Any enterprise content management (ECM) system (including solutions built on Microsoft’s SharePoint Server, on-premises, and/or SharePoint Online, Office 365) should include governance, if it is to be successful. Joe Shepley provides a succinct presentation of the importance of governance in an article titled The SharePoint Information Problem, which was published on the CMSWire website in April of 2014.
What I found most helpful about this article is how Shepley connects dysfunctional information management systems built with SharePoint, to what he calls a typical, broader enterprise malaise: “But when you start to dig deeper and ask why organizations have lacked the discipline to use SharePoint effectively, you quickly realize that the problems with SharePoint I’ve sketched here are only the tip of the iceberg. They’re merely symptomatic of a larger, far more troubling problem at these organizations: weak or nonexistent information governance at the enterprise level.”
This point rings true to me. How many larger communities of SharePoint users are supported by no more than one, or two specialists? What does this say about the organizations, themselves, and the effort they are investing in extracting full value from their investment in SharePoint?
Sadly enough, in my experience there is a real connection between the kind of low return on investment Shepley describes in his article (to paraphrase him, lots of SharePoint sites built on different server versions, with no consistent branding, and even less attention to document storage and management) and the smaller SharePoint support teams and, even further, low levels of commitment to end user training (which, in fact, would empower these users to do a better job at managing themselves through to success with day-to-day computing procedures required of them as SharePoint users).
So I applaud Joe Shepley for writing his article and add my approval of his point. In my experience, it is not possible to completely cure a dysfunctional computing system like the kind of SharePoint instances he presents, without some work on the bigger question of how a specific organization is approaching just how computing systems are to be consumed by its personnel.
I welcome any comments readers may have on this topic. So please contact me if you would like to further a discussion.
©2014, Ira Michael Blonder & Rehmani Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved