SharePoint Support Policy
Contained within this document is an outline for how the organization intends to support SharePoint on
an ongoing basis.
Support Escalation Process for End Users
In our organization no one group is wholly responsible for SharePoint support.
When you have an issue or request follow the escalation process below to help ensure you get the
fastest and best response possible.
1. First take a look over our learning libraries and training material. Frequent questions, requests
and issues are also outlined with their responses and resolutions here.
2. If as a user you aren’t able to resolve the issue or deal with the request yourself the next step
would be to see if anyone in your team or department might know how to resolve/deal with
In fact someone in your department or team might very well be a Site Owner or Site
Administrator and may have taken part in SharePoint training that could help.
3. Sometimes the issue is too difficult to deal with and it requires greater SharePoint expertise. If
this is the case please submit your request to the Help Desk (or Service Desk) and make certain
to include as much information as possible including screenshots, video captures of your screen,
the date and time any issue was encountered, and the steps you took.
4. The Help Desk (or service desk) will evaluate your request and determine the best way to
resolve the issue. Often the Help Desk will categorize and determine whether your issue or
request relates to security, the client/server environment or SharePoint ensuring you have the
expertise necessary to get a prompt and effective resolution.
5. For those rare situations when our internal teams cannot resolve an issue we will reach out to
our external partners, vendors and consultants to get the appropriate resolution as fast as
Simplified Support Diagram
What follows is a simplified diagram that outlines the levels of support in our organization.
Tactical Support Team
Complex Support Flow Diagram (Example)
What follows a more advanced diagram outlining a possible flow for support.
Tier 1 End Users
Tier 2 Site Owner
Tier 3 Site Collection
Tier 4 Help Desk
Tier 5 Security Environment
Consultants, Microsoft Third Party Consultative
While we have outlined a very general Support policy from an end user approach there is a bit more
complexity at certain layers.
Help Desk/Service Desk Level
There are typically two approaches for this level depending on the size of the organization.
The first approach is one where the Help Desk acts as a categorization, validation, and coordination
layer. This means that as requests come in Help Desk is trained to categorize the request so that the
SharePoint teams are alerted and able to respond appropriately.
An alternative to the first approach might be where Help Desk staff also train in SharePoint issue
resolution. Not only can they catalog and categorize requests but they are also able to resolve many of
the simple or more common SharePoint end user requests.
What follows is a brief table outlining a possible breakdown for how you might map out the
responsibilities, capabilities and metrics for this group (using the latter example).
Description Responsibilities Key Metrics
These individuals typically Increases site collection quotas. Average Time To Resolution
have SharePoint Products
and Technology Changes site collection ownership. # of Tickets open
experience. Often they
Takes all requests and escalations # of Tickets closed
receive advanced training
referred from the forums.
before they can assist end % of Tickets closed within SLA
users. Creates and manages the FAQ/end- (72 hrs service level agreement
user knowledge base. for example)
It is important for them to
have an in-depth Maintains and supports end-user # of Tickets closed beyond SLA
understanding of site training materials.
% of Tickets closed - User
settings and list settings. Is aware and often involved in Response Dissatisfied
In order for this group to planned downtime activities.
% of Tickets closed - Satisfied
appropriately support the Meets with the Tier 2 team to ask
business they will require % of Tickets closed - Highly
questions and share knowledge.
read access across the Satisfied
environment that they Facilitates site creation.
# and % of Tickets escalated
support. Often this is Resolves site lockout.
provided through Web
application policies. Access and permissions related
This group should not have
access to Central Account management and
Administration. password resets.
SharePoint Administrator Level
While the hardware and network are provided by other infrastructure teams, the Tactical Operations
team ultimately owns the SharePoint environment. They are responsible for outages and isolating
systemic issues. They take client escalations which relate to server issues including, but not limited to
performance, site or service outages, restores, and server errors.
Description Responsibilities Key Metrics
Exclusive SharePoint Server Installation Uptime %
access to production (not
Upgrade Planned downtime utilized
resources and backup Maintenance: hotfixes, service New Web Applications added
Number of Databases added
Use Central Administration Backup/restore – using Recovery
Backup SLA (# of failed
and PowerShell. Manager to recover items, but
another Tier 2 Operations Backup
Resolve any issues that Time to Restore
team does the Server backups (SQL
require access to the farm
Server team does the SQL Server List of Operational Projects in
through Terminal Server or
Disaster recovery solutions - may be
another farm or virtual solution
Optional - Cluster and Load
Security and Authorization (DC
SQL Server Support and
Maintenance (This ultimately may
be outsourced to SQL Server team)
Database Consistency and
Disk Growth management
Disk IO monitoring
Virtualization Support (may
ultimately may be outsourced to
Dev environment support
Test environment support
Staging or Pre-Production
Deployment of solutions and
features (Requires a SharePoint
solutions file with a file type of
SharePoint Architect/Engineering Team with extensive SharePoint Products and Technologies
experience, including those involved in the design and architecture of the system, provide Tier 3
support. This level of support is expected to comprise approximately 1% of systemic support calls.
Description Responsibilities Key Metrics
Exclusive SharePoint Planning for high availability # of current systemic issues
Server access to production # of Site Collections Managed
Upgrade validation and steps
(not including Datacenter
resources and backup Storage management TB of Storage Managed
operations). Numbers of Servers Managed
Performance management over time
Use Central Administration Growth per month
and Power Shell.
Resolve issues that require
access to the farm, through Oversight on change management Onboarded
Terminal Server or other Unique Users
ITIL and MOF implementation
(Change Management processes) Number of New Users Added
with the PMO (Project Management
Database management plans and
Establishes Operations processes
and best practices
Manages Cluster solutions
Virtualization and imaging solutions
and testing (may be outsourced)
Reviewing usage reports and
making recommendations for scale
up / scale out
Firewall and security management
Optimization plans and techniques
Meeting with the dev teams to
ensure best practices
Investigating list scale, database
scale, and site and site collection
scale issues, and providing
guidance and best practices
How is support categorized and cataloged?
There are a number of ways in which we categorize SharePoint support issues and requests as they
come in to the Service Desk. The primary categories we use can be found below:
o Permission Denied
Page With Explanation
o Could Not Find Information
o SharePoint Server Error
o How To/How Do I
Related Application Request
o Word 2010 Error
o Excel 2010 Error
o InfoPath 2010 Error
o Access 2010 Error
o Project 2010 Error
o Visio 2010 Error
o PowerPoint 2010 Error
o Outlook 2010 Error
o SharePoint Workspace Error
o SharePoint Designer 2010 Error
o Internet Explorer Error
Available Support Resources
Within our organization there are quite a few support resources available to employees. What follows is
an outline and listing of these support resources and where appropriate how to get access to them.
Books and Manuals
Microsoft Help and How To
I Use SharePoint
Cheat Sheets/Job Aids
One on One