Preparing for SharePoint

Ideally, you’ve already made your business case, and you’ve created a list of projects and prioritized how you want to proceed. Many planning tasks are involved in implementing SharePoint. When you start planning your project, it’s helpful to consider the many roles that are required to implement SharePoint:

  • Technical people are responsible for installing SharePoint on the servers and monitoring its health. This also includes database administrators who create databases and schedule backups.
  • Solution builders are people with any kind of background who are responsible for using technology to solve business problems. Sometimes solution builders belong to IT staff, but they may also be power users. Solution builders may use tools like SharePoint Designer to customize solutions.
  • Developers write code for extending SharePoint or creating custom solutions.
  • Designers are responsible for SharePoint’s look and feel. This could be as simple as changing the color scheme to completely branding SharePoint to be consistent with internal policy.
  • Subject matter experts are most often your business personnel who understand how your business functions. You may also need to bring in specialized experts to assist with certain aspects of your project.

There are many additional roles. Some are part and parcel to projects. For example, you obviously need a project manager. It’s probably also a good idea to have a project champion and sponsor to help sell the project throughout your organization.

Consider involving Legal to make sure you cover all your bases as it relates to privacy and terms-of-use agreements. I like to think of a SharePoint project as using three distinct types of planning.

Each of the following types maps to a group of users who perform the planning:

  • Technical people must plan your server topology and server farm.
  • Subject matter experts and solution builders are responsible for identifying the kind of content that must be stored, displayed, and managed and coming up with the appropriate site hierarchy and building blocks. Designers are also involved to help manage the look and feel.
  • Solution builders and software developers are responsible for planning ways to use SharePoint as an application platform.