Why the Term Governance for SharePoint is Overhyped?

Sharepoint development can provide enormous facilities to enterprises with certain tools and solutions such as extranet, internet portals, business intelligence tools, corporate websites, document and file management systems, corporate search and social networks. In addition to this, SharePoint development can also facilitate enterprise or organization operations with process integration, system integration and work-flow automation. When you have a large organization to take care of, governance is something you can’t afford to ignore.

sharepoint site migration, sharepoint development, sharepoint deployment planning servicesThe term governance is being much talked about in the present age. Owing to its much-hyped popularity, a number of organizations have attempted implying SharePoint governance. However, most of the time it ends up as nothing more than a weak effort of writing a plan and storing it in the document library. Governance should never be considered just a one-time shot since it is generally an active process. With SharePoint extending deeper into diverse areas of an enterprise, the significance of existing governance is turning out to be greater. The odds of ownership and the position of SharePoint within an organization are quite common. It is to be remembered that governance can greatly affect adoption, in case the controls are too rigid. Governance relates to guidance, processes, consistent management, cohesive policies and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility. And SharePoint does governance at its best.

SharePoint is often a grassroots implementation to build customized as well as collaborative websites. One can easily develop websites with a quick SharePoint install, making it available to anyone be it in a team, department, committee, whoever wants to organize and collaborate around a specific set of information. It gives the capability to integrate itself with certain enterprise class applications such as ERP (enterprise resource planning) or CRM (customer relationship management) applications. Being a web based model, SharePoint developed applications provides security, central governance and management controls to the administrator.
The underlying principles of good governance are the same whether managing SharePoint or any other enterprise collaboration platform and those principles do not change whether that platform is on cloud, premises or might be on both. Governance is even more critical to hybrid environments to make collaboration a success due to its additional complexities but SharePoint makes it simpler.

With SharePoint, one can create a successful collaborative governance strategy for any SharePoint site migration project, across any platform and any set of tools. The fundamentals include managing the risks involved with the decisions one makes around its environment right from access controls, roles and responsibilities which leads to how secure is the data to data management such as document lifecycles, storage policies, information architecture compliance monitoring, metrics, and collaboration transparency. Everything is governed well.

7 steps of SharePoint Governance Plan which makes it more popular and much-hyped among its end users:

1. Executive Support: Rarely few initiatives move forward successfully without the support of someone from the leadership team — someone who will help you to clear out roadblocks and to push for necessary funding and resources. From a governance standpoint, executive sponsor may not be very involved in the operations of the team, but should be available when needed to review and approve difficult decisions, or to clarify corporate goals and direction.

2. End-User Involvement: One cannot plan a system that will be primarily for end users and then not have those end users involved. By involving end users give the best support and result to give a good feel to the websites with collaborative process. They are best known as SMEs subject matter experts, the owners of the data to be uploaded and the consumers of the data.

As decisions and compromises are the primary communication method to the rest of the company, sharing what is changing decisions taken is a must. They give best quality assurance to the decisions being made and it makes sure it meets its expectations.

3. A Consistent Change Management Model: The key to successful change management is to ensure that the process is communicated well often transparent and that employees know the priorities of their requests. The longer one takes to provide the features and capabilities end users need to be productive, the more difficult task is in keeping those users engaged. They will often find other collaborative solutions to get their work accomplished and rarely will those alternatives meet the organization’s long-term goals for supportability and scalability.

End users involved in governance body is vital, but one cannot assume that they will always communicate the right message at the right cadence. Make change management a priority and a well-documented process with clear outputs such as dashboards, reporting, process for resolving conflicts.

4. Using Your Established Project Methodology: Most organizations have an established project management methodology with documentation templates, inputs and outputs and defined stages. One should utilize this methodology as much as possible, as people are familiar with it and understand their roles within the system — their inputs, their ability to review and sign-off on designs and so forth.

5. Have a Shared Understanding of Your Business Requirements: A sound governance strategy requires some semblance of understanding and agreement to further benefit collaboration. Needs frequently change and it is obvious. It is all part of a healthy change management model which involves ongoing need to reaffirm alignment with business goals. At the end of the day, the goal of technology initiative is to increase and improve business capabilities and deploying best business needs. Always have a clear line of sight between the business need and technology solution.

