Making Improvements: SharePoint Solution Assessment

If you’ve got an existing SharePoint or Office 365 implementation that is not meeting expectations or you just want to find out if there is something else you could be doing or how you can best prepare for an upgrade to the latest version of SharePoint or a migration to Office 365, a solution assessment can yield valuable benefits.The assessment is focused and targeted and can vary from a few days to several weeks. The goal of the assessment is to identify both quick fixes and longer term strategies that you can use to gain more value from your SharePoint and Office 365 investment.The assessment focuses on the following key activities:

  • Understanding the information needs and collaboration priorities for your key stakeholders
  • Using these information needs to validate or refine your existing information architecture to improve "findability"
  • Ensuring that you have a well-defined Governance Plan that identifies guiding principles, standards, and guidelines for site designers and content contributors
  • Outlining a Metrics Plan with a strategy for measuring the organizational impact of the solution
  • Preparing a roadmap for implementing the suggested changes to the solution architecture, design, and organizational processes.

Getting Started: SharePoint Solution Design Services

It is difficult to design and configure SharePoint solutions by asking business sponsors about their “requirements;" it is far more appropriate to focus on business goals and objectives. There are many possible configuration choices for solutions built on the SharePoint platform, even if you only leverage those features that are “out of the box.” Therefore, the only way to effectively begin a solution design is to first understand the information needs and business priorities for your key stakeholders.

Solution success is only partially dependent on the quality of your technical solution; true success involves a combination of business processes, user engagement, and technology. Achieving measurable business results from your SharePoint solution includes managing user expectations with demonstrations, iterative documentation, and frequent review with business sponsors during solution design.

Susan Hanley specializes in the design and development of successful enterprise SharePoint solutions for portals and collaboration – solutions that leverage best practices for information architecture, user experience and business process to ensure that “if you build it, they will come.”

With a collection of tools, techniques, and a proven methodology, Susan Hanley can provide your organization with a solution design for SharePoint collaboration solutions that includes the following key deliverables, often delivered in a fixed price, fixed time offering:

  • Stakeholder Business Scenario Analysis (high priority use cases and business objectives)
  • Site Structure Design (navigation and site layout)
  • Technical Architecture Recommendation
  • Information Architecture (metadata for Site and Document Libraries)
  • High Level Analysis of Governance Issues (Roll-out, Training and Communications Planning)
  • Release Strategy/Approach for Moving Forward
  • Plan and Estimate for Solution Development