ADNET has been working with SharePoint since the very beginning. Over that time the implementations that have proven to be the most successful are the ones that were clearly driven by the business and not Information Technology, “IT”. The organization should look at SharePoint from the perspective of the business needs. All too often IT companies tend to show organizations the cool features and functionality; however, business needs are not always captured and as a result organizations ultimately let SharePoint fade into oblivion. Providing the core business value to organizations is not as easy as it looks. There needs to be a consistent and well thought out methodology for implementing SharePoint correctly.
SharePoint projects differ from other IT projects because the business has long term involvement in the implementation. Many smaller scale IT projects do not need the level of business input that SharePoint implementations have. SharePoint implementations involve many moving parts. They also involve processes, people and technology working seamlessly to deliver an end result that adds real business value to the organization. The most successful implementations start with a clearly defined roadmap. After all, everyone needs to clearly understand the reasons, goals, and objectives for the implementation. How do you know where you are going if you don’t have a map? Without a roadmap organizations will have a hard time delivering real business value, and may instead focus on features and functionality that do not add value or help to drive adoption.
A major component of any successful SharePoint implementation is clearly communicating roles and responsibilities. It is vitally important to know what role everyone from the executive to the end user will have. Roles and responsibilities should be documented and reviewed with the implementation team to ensure everyone is on the same page. Individuals may wear multiple hats and that is ok, just identify it. Resource management is important to understand as time needs to be available for resources to complete their responsibilities. Depending on the role and phase of the implementation, the time impact to individual resources may be significant. You also need to ensure resources have the time to properly do the job.
A key role in the implementation is having a strong project manager who can drive the implementation, identify roadblocks, understand the vision, and know the skillset of the individual team members. Not every organization has a resource internally who can effectively manage an implementation of this complexity. If you do not have someone within your organization then seek help externally.
If you take a holistic approach to implementing SharePoint, with a solid methodology, the result will be a successful implementation. Don’t forget about some of the other important steps within the implementation, like governance and training. With the business in the driver’s seat, the ability to deliver a SharePoint implementation significantly increases as real business value is delivered.