Q: Getting Started With Governance

I’ve been very busy and haven’t been pushing to get questions submitted, so I haven’t gotten a new question just yet. (if you build it, they will come, but only if you promote the heck out of it!).  I’ll be pushing to get more questoins submitted, but int the meantime, I am going to be going with questions asked at my recent SharePoint Group Therapy session at SharePoint Saturday Houston. 

Fortunately, this first question I am addressing was a topic I have been talking to other SharePoint professionals and non-SharePoint business people about.

How do we get started with SharePoint governance?– (Q at SPS Houston)

The SharePoint Therapist Says: The simplistic answer is “Start where you are.”

You are unlikely to be thinkinig about governance if you aren’t already experiencing a governance problem.  The first step is identifying the problems you are encountering, and who benefits when those problems are solved.  your pain points are your opportunites to improve things in your environment, and your starting point to governance. 

Create a framework that addresses these problems, and the business value will be obvious.  (But be sure to point it out anyway!)  This will give you leverage to get buy-in for things that are less obvious.

Your SharePoint implementation doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Your company already had policies and procedures for a lot of things that are impacted by SharePoint and that will impact SharePoint. 

For example, the social features may worry your HR or legal departments.  But they already have in place policies for acceptable behavior.  Simply incorporating them by reference will be enough to cover most of the abuses of the social features.

Another example is Service level Agreements (SLAs) that your IT department has for the services it provides to other departments in the company.  How are they structured?  What elements do they cover?

Find ways to utilize what you already have, both the positive and the negative.  These can be a great starting point, because in many ways the work has already been done for you. 

There are Sharepoint governance document templates available, and I recommend them as a way to prevent forgetting important elements of your plan, but I think you should start with what you already have and then build from there.

What about you – do you have any advice on how to get started?  Do you think I am full of it?  Weigh in with a comment below!

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5 thoughts on “Q: Getting Started With Governance

  1. Pingback: New Post at SharePointTherapist.com! « Working It Out

  2. Pingback: Jim Ehrenberg of SharePoint Pros

  3. Some of the advice you are offering would likely work best for a large organization. What about a small one with less than 4 IT/IM staff, less than 200 SharePoint users and no legal department?

      • Fill your boots. I’d like to see more articles, guidance in the SharePoint community for smaller organizations rather than “the enterprise”. Thanks! T

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