6. Have Clearly Defined Metrics and Auditing Criteria: Designing the right metrics such as business requirements, may change over time, so one has to make it part of regular audits and strategy review to walk through current metrics. This ensures measuring the right data points and encouraging the right behaviors within the system. As new requirements are ratified, always review measurements to ensure that they still apply and capture the data by meeting the needs of the everyday business.

7. Continually Optimize: The Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach to organizational management processes that improves products and solutions through continuous feedback. It optimizes the system with rigorous feedback and make it usable and refined. The need to continually question the plan, improve upon it and iterate. Governance is not a static activity, therefore, one must include in governance planning a system of regular renewal. A structured approach will help to identify whether the technology is even a match – and help identify the gaps that need to be filled when it is not a perfect fit.

SharePoint plans infrastructure with the help of messaging tools and stakeholders assembled to address the requirements around structure and architecture, policies and standards, ownership and accountability, measurement and reporting, as well as ongoing efforts to automate and improve collaboration efforts within any organization. Therefore where there is governance SharePoint has to be there and it is popular for its flexible governance capabilities.

We provide SharePoint deployment planning services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Things to Keep in Mind during Lotus to SharePoint Migration

Lotus Notes, a prominent application development platform, became popular in the 90s. Most of these platforms helped in catering to the varying demands of the departments. The rapid development of the platforms led to the production of a variety of applications that were implemented without proper governance. Eventually, this led to the necessity of migrating from Lotus to SharePoint.

Now, the switching from Lotus Notes to SharePoint can be carried out using various paths. The precise ways and the process revolving round the migration needs to be considered to allow this to be successful. Here is a list of few ways of migration from Lotus applications to Microsoft SharePoint.

Things to Keep in Mind during Lotus to SharePoint Migration
Migration of Standard Lists:
This is the first point that needs to be taken into account. SharePoint, at the time when it was designed, came with several templates designed to execute precisely the same job as the numerous Lotus Notes’ mostly used standard application templates. The templates include task lists, calendars, discussion databases, contact lists and more. The basic functionality is same in spite of slight differences between the interfaces.

Migration of Custom Lists: Very much like the standard lists, the most essential thing to be considered while migrating from custom applications to custom lists is that of mapping all the database fields of the Notes to the suitable custom list columns.

Migration of Document Libraries: When it comes to Libraries, there are many things common between Lotus Notes and SharePoint with slight variations. The documents are actually binary files with several associated data properties. Considering this, the binary files attachments should be extracted and put in the library. This needs to be done during the Notes database migration.

Conversion of Microsoft Word: There is no denying the point that Microsoft Office, which is the dominant standard for creation of documents, integrates closely and effectively with the SharePoint libraries apart from being easy to handle. Now, the integration of Lotus Notes and SharePoint enables building of powerful applications. Additionally, users have the option of opening, editing and saving documents from the libraries without any hassles whatsoever.

Conversion of PDF: For businesses that have large amounts of Notes Databases incorporated with rich ext documents, PDF is the most suited platform for switching. Searching of PDFs in SharePoint requires installation of a free add-on from Adobe. PDF conversion leads to a satisfactory user experience, which may not, however, be as good as the one offered by Microsoft and SharePoint integration.

Conversion of InfoPath: InfoPath is considered an essential tool for switching for certain reasons. The applications might include complicated data structures, disabling them from getting stored in a list. The applications, on the other hand, encompass complex form designs along with ranges of difficult features.

Use of Document Sets: Document Sets come up as an essential way of storing several related files in a single and logical document group. This is like storing the entire thing in a single folder. In a document set, one can version, approve as well as secure the files while also presenting them in a usable and versatile interface.

Web Part Pages Migration: Web Part Pages Migration is the best option for exercising extra control over the manner in which the various elements in the web page are placed.

Migration of Publishing Pages: The reason behind this is precisely the same as Web Part Pages Migration. The only difference is that publishing pages require separate visual layout and styling from the authors of the content.

Migration of Wiki Pages: Creating a new page in SharePoint from the create menu leads to the wiki page. Now, wiki is the most popular page type when it comes to migrating Notes content. It is easily doable with proper migration tools.

Keeping these issues and their solutions in mind would assist you in getting a successful sharepoint site migration done from Lotus Notes to SharePoint.

We provide SharePoint porting services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.