Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Microsoft Applications

Your Collaboration Strategy: Ensuring Success with SharePoint Server 2007

  • Print
  • + Share This
You've decided to make an investment in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007. Congratulations — you have a powerful software platform in your hands, capable of delivering high-impact collaboration solutions. Now how do you make it work optimally? MOSS is simple to set up and use but difficult to get right, mainly due to its sheer power. This chapter provides a critical foundation for your MOSS-based solution.
This chapter is from the book

If you're a developer, you probably already own a SharePoint programming book or MOSS API guide (or are looking for one). This is not a book about SharePoint programming. However, this book is the ideal companion to your development guide. It will give you some of the "why" of MOSS and help you understand your organization's business needs and how they might be addressed using MOSS. Developers will find this book useful when building solutions (in conjunction with an API guide) because there are important business considerations that are critically important to every MOSS-based solution.

If you're a project manager, consultant, or business analyst, you'll find that this book helps with all the intangibles of a MOSS rollout. For example, "What roles should exist to support MOSS?" or "What should my offline/search/business data strategy be for MOSS?" This book also introduces you to some key technical concepts and provides simple walk-throughs of the key features that many businesses need to leverage.

Specifically, this chapter provides a critical foundation for your MOSS-based solution and lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. It includes a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of the Office SharePoint Server 2007 architecture; a discussion of strategies for moving from the current version of SharePoint Portal Server (2003) to the new 2007 version; a review of information architecture best practices; and explanations of how to optimally leverage MOSS's collaboration, offline, search, business process, content management, and business intelligence features. This book also includes an appendix for end users describing how to execute the top 20 end-user tasks in MOSS.

So put away Visual Studio and Office SharePoint Designer for a moment. Take a breath and a step back. Start thinking about why your organization needs MOSS and how you know you'll be successful after your solution is deployed. Software is expensive to purchase and integrate. If you want to build a successful solution, you need a carefully defined plan. A MOSS solution, especially one that serves as your corporate intranet, is implemented to provide the single interface that integrates all enterprise information and applications.

MOSS provides a convenient and often personalized way for your entire organization to find the information and tools each individual needs to be more productive. However, the use of the MOSS solution cannot often not be mandated in the same way that the use of a new accounting or payroll system can be mandated to process an invoice or generate paychecks. MOSS users usually have other options for accomplishing the tasks MOSS enables. For example, MOSS may provide a convenient summary of financial information about a project that might also be available by looking at existing reports generated by the financial system. The MOSS solution may be more convenient and efficient but not necessarily required to surface the project financial information. The MOSS solution may also include "subportals" or online collaborative team spaces where users can efficiently share documents to minimize email traffic and ensure that everyone on the team always has the latest version. But users might still e-mail documents back and forth to collaborate, resulting in an unorganized collection of documents and correspondence that is not reusable by other team members. These are some of the many reasons why it is so critically important to have a clearly articulated business strategy for your new MOSS portal or collaboration solution. Practical experience indicates that technology has only a small impact on the success of MOSS solutions; organizational and political (process and people) strategies have a much greater impact. As a result, a comprehensive MOSS strategy is vital for success.

You should consider several key elements in your MOSS strategy:

  • Who are the key stakeholders? This might include the CIO, a knowledge officer, or key business leaders in areas such as corporate communications, marketing, and human resources, among others.
  • What are the critical business objectives for the key stakeholders? In other words, what keeps these executives awake at night? How can the MOSS solution address these key business objectives?
  • How will the organization as a whole measure the business success of the MOSS initiative (or initiatives)? In other words, which key business goals does the MOSS solution address? Remember, successful portals do not just need to be free of software defects. Successful portals must be designed to have an impact on key business objectives, or the challenges of ensuring user adoption cannot be overcome. A successful MOSS solution may also include more than one departmental portal that may be consolidated (or not) as an enterprise portal. It may not always be appropriate to have a single portal project, but all portal projects need to be measured by business success.
  • What governance processes need to be in place to ensure that all of the MOSS users are aware of and accept their roles and responsibilities with regard to the MOSS solution? The governance model for MOSS solutions should include a statement of the vision, guiding principles, policies, roles and responsibilities, and procedures for using MOSS in the given environment.
  • How do you plan for both the design and ongoing maintenance of the content in MOSS? Accurate and relevant content is the foundation of a MOSS solution. A good strategy needs to include a plan to ensure that content remains relevant over time.
  • What type of rollout strategy should you pursue? What types of communications and training do you need to provide for users? A rollout strategy needs to prepare both users and content for the new MOSS solution. It also needs to include a communications plan to make sure that users are aware of and, ideally, eagerly anticipating the business value of the new MOSS solution. In addition, the strategy needs to include a plan for launching the new solution and training users. Training needs to be specifically targeted to each stakeholder or user community to ensure that users are optimally prepared to leverage the new solution.

Key Stakeholders

In many organizations, the Information Technology (IT) group is separated both physically and emotionally from the organizations they are designed to serve. Given that the success of MOSS solutions is critically dependent on business user adoption, it is imperative that business stakeholders take an active role in portal design and governance planning. One way to ensure that your MOSS project will fail is to have IT build the solution without engaging a broad spectrum of potential users. Early portal and collaboration projects were primarily driven by IT organizations, and many of these early initiatives failed to gain acceptance by users because they were essentially IT projects. Today, more and more portal and collaboration projects are driven (and funded) by business users. Many intranet projects are sponsored by the corporate department responsible for internal communications. One or more business units may fund and drive an external or customer portal initiative. As a result, it is critically important for IT to work with the sponsoring business unit as well as all key stakeholders to ensure that the inevitable trade-offs that will be made during the MOSS design and development are made in favor of the business stakeholders as often as possible. MOSS provides an important opportunity for IT and business owners to collaborate. IT managers who fail to take advantage of this opportunity put their projects and potentially their careers at risk.

Who should your key stakeholders include? Clearly, the executive for the sponsoring organization is an important key stakeholder. This individual will likely be your project sponsor. For intranet portals, this is often the Director of Marketing or Internal Communications. For extranet portals, this may be a key executive in an operational business unit. Your stakeholders should also include representatives from your major organizational units, both internal and customer-facing. When you look to identify stakeholders, recognize that there are different types of stakeholders, all of whom should be included in the development of your strategy and ongoing governance model. Many of these stakeholders will also be included in your requirements definition process. Business executives should be included in the stakeholder community to provide overall direction and validate that the MOSS deployment is critical to achieving business objectives. IT managers should be included to ensure that the solution meets IT standards for operations and development. Content providers (internal departments such as Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Legal, and so on) should be included because the portal will become a critical communications vehicle with the rest of the enterprise. End users ("rank and file") should be included to ensure that the MOSS solution rollout addresses more than just executive objectives and concerns. Remember that while the executive sponsor may have the "grand vision" for the solution, the solution end users are critical to the ultimate success. End users need the solution to be easy to use in the context of their work and need to be able to see what's in it for them. For example, the key stakeholders for a portal project to support a university should include administrators, faculty, and students. In addition, if the portal is externally facing, the "customer" community might be represented by examining the perspective of an applicant to the university.

Once you've identified your key stakeholders, it's important to engage them in the process of defining business objectives for the MOSS rollout.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020