How to make SharePoint projects a
Develop a careful and well Hints and Tips
Emphasise SIMPLE visual
Manage the training
carefully Many (and seemingly most) SharePoint projects in carried away. Changing the User Interface in
Select a partner who the NHS fail to an extent. The reasons for this are SharePoint is hard and a custom SharePoint theme
really understands the complex (and the subject of another article). On the is going to cost £10k+
technology and the NHS other hand we have gathered a sizable body of
knowledge about SharePoint itself and also what Select a partner who really understands the
Keep the permissions seems to make a difference to successful SharePoint technology and the NHS - and then trust them to
model simple projects. The list below aims to share some of the give you good advice, to know what they are talking
things we can think of. about and to guide you. Challenge them, test them,
Build a server
but trust them.
to the scale and value of DO list Keep the permissions model simple - In fact keep
Use standard functionality wherever possible – everything simple. Don’t build complex structures
Understand the This is a golden rule! Don't code when you can that require more management than the value they
technology configure. SharePoint is hugely powerful and deliver.
flexible, but far too many non-SharePoint experts
Accept that SharePoint is
think it is just a .NET application and immediately Build a server infrastructure appropriate to the
huge scale and value of the application – ensure that
write code to deliver functionality. In our
Invest in Admin courses experience every need in a phase 1 solution can be you either have or plan for resilience and make sure
met without coding; if you need code you probably you have a backup technology that can do item
Empower users and have your priorities wrong. Doing it the easy way level restore, not just farm level.
delegate will free up resources to spend on other elements
of the project and make the site easier to support Accept that SharePoint is huge – it’s not (just) a
Be prepared to take some
and to upgrade . document management or a team collaboration
risks with users
technology. No one person really understands it all
Monitor usage Develop a careful and well considered and that no one can be expected to quickly get up
Information Architecture – This is probably the to speed on it in order to make informed capability,
Develop a go live plan, specification and project decisions. Get help!
single hardest thing to do in a SharePoint project
with launch activities,
and is ABSOLUTLEY NOT a technical task. It will
involve deciding what site structure to have; Invest in Admin courses – a SharePoint
Identify the broad administrator is the key support person for a
what libraries and lists are needed and where to
stakeholder group and deployment; they can add sites, help users, manage
put them; what Content Types need creating and
establish a project board permissions and keep the platform healthy. Find
what the global and specific metadata
someone, or two if possible, get them properly
Understand what is requirements are. If you spend less than a week trained and keep them current. Do this before you
available for free on this then you either are receiving great advice go live.
or are likely to get into trouble down the line.
Use standard functionality
Empower users and delegate – don't be afraid to
wherever possible Understand the technology – develop your hand down rights to author content, create sites
baseline SharePoint knowledge so you know what it
Come up with a decent etc. to staff, it’s what SharePoint is for. Use version
does well, what is hard and what it won’t do. That control, publishing control and workflows to ensure
name for the site
way you’ll “sweat your investment” and won't the quality and policy adherence the organisation
waste time getting it to do things it doesn’t like. needs.
Emphasise SIMPLE visual design - The SharePoint Be prepared to take some risks with users – don't
User Interface might not be perfect, but it is just give them some authoring rights, let them have
effective and it rightly emphasises usability over MySites and permissions to do some interesting
visual appeal. Don’t let the design people get things.
growth settings that will make the server work flat
Monitor usage – take an active interest in how the out just to keep up with resizing.
suite is being used, what areas are hit most
frequently, what isn't being hit at all. Also look at Point search at many websites that are very
numbers of documents, storage consumption and large—Although it may be attractive to have your
search index size. Then take action on this – change intranet search results include information on the
stuff, move stuff, set quotas and buy hardware. NHS Information Centre, for example, note that
there is no way to limit the amount of data
Develop a go live plan, with launch activities, SharePoint Search catalogues – if you tell it to index
support – “Build it and they will come” just doesn’t Wikipedia it will do all million+ pages and then
work. Advertise, proselytise, expect, insist & even bring your server down.
About Cloud2 incentivise. Put vital information on the intranet
Cloud2 are a specialised IT (staff directory for example) and remove all other Build the spec without engaging with the delivery
solutions provider operating in sources of the same. Have someone to walk the team first - Use a consultative approach, take
the health sector. floor during go-live week to offer ideas and help. advice from people who know how to deliver
We are known for our high SharePoint projects and challenge them to guide
quality SharePoint projects. Identify the broad stakeholder group and establish you.
We also offer services relating a project board – You need the opinions and
to: support of various areas of the organisation during Assume that one person knows it all - SharePoint is
roll out and once the site goes live. You need to huge and no one knows it all. You need a team that
Management of paper
balance the different views that will emerge - knows the technology, Information Architecture
records, their conversion
Communications will have different expectations design, administration and related technologies.
to digital format and
and priorities from Governance—so get them
their associated storage,
discussing things early. Believe everything Microsoft (and their partners,
even us) say - Microsoft have an endearing habit of
Understand what is available for free – the taking all the toys out of the SharePoint toy box and
‘Fabulous 40’ templates, NHS CUI Enablers, tools on inviting you to play with them. That’s a lot of toys
websites for NHS
Codeplex and more are freely available. Find out and definitely more than you can enjoy playing with
organisations and arms
what other trusts have that they will share. all at once. We advise putting most of them back in
However also accept that some things are going to the box and picking the handful you want to play
A range of extended cost proper money and decide whether there is with to begin with.
collaboration , good business value in those items. Doing things
communication and the free or easy way should release resources to Assume you can do it in house - Most of the
information management take on the expensive and resource heavy projects that are delivered entirely in house have a
technologies and components. high degree of failure. Unless you happen to have a
solutions, including: OCS, decent sized team with direct SharePoint
Groove, IAG, N3 hosting, Give the site a name – a memorable name that experience chances are you won't know enough to
Remote working, etc. expresses the personality of it and the organisation do a god job. Please don't fall into the common trap
will pay back the hour or two invested – or run an in of giving the project to a .NET developer.
house competition as part of the marketing for the
What Next? new site. Use contractors without a strong knowledge
If you would like any further transfer mechanism in place
information on our SharePoint Manage the training carefully - don’t shirk on user Contractors tend to finish a project (eventually) and
solutions or any other services training, SharePoint is different to what they are then leave with all their knowledge intact plus some
used to. Look for a course that includes hints and of yours, but without leaving much of their
tips, workarounds etc. knowledge behind. Once they have gone it is very
Cloud2 Limited difficult to get the same person back. Make sure
66 Corby Park you have strong methodologies for knowledge
North Ferriby transfer in place and that you have good
East Yorkshire documentation on anything that is not standard
t. 01482 631912 The DON’T list SharePoint.
f. 01482 631912 Don’t: Give any individual absolute, full control of
m. 07735 052905 permissions - Inadvertently (or otherwise) users
Overwhelm the organisation and users with too
email@example.com with full permissions can do absolutely anything:
much, too soon - Develop a roadmap so
www.cloud2.co.uk Add too much content, Delete sites by mistake,
stakeholders can see that their needs will be met in
future even if not in phase1. Give other users inappropriate permissions (inc
Registered office: full control).
Roland House, Princes Ensure you have a process for allocating control,
Re-invent the wheel—Share / absorb learning with
Dock Street, Hull, East backed by a clear set of working principles
other trusts and partners, don't start by coding, do
Yorkshire, HU1 2LD
configure OOB capabilities.
Registered no 6742545
Accept the defaults when building the servers -
E.g. SQL Server defaults will result in auto-sizing and