Jeff Teper Hits SharePoint Governance ‘On the Head’

By Ant Clay posted 11-21-2011 05:12


During the recent SPC11 keynote presentation, Jeff Teper of Microsoft stood tall and proud and stated:

“Governance is not an issue in SharePoint 2010… we have lots of customers doing it on a large scale.”

Thanks to Kanwal Khipple for the image!

Absolutely Jeff, spot on, you’ve hit it on the head….

  • Governance in the SharePoint world absolutely shouldn’t be an issue
  • We don’t need to be banging on about it all the time
  • It’s logical and makes sense to everyone I talk to about it
  • Companies large and small are successfully running SharePoint and delivering value.

But despite Jeff being correct, despite the amount of Twitter, LinkedIn and Blog “noise” on the subject (some I admit is from us!), lots of other organisations are getting SharePoint Governance fundamentally and absolutely wrong.

Why? I think it’s because Jeff (and the rest of Microsoft SharePoint Team) have forgotten about all the ‘nails’ you really need!

We all know that SharePoint is a big old beast, she can be very intimidating, but can absolutely deliver a huge range of business value for an organisation if you go about it the right way (Note: Not sure which way that is, then why not start by watching our video).

But because its such a massive platform (Note: I call it a platform, its not a ready-built solution, you need to build something awesome with it ok?) it needs a load of ‘nails’ to really hold it together in the winds of business and organisational change!

Jeff (and the rest of Microsoft SharePoint Team) built the platform, they understand it implicitly, so they know what ‘nails’ they think they need to keep the platform safe, secure and strong.

But then we (businesses, IT teams, consultants etc) come along and build awesome business functionality on top of that platform; business functionality that’s flapping around in the breeze of business change and human “ways of working” and doesn’t have any ‘nails’ to hold it down, secure it and make it safe… Those ‘nails’ are the additional areas of focus for true SharePoint Governance.

That’s why we feel that the 5 pillars of SharePoint Governance (or ‘nails’ taking today’s analogy!) that we have defined, need to be considered all together:

  • IT Assurance (Ask Jeff and the Microsoft SharePoint Team about this)
  • Project Governance
  • Information Governance
  • Technology & Business Alignment
  • Continuous Improvement.

What needs to happen in the SharePoint world is an appreciation that governance doesn’t just cover one thing (the IT infrastructure and SharePoint architecture), and that Governance needs to be applied holistically to really derive the benefits it’s capable of.

As for Jeff (and the rest of Microsoft SharePoint Team), they’re doing an awesome job, we congratulate and salute them…

But I what I would ask of them, given the opportunity, would be for Jeff Teper to say:

“Governance is not an issue in SharePoint 2010… we have lots of customers doing it on a large scale….What differentiates those successful customers is that they’re focussing on all aspects of Governance, not just IT assurance…”

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