Archive for April, 2010

April 21, 2010

SharePoint Governance – Overview

It’s been a long time coming and I finally thought I’d spend the time to focus on SharePoint Governance.  The explosion of this platform…and it is indeed a platform…has been a challenge for many organizations.    High growth, inability to audit access, outdated content, lack of policies are all issues that many organizations have encountered with SharePoint.   As a result, there are security risks, duplication of effort and resources, silos of information, lack of business continuity planning due to the absence or enforcement of proper governance around SharePoint.  And most of all I simply hear that users can’t find anything in SharePoint!

To date, I have yet to see a really good set of guidelines or framework around governance and SharePoint.  There’s some material out there but it just doesn’t encompass what it takes to deploy, manage, market, and govern SharePoint in its entirety — and simply miss the point of governance.   So I’m going to dedicate the next few blog entries to the topic of SharePoint governance.

What is governance anyway?    I’m not sure there is a one exact definition of the term governance in relation to SharePoint.   SharePointJoel had a good working definition of governance which I’ll paraphrase and add my own spin to to it:

Governance uses people, process, technology, and policies to define a service, policies, roles, responsibilities, resolve ambiguity, and mitigate conflict within an organization.  It’s about balancing IT control & security with user adoption and empowerment.



Ultimately, good governance will help prevent organizations from creating an information mess … which is what many have today.  And setting up and enforcing proper SharePoint governance is intended to maximize and optimize the investment in SharePoint by setting a foundation for:

1) User adoption and empowerment

2) Ensuring the management, integrity, findability, security, confidentiality, and availability of information as an organizational asset

3) Proper usage of the application

When I approach a conversation about governance of SharePoint with clients, I break it down into four categories – each of which I’ll define in more detail in future blog entries.  The reason I break it up this way is because you can manage this thing called governance more easily and different resources might be required for each category.

1) Strategy – focusing on the executive sponsorship, business side, metrics

2) Policy – organizational policies around use, information, legal, compliance, etc…

3) Operational – from support, to creation and disposition of sites and users

4) Technical – from storage, network architecture, to information architecture

Stay tuned for more on governance soon…..and please follow me on Twitter…


Updated – reference follow up posts:

Top Ten Reasons Why Governance is Like Sex:

AIIM Webinar on Governance:

Ultimate Guide to SharePoint Governance:

How To Staff Your SharePoint Project: