The Great Debate: Your Turn

One thing that I can see that Tiffany didn’t mention in favor of her approach, is that when you give the compliant children the cool new toys, and keep them out of the hands of the resistant ones, eventually the resistant ones will want to play with th cool new toys too, because they keep hearing from everyone else how they are missing out.

Tiffany and I do recognize that we may not be talking about the same people. Is it possible that there are different sorts of squeaky wheels? Ones that are laggards, who are forever asking “Who moved my cheese?”, and others that have legitimate issues that need to be addressed?

It is your turn to weigh in on the debate.

What is your experience? Am I off the mark? Is my example an edge case? Is Tiffany’s point of view more valid in your experience? Or should you indeed keep your “enemies” closer? Are there different kinds of squeaky wheels? If so, how can you tell them apart?

Are we both missing the point?

Weigh in below!
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Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Your Enemies Far Far Away

Guest Post by Tiffany Songvilay

I had a great time in Jim Adcock’s SharePoint Group Therapy governance session at SharePoint Saturday Houston. He tells a story about how he embraced a squeaky wheel and turned her into one of the biggest fans of the project. On an Enterprise scale, I disagree with this approach.
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SharePoint Saturday Houston Throwdown: Whither the Squeaky Wheel?

One of my favorite things about my SharePoint Group Therapy governance session is when someone disagrees with me.

Unlike most sessions, where the presenter stands up in front of an audience and provides little room for disagreement, my session encourages a free-flowing discussion among the audience as well as questions directed to me, and this allows plenty of room for disagreement.

As long as all sides are unwilling to become entrenched in their point of view, out of that disagreement can come a deeper understanding of the issues and the options for resolving them.

Case in point, this past weekend’s SharePoint Saturday Houston, which I felt was the best version of my session I have ever had. Sitting in the back row, Tiffany Songvilay had a few choice words when I suggested that you invite some of your more difficult users into your governance committee, a tactic I have suggested before.

For the benefit of those who were unable to attend the event, I present to you the Great Debate: What to do about squeaky wheels?

Once you have read both sides, it will be your turn to weigh in on the debate!

Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Your Enemies Closer, by Jim Adcock
Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Your Enemies Far Far Away, guest post by Tiffany Songvilay
Your Turn!

Comments on this post are turned off. Go to Your Turn to weigh in on the debate!

Q: Governance for Smaller Organizations

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? – T.

In a small organization, it may seem like you don’t need as much governance. You surely don’t need all of the sample governance plan by Joel Oleson, as it lays out a potential plan for a multi-national organization with multiple SharePoint administration roles, and a team of developers.

But, on a smaller scale at least, the same considerations need to be addressed. Who is responsible for what? If you don’t have a separate Database Administrator (for example), then it is possible that the SharePoint Administrator would be responsible for backing up the database, and restoring it in the event of a system failure.  Or maybe it is the Network Administrator, depending on how roles are divided.  In any case, formalizing the roles of who is responsible for what is one of the basic tasks of defining your governance plan, regardless of the size of the organization.
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Q: They Want SharePoint To Solve All of Their Problems

I got a call from a friend who was working with a client.

The client wanted him to set up SharePoint.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything more specific than that as a requirement.  He got the impression from the client that they expected SharePoint to just work, to do things just by virtue of having been installed, with little thought to the fact that configuration would be required for SharePoint to actually do much of anything, and that there would be ongoing need for administration.  They had so far been dismissive of his attempts to convince them that “Just set it up” wasn’t an adequate strategy for deploying SharePoint successfully.

His question –

How can I help them understand that what they are asking for is likely to end in failure, if they don’t take configuration and ongoing administration into consideration?

I was able to provide a few pieces of advice on approaches to getting the needed information:

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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.” Continue reading

Q: Ongoing Role for Governance Committee?

We’re in the early stages of defining our governance plan.  We think we have identified the people we would like to have help define our strategy and we have asked them to participate in our governance committee.  We have gotten many questions about how large a time commitment this will be.  Obviously, there will be much work defining the plan, but what about the ongoing commitment?  What is the role for the committee once the governance plan has been created? – P.

The SharePoint Therapist Says: Well, a lot of that is going to depend on the specifics of your governance plan.  For instance, Continue reading