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Which Came First, the SharePoint Implementation or the Governance?

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Well, it may not be a question as old as time like its chicken and egg counterpart, but this is an important topic to consider whether you are embarking on a new SharePoint implementation or wondering how your SharePoint project went terribly wrong.

Before we dive into the discussion of where governance belongs in your SharePoint implementation project, let’s clarify what we mean by governance.  According to an article on TechNet, Microsoft defines governance as “the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that guide, direct, and control how an organization’s business divisions and IT teams cooperate to achieve business goals.”

In his recent article on SharePoint Reviews, strategic product manager for SharePoint Solutions at Quest Software, Chris McNulty points out that most organizations only consider establishing governance for SharePoint after an implementation has gone awry.  He likens this approach to allowing your car to run off the road before grabbing the steering wheel.

Instead, McNulty recommends the following steps for establishing governance as an integral part of the implementation process:

  • Develop consensus about business goals
  • Map goals to SharePoint policy and practice
  • Roll out SharePoint guided by policy and procedure
  • Maintain control and guide users as adoption takes off

However, if you have already implemented SharePoint without firmly established governance and find yourself in a mess, all is not lost.  Governance cannot and should not end with the implementation project.  It should be an ongoing process so that the governance you put in place continues to guide and help users as your business needs grow and change.  Not only do you need to continually evolve your SharePoint governance for the sake of your company, but you also need to make adjustments as SharePoint itself changes.  Establishing governance can help you confidently deploy the full functionality of SharePoint – including newer functionality like social networking and custom development – with confidence and security.

A qualified SharePoint implementation partner can help you establish governance that makes sense for your business and roll out SharePoint according to that governance to ensure a successful implementation and higher, long-term user adoption. Contact Socius today to discuss your SharePoint governance needs.

By Socius, an Ohio SharePoint Partner

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