Implementing Global Intranet Governance with a Proper Long-term Roadmap

By Errin O'Connor posted 01-10-2012 06:52


You have probably been flooded with external sources telling you what SharePoint Governance really is and I am here to state mine and my SharePoint Consulting organization, EPC Group’s, definitive and believe only true way to implement Global Intranet Governance with a forward looking roadmap to match. For Global organizations with tens of thousands of users, the Return on Investment by following this strategy below should be in the millions. I have written a number of articles for AIIM but I can confidently stand behind my position on Global Intranet Governance and Roadmaps because EPC Group is engaged in there literally every day and for nearly the past decade.

To state a few probably obvious facts, but to build the case for EPC Group’s strategy here:

What is Governance?

  • Governance is the set of processes and policies affecting the way a system is directed, administered or controlled.
    • Includes the relationships among the stakeholders involved and the goals of the system.
    • Creates mechanisms that try to reduce incomplete information

Why Governance?

  • IT’s capability is directly related to the investment choices taken by management that have long term consequences for various stakeholders
  • Governance implies a system in which all stakeholders, including the board, executive management, customers, and staff have clear accountability for their respective responsibilities in the decision making processes affecting IT.

A Typical SharePoint Governance Plan (Uni-Centric Deployment)

The following are typically subjects hit on in a SharePoint Uni-Centric Deployment plan:

  • People
    • Roles & Teams
    • Sponsorship
  • Process and Policies
    • Security
    • Content Management
    • Hardware & Services
    • Procedures
  • Communication and Training
    • Communication Plan
    • Training Plan
    • Support Plan

Global SharePoint Considerations

(Note: These are all specific to Global, Large Scale, Fortune 1000 Deployments)

  • WAN Performance
  • Farm Administration
  • Help Desk and Support
  • Cross Farm Services
    • User Profiles/My Sites
    • Managed Metadata
    • Search
  • Availability and Replication

Global WAN Performance

  • A typical LAN user will generally have an initial page load time of about 2 seconds.
    • A broadband user, with continental latency, would experience up to 2x-4x response time (e.g. 4-8 seconds)
    • A broadband user, with global latency, would experience up to 4x-8x response time (e.g. 8-16 seconds)
    • Low bandwidth, and extremely high latency response times’ experience is hard to predict

Global Farm Administration Considerations

  • Provisioning
    • Web Application Creation
    • Site Collection Creation
    • Content Databases
  • Features and Solutions
  • Local Service Applications
    • Excel Services
    • Access Service
    • Vision Graphics Service
    • Word Automation Services
    • Word Viewing

Global Help Desk and Support Considerations

  • Operations
    • System Administrators
    • Site Collection Administrators
  • Multi-Tiered Support
    • Tier 1: Help Desk
    • Tier 2: Subject Matter Experts
    • Tier 3: Farm Administrators
  • Support and Administrative Training 

Global Governance: Isolation Levels Examples 



SharePoint Meaning (Potential)

Isolation Tier 1 (I1)


·Out of the box SharePoint
·Out of the box Security
·Uptime During Business Operating Hours (7am-5pm EST M-F)
·Same SharePoint Farm
Same IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Same Site Collection
·Same Content Database

Isolation Tier 2 (I2)


·Custom SharePoint Features
·Unique SharePoint Permission
·Uptime During Business Operating Hours (7am-5pm EST M-F)
·Same SharePoint Farm
·Separate IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Separate Site Collection
·Separate Content Database

Isolation Tier 3 (I3)


·Third Party Application
·Custom Functionality
·24 x 7 Uptime requirements.
·Unique SharePoint Permission
·Separate SharePoint Farm
·Separate IIS Application Pool
·Separate Web Application
·Separate Site Collection
·Separate Content Database

Global Governance: Service Agreement Examples

Service Level Agreement 1 (SLA 1)

·Recycle Bin Policy set to 30
·Weekly Full Backups and Daily  Incremental
·Uptime During Business Hours Backup Retention for 6 months
·Same SharePoint Farm
·Same IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Same Site Collection
·Same Content Database

Service Level Agreement 2 (SLA 2)

·Recycle Bin Policy set to 120
·Weekly Full Backups and Daily Incremental
·Backup Retention 6 months
·Backup Retention for Incremental Backup for 4 Weeks
·Uptime During Business  Hours
·After Hours Technical Support
·Separate  Farm
·Separate Database Server


 EPC Group Lessons Learned 

  • —Intranet and Internet Deployments
  1. Identify Global Governance Board early
  2. Roadmap features and solutions for at least 12 months
  3. Get buy-in not only from global stakeholders but from local support groups as well
  4. Create a unified governance model for ALL farms as though they are one
  • —Project and Team Collaboration Deployments
  1. Identify the Global Governance Board early
  2. Set limits on what is globally governed and what is locally governed
  3. Create a high-level global governance which focuses on overall policies, architecture and processes
  4. Create local governance extensions which cover people, local policies, local processes and operating procedures and needs.

Your Global Organization's Intranet Strategy


A Global SharePoint Intranet or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Deployment is a whole different animal than a non-Global deployment. In the weeks to come I will touch on additional considerations such as using tools such as Riverbed to increase SharePoint's WAN performance, language packs, international law considerations such as the Patriot Act, the Freedom of Information Act, etc. and how those can affect your server placement and how to implement a Global deployment with real cost savings in mind.

I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by my brilliant colleagues at EPC Group who have also been on the ground in places like Germany, Australia, Japan, etc. and experience these situations first hand and I enjoy sharing this type of real “in the trenches” knowledge from our lessons learned over the years.  

I would also encourage you to read one of my previous articles on developing a Hybrid SharePoint Platform as this also builds upon these type of Global Deployment and long-term roadmap strategies and best practices.

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