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An Example of Why It Makes Sense to Build a Governance Plan Prior to Embarking on a SharePoint Implementation

The AIIM® Organization publishes a short briefing paper, titled SharePoint for Collaboration: 3 Steps to Dynamic Co-Authoring. The briefing paper is authored by Bob Larrivee, AIIM Director/Industry Advisor, and Head of Research. The topic is a description of a computer process built with SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 to produce a co-authoring method for an organization. In case the reader is not familiar with this method, a co-authoring method enables team members to participate in the creation and editing of documents, even at the same time, while control is maintained over versioning.

This topic, and Mr. Larrivee’s presentation of it, is, perhaps, a good example of why organizations should not only carefully consider the benefits they can reasonably expect to realize from implementing SharePoint, but also respect the need to put together a formal governance plan before commencing action on it. Governance is not only a matter of establishing ownership of computer processes. It’s also about establishing which computer processes will be used for specific components of an overall automation solution built with SharePoint. As Mr. Larrivee notes, it makes more sense to look to Office 2010 (and, specifically, Word) for simultaneous document creation by multiple team members than it does to “thin[k] that since the document is on the shared site [in SharePoint 2010], everyone will go there, do what they have to do, and, voila, mission accomplished.”

He goes on to explain how Word 2010 permits “dynamic co-authoring simply by opening up a file to be edited in Word and PowerPoint 2010. If Lync or Office Communication Server are being used, then the online status of fellow authors is visible within the document and instant messaging can occur while the documents are being authored.” But if stakeholders in an implementation plan for SharePoint aren’t familiar with the better suitability of Word 2010 to the co-authoring requirement, they will end up mandating, perhaps, the wrong set of procedures. So a truly effective governance plan for our hypothetical SharePoint implementation would include a set of definitions as to how each component (meaning process) within the set of office automation procedures to be serviced by the SharePoint implementation are to be performed. If co-authoring is to be performed, then any/all documents will be written with Word, etc.

Of course, it’s a very short additional step from mandating how office automation procedures are to be performed, to establishing the LoB, or other group within the organization with ownership over this component of the plan. By working backwards, as we’ve described, from the actual computing procedure, to process ownership, stakeholders have a better chance of succeeding with their implementation plan.

SharePoint-Videos.com offers a video tutorial, authored by Mike Doane which talks about governance within the context of building a taxonomy for a SharePoint implementation. This tutorial is titled Managing Taxonomies In SharePoint 2010. Any subscriber to our site can access this video tutorial for unlimited viewing. The tutorial is also included in a set on Taxonomy, which is also authored by Mike Doane. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to explore your organization’s need to ensure a success for your SharePoint implementation plan.

Ira Michael Blonder

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