 Mar 2007 14:05:15 GMT

What is a business model?

 This is an important article that was published in a blog called

Business Model Design and Innovation


Update: In addition to this post check out the business model design template

The topic of business models has become important in today��s competitive landscape. The capacity to manage continuous change and constantly adapt to rapidly changing business environments by introducing new business ideas and concepts is nowadays indispensable for companies to thrive and survive. The business model concept is a particularly helpful unit of strategic analysis tailored to today's business environment.
But what actually is a business model?
Let us take a step back and really ask ourselves what we mean when we talk about business models. How do we define what a business model actually is and how could we describe the business model of our own company?
Under a model I understand a simplified description and representation of a complex real world object. A model describes the original in a way that we understand its essence without having to deal with all its characteristics and complexities. In the same line of thought we could define a business model as a simplified description of how a company does business without having to go into the complex details of all its strategy, processes, units, rules, hierarchies, workflows, and systems. However, now that we know that the business model is a simplified representation of how we do business, we still have to decide which elements to describe. A synthesis of literature shows that there are mainly 9 building blocks to help us describe a business model:

  1. The value proposition of what is offered to the market;
  2. The target customer segments addressed by the value proposition;
  3. The communication and distribution channels to reach customers and offer the value proposition;
  4. The relationships established with customers;
  5. The core capacities needed to make the business model possible;
  6. The configuration of activities to implement the business model;
  7. The partners and their motivations of coming together to make a business model happen;
  8. The revenue streams generated by the business model constituting the revenue model;
  9. The cost structure resulting of the business model.


A business model is a conceptual tool that contains a set of elements and their relationships and allows expressing the business logic of a specific firm. It is a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and of the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing, and delivering this value and relationship capital, to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams.

Origins of the term business model

The term business model became popular only in the late 90s, which, personally I thnk is related to the rapid erosion of prices in the IT and telecom industry. The roots of my assumption lie in Transaction Cost Economics (TCE). Because it became so cheap to process, store and share information across business units, companies and all the way to the customer many new ways of doing business became possible: Value chains were broken up and reconfigured; Innovative information-rich or -enriched products and services appeared; New distribution channels emerged; More customers were reached. Ultimately this lead to globalization, increased competition , but as described above it also led to more ways of doing business. In other words today there is a larger variety of what companies do, how they do it and for whom they do it...

For managers and executives this means that they have a whole new range of ways to design their businesses, which results in innovative and competing business models in the same industries. Before it used to be sufficient to say in what industry you where for somebody to understand what your company was doing because all players had the same business model. Today it is not sufficient to choose a lucrative industry, but you must design a competitive business model. In addition increased competition and rapid copying of successful business models forces all the players to continuously innovate their business model to gain and sustain a competitive edge.
Companies that thoroughly understand their business model and know how the building blocks relate to each other will be able to constantly rethink and redesign these blocks and their relationship to innovate before their business model is copied.

Business Models & Innovation
The term business model is also closely related to innovation. As I mentioned the business model concept is related to a whole new range of business design opportunities. There are examples of business model innovations in each of the 9 building blocks described. The most obvious is innovating in the value proposition. When mobile phones appeared in the market they offered a different value proposition than fixed line phones. In the early days of the Internet popular indexes like Yahoo! helped people find information on the Web. Regarding target customer segments, low-cost airlines like EasyJet have brought flying to the masses. Dell became really successful by exploring the web as a distribution channel. Gillette has made a fortune by establishing a continuous relationship with customers based on its disposable razors. Apple resurged based on its core capacity of bringing design to computers and electronic gadgets. Cisco became famous for its capacity of configuring activities in new and innovative supply chains. Intel thrived for its capacity to get partners to build on its processing platform. Google tapped in an innovative revenue streams by linking highly specific search results and content with text ads. Wal-Mart became dominant by its ability to slash cost throughout its business model.

Source: What is a business model?
Originally published on Mon, 06 Nov 2006 21:41:39 GMT by Alex Osterwalder

The internet provides many opportunities to learn about best business practices in your function or industry.  Here is an example of one such opportunity that I noticed recently:

Scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, 2007
As companies mature in their use of performance management, it becomes much more than simply reporting on where they’ve been. Progressive companies quickly expand beyond historic data gathering and traditional analysis to incorporate more thorough understanding of what factors truly drives performance. Leaders go the next step to anticipate the future, sensing and responding ongoing changes in operations to predict and plan future performance.

This one hour webcast  focuses on:

  • Emerging trends in financial performance management from industry research analysts
  • How to better predict and plan future performance
  • Best Practices for detailed revenue forecasting, expense planning, and profitability analysis
  • How to leverage best practices in light of emerging performance management trends.

See full Details.

Source: Best Practices in Financial Performance Management
Originally published on Thu, 01 Mar 2007 12:16:25 GMT by GovernanceFocus

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