Developing a SharePoint Steering Committee
Within an enterprise SharePoint deployment, a key best practice to ensure your organization’s long-term SharePoint’s success, is the creation of a SharePoint Steering committee and engaging and\or including your organization’s key business and technology leaders to this committee. The SharePoint Steering Committee is the overall governing body of Microsoft SharePoint that ensures the technology is implemented so that it will fit the business and functional needs of the organization for years to come as well as to ensure the decisions that are made will not affect future upgrades of the technology.
I have been working with my senior architecture team at EPC Group on a series of white papers to provide to the SharePoint community through our SharePoint Consulting efforts and lessons learned.
First, determine who the key stakeholders are that should be involved in the SharePoint Steering committee. Initially, develop a somewhat generic forum to discuss the phase 1 and future phase 2 (phase 3, phase 4, etc.) issues as the committee will learn over time how best to work together and will identify internal committee roles that will work best within the organization. Typically, these are Business Leaders, IT Managers, Key Technology Stakeholders, Legal, and Records Management owners, etc.
Is is key that the SharePoint Services Team demo to the SharePoint Steering Committee any existing solutions that have been created in phase 1 and discuss the types of requests that are coming in to the SharePoint Services Team to help the Steering Committee understand the overall scale of the SharePoint, its growth and the types of business units within the organization making the requests. Ongoing demos should continue to be demoed to the SharePoint Steering Committee to reflect any updates or new projects.
SharePoint Steering Committee Best Practices
The SharePoint Steering committee is comprised of key stakeholders which oversees the strategic service direction and provides policy guidance.
The SharePoint Steering Committee will be comprised of a number of roles through the organization including the SharePoint Services Team Senior Management and SharePoint Stakeholders. SharePoint Stakeholders are defined as those in the business units which rely on the SharePoint Services as a part of their business operation. The committee will meet regularly with defined success criteria and measurable goals based on project definition, design and timeline.
The SharePoint Steering Committee should meet regularly to revisit structure, responsibilities and membership to ensure maximum effectiveness as well as potential scope changes for the organization to address changes in business conditions and technology.
The role of the SharePoint Steering Committee will be to:
- Aligning SharePoint initiatives to overall business goals.
- Set strategic and functional guidance to the SharePoint Platform \ Service(s) Team.
- Continually assess SharePoint project viability.
- Determine corporate standards.
- Approve all governance, standards and policies.
Note: With large enterprise organizations, other business units or subsidiaries worldwide may adopt some of their own regional governance policies (i.e. development, etc.) and the SharePoint Steering Committee will be responsible for taking these local considerations into the overall SharePoint 2010 Governance to ensure SharePoint governance stays up-to-date and relevant.
- Approve content publishing policies and assigning departmental and functional ownership.
- Approve SharePoint branding/usability/look and feel.
- Approve changes to the SharePoint Governance Document.
- Review any 3rd party SharePoint Software Vendor purchase requests to ensure that any large licensing purchases are taken into consideration at the enterprise level.
- Ensure the SharePoint training strategies continue to fit the needs of the organization.
SharePoint Steering Committee Roles
An overview of Best Practices responsibilities for the organization’s SharePoint Steering Committee are as follows:
|Role||Responsibilities and Tasks|
|SharePoint Steering Committee Chair Person||Responsible for Chairing the SharePoint Steering Committee and owning sign-offs and casting the overall vote or decision should any impasse occur.|
|SharePoint Platform or Services Owner||The overall platform or service owner of SharePoint who is responsible for all SharePoint Product and Technology Efforts. Leads the SharePoint Steering Committee meetings and is the manager of the SharePoint Services Team.|
|SharePoint Services Team Manager||The manager of the SharePoint Services team who is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the SharePoint Services team and delegating the incoming requests coming into the team from the different business units.|
|Records Management Representative||A key stakeholder for Records Management within the organization and ensures the technology and business decisions being made for the SharePoint System continue to follow the records management standards within the organization.|
|Development Team(s) Representative||A key stakeholder or manager representing the SharePoint development teams and providing input on the continued development and how best the custom SharePoint Solutions should be managed and added into the SharePoint platform (i.e. continuing the development of a SharePoint as a Service Concept I have written about in the past).|
|SharePoint Training Representative||A key stakeholder from training that will continue to monitor the ongoing activities of the SharePoint 2010 initiative while continuing to deliver training to the different audiences to meet the ongoing and possible changing needs and requirements of the SharePoint user base within the organization.|
|Help Desk or Service Desk Representative||A key stakeholder from your organization’s help desk \ service desk or I.T. support staff that will monitor the activities of SharePoint and report back to the committee on metrics regarding support calls, possible resolutions to reoccurring issues, and ensure they continue to be properly trained and proactive regarding the overall SharePoint Services within the organization.|
SharePoint Governance, as we all know is one of the major keys to any organization’s SharePoint long-term success, and implementing a SharePoint 2010 Steering Committee is something that EPC Group.net has helped to establish within hundreds of organizations throughout the North America.