Most businesses believe that their management of SharePoint ends after the solution has been cascaded company-wide. A study made by Axceler, February this year tells that out of the 1,000 SharePoint administrators and business professionals who participated in their study, only 26% of them said that they have a well-defined enterprise strategy; while 51% of them say they don’t have any governance plan at all. What’s more surprising is that 42% of them don’t know how a governance plan could bring benefits to business.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to SharePoint governance implementation is the lack of knowledge in terms of its use and benefits. To shed light to this, let us explore SharePoint governance and pick a few guidelines that would enable an enterprise-grade implementation.
What is SharePoint governance?
SharePoint governance pertains to the rules and procedures on SharePoint’s use within the business. It also means having a matrix of responsibilities and access levels to all staff using it, to ensure its smooth utilization. Since SharePoint is a very powerful tool that can increase productivity and improve collaboration, its effective administration can bring overall operations to a more streamlined and optimized state.
SharePoint governance can help the business to:
- Make a smooth and quick deployment of SharePoint;
- Increase security arising from threats and non-compliance; and
- Make the most out of your technology investment.
SharePoint governance checklist
Each business must have a unique approach to governance. To have a successful SharePoint implementation, it must have the following elements:
- Specified roles and accountability – Have clearly defined roles on ownership and responsibility for improved coordination and governance.
- Have clear governance meanings – What governance means to the organization is a must. Together with this, specify the strategies and how it can be applied by users on daily operations.
- Proper alignment to corporate goals – SharePoint governance strategies must also be parallel to those of business’. Most companies fail because they did not map their plans down to SharePoint granularities.
- Strategies that empower the users – There is a need to align collaboration with governance plans. If these two are not joined effectively, businesses would not maximize SharePoint’s full potential.
- Protect business assets- Most governance strategies center on compliance and data retention. Only a few companies run a plan on usage and security audits. However, this is very important most especially if SharePoint is used to run sensitive and proprietary information.
What should be part of governance?
Successful SharePoint governance must also take into consideration the following areas as part of its overall plan:
- Information architecture – The architecture should generally tell how data in SharePoint is treated, archived and consumed to achieve business objectives. This should contain web pages, documents, lists and data.
- Hosting – In SharePoint Server 2010, features can be utilized better if a company has a governance plan. This should include an application architecture built on SharePoint Foundation 2010; back-up and restore plans; multi-tenancy; managed accounts; and use of Windows PowerShell.
- Customization plan– SharePoint can be customized to add more features and capabilities. However, this poses risks to the stability of the environment. In effect, a policy which takes into consideration a number of areas would enable the application to retain its robustness is necessary. A few of them could be: the use of approved customization tools, source code management, coding standards, testing and verification standards, required packaging and installation and more.
- Branding – A guide in customizing themes, design elements and the use of business imagery and fonts should also be a part of the governance plan. This would help in keeping consistency and communicating a common message to the users of the application.
- Training – Educating the users is a must for SharePoint. Its use may be challenging for some users and there are particular business rules and policies integrated to SharePoint that staff must know in order to use it effectively.
If your business is looking to implement its own governance strategy, our pool of experts at Portal Integrators can help you identify the most effective approach. Learn more here.