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Manage a SharePoint Customization & Development Team

What you need to know to optimize SharePoint functionality & usability.

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  • Mike Gritz,City of Las Vegas
  • Bob Price, City of Windsor, Canada
  • Mitchell Sharp, AgreeYa Solutions, Inc.
  • Geoff Peat, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Jeffrey Allred, Trident Microsystems, Inc.
  • Scott Stanley, Calgary Public Library

Your Challenge

  • Businesses have made the decision to invest in SharePoint, and have typically tasked IT with deployment and basic administration of the implementation. However, IT is not an expert in business process and doesn’t have the time to build custom processes or even basic administration, so businesses find themselves struggling with an out-of-the-box solution that falls short of expectations.
  • For businesses that want to fully utilize the collaborative functions, the workflows and processes that SharePoint promises, they must enter into customization and development projects. Assuming that any of their developers or outsourced development partners can get the job done, they enter into projects that ultimately fail or take enormous amounts of time to complete. These projects disappoint expectations and leave development teams labeled as the bad guys.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • SharePoint 2010 includes built-in functionality that allows organizations to create effective business solutions that go beyond document repository, even without development effort, provided staff follow best practices.
  • Having a SharePoint expert is more important than having a development team. But with both involved, SharePoint can become a primary development platform and the main vehicle for delivering solutions to the business.
  • Training end users how to use customized SharePoint solutions (i.e. going beyond training on SharePoint features) is greatly undervalued, and has contributed to most organizations reporting that SharePoint is significantly underused.

Impact and Result

  • Determine the level of planning, customization, expertise, and training required to meet business expectations of SharePoint 2010.
  • Understand the differences and relative capabilities of the customization levels available.
  • Be conscious of the challenges faced by the SharePoint customization team and how to mitigate their effects.
  • Build a SharePoint team with the proper resources and tools to deliver effective business solutions.

Research & Tools

1. Understand the capabilities of SharePoint 2010 and the resources needed to meet business requirements.

Customize SharePoint to meet business needs, including enhanced collaboration, workflows, and document management.

2. Assess organizational readiness in terms of people, process, and technology.

Identify where improvements should be made to have the proper resources in place to take advantage of SharePoint.

3. Estimate and track SharePoint development TCO.

Determine if SharePoint development makes financial sense for your organization, and budget appropriately.

4. Identify the skills the SharePoint team requires for success.

Assess the current team’s skillset, and if necessary, hire the needed resources.

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Search Code: 41066
Published: March 31, 2011
Last Revised: March 31, 2011