Governance gets a facelift in SharePoint 2010

Governance gets a facelift in SharePoint 2010

Governance gets a facelift in SharePoint 2010

Date: Jan 31, 2011

SharePoint governance has been a challenge in the past, leading to issues with resource management and accessibility. But SharePoint 2010 introduces a new approach to governance standards. For instance, developers are given more flexibility through SharePoint sandbox solutions and SharePoint admins get greater control with SharePoint 2010’s new services architecture.

Richard Harbridge, Senior SharePoint evangelist for Allin Consulting covers these topics and much more in this video.


Read the full transcript from this video below:  

Governance gets a facelift in SharePoint 2010

Richard Harbridge: So governance is one of those tricky subjects where
people have different interpretations of what it means, and
I think it's really important before I start to answer that question
to talk about those different interpretations. So, one, let's talk
about operational governance, like your IT-driven governance
sort of scenarios, where what we have is IT pros, and we have
developers and things like that, and we need to help them get patterns
and practices and other things to just be effective at their work. And
so to do that, we start to enact policies, procedures, best practices.
For 2010 there are some features that help with that. The first thing
would be sandbox solutions from the development standpoint,
where we have these literally secure, self-contained deployment
paths, so I can take my code, put it in this thing, and it has this ability
to measure how many times you kind of bounce out of this box. I'm
consuming too many resources, I'm doing all these issues, and so what
it's doing is it's managing it without the risk to the environment, so we're
able to manage and mitigate greatly the development risk for custom code.
I would say that's probably the single most fundamental change in 2010.

Another one is just the way it's been architected, so each
service is now separated. Before we had this thing called the
SharePoint shared service provider, so the SSP, and the SSP had three services,
four or five or whatever, it had a bunch of services in it. We had the
user profile service. We had the search service. We had the Excel
and BDC. We had all these different services. And the problem with
that model is, "Here's my services. I want to deploy a new one of this one,
the user profile." No chance, you've got to deploy this whole set of
services each time and then explicitly state which ones are on. It's very,
very painful to do. So from a governance perspective, you can imagine
all the issues that revolved around that, not only from a documentation
standpoint, but from the management of it.

So the new services architecture sort of allows you greater flexibility and
certainly greater control from an administrative perspective because the SSP,
you could kind of just delegate, "Yeah, you're a manager of the SSP”.
You know what I mean? It was kind of cheesy, whereas now you can say, "OK.
You can manage this service, but not all these other ones." So that
process of assigning management and that sort of thing.

So, again, IT driven. We're talking about all those operational concerns.
There are some more. Like, there's the health monitoring. There's the
patching process, which is far smoother. They're all on WSPs now for
deployment, so we have the single unified deployment method, so it just
makes a lot of things easier. And, of course, the maturity of the community,
as I mentioned earlier, has grown, so not only is it Microsoft's maturity,
but their certifications have. They have IT pro exams and dev pro exams
now, not just the technology specialist ones, so it shows a greater maturity,
but also from a support and documentation perspective.

The challenge really, in my opinion, for governance isn't around
the IT stuff because, to be honest, even, in 2007, yeah, those were
challenges, but they could all be surmounted with proper planning,
proper architecture, and those sorts of things. The challenge most
people have with governance is information management. So now we're
dealing with the soft, tricky things. We're dealing with user adoption. We're
dealing with training strategies. We're dealing with how do we support
SharePoint? Do we have Help Desk? Do we train Help Desk? Do we have
site administrators that we sort of give capabilities, but also while we're giving
them this responsibility, are we also giving them higher escalation paths,
rewards, all these different types of things? And all the way down to
the end user. How do we support the end user? Do we give them
self-training? Do we have a learning library? Do we have a productivity
hub or something like that running in the enterprise?

So those considerations are really key, and I'd say that over and above
that, the biggest gap and the hardest part is how are we using
SharePoint? I talked earlier about seven areas that are new. I didn't even
cover the tip of ones, like intranets and communication and so and so forth.
Now we've got all these new areas that people are going to start using
SharePoint 2010 in, and all those areas are going to have their own
requirements for what are the business strategies and what are the
tactical strategies for that. How do we manage the growth of the
content in those areas? Records management has a plethora of
things that affect governance and if we start to build up records
management in SharePoint.

If we look at social, what are some social strategies? Dux has a really
famous line in the SharePoint world, where basically a person told him
about a general's content, "You never want to rate a five-star general's
content one star," and so and so forth. Well, tagging has the same
connotations. I might not want to tag content with poor phrases or
phrases that are personal attacks against someone, but there might be
ways I can phrase it so it's helpful to people. So we have to do guidance.
There's a lot more guidance and there's a lot more help that needs to be
provided to people, especially since most people turned off my sites in 2007,
and now there's just so many reasons that you might want them on, and there's
so much more control from a governance side. I didn't talk about it, but there's
a lot more little check boxes, if you will, or ways to manage it. So it might
make sense. There are more people turning it on. Well, it's kind of like
putting toothpaste back in the tube. Once you turn that on, it's very,
very difficult, again, to coin a phrase.

So those are all the new challenges with governance, and I think that
the single most fundamental point I'm trying to stress is if we don't
define, "Here are our objectives for the business, here's the initiatives
or projects or solutions that we're building in SharePoint, and here's
how they align with those objectives, and then the patterns and practices
and other things that revolve around that, you're going to fail with that,
in my opinion. So hopefully that helps answer a little bit of that anyways.

More on Microsoft SharePoint Governance

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