650 Successful SharePoint Implementations – Dissecting a Decade of EPC Group Enterprise SharePoint Success - Article 1 of 4

By Errin O'Connor posted 02-28-2012 01:54




I am writing this article (Article 1 of 4) as myself and my organization, EPC Group.net, has embarked on and completed our 653 successful SharePoint implementation. In the sections below, I am going to dissect how an Enterprise or Global SharePoint implementation project can become a success 99% of the time. With SharePoint being one of the most popular software platforms in the world, there are new 20 webinars a week from this month's newest experts, 30 new articles on “how governance should really work, this way….” ,and 5 new SharePoint firms popping up every few months (with quite a few failing and others being acquired, for both good and bad reasons. 

I am extremely proud of my team at  EPC Group.net as we celebrate this 650 successful project mark and 13 years of being in business. This article is meant to cover over a decade of real-life SharePoint “In the trenches consulting”, the 500 gallons of coffee consumed, hundreds of working (train-the-trainer) lunches, and thousands of hours of design, implementation, development, and configuration experience that I would like to share from EPC Group with the AIIM community.


When you log in to your computer tomorrow morning, your browser’s home page will display our organization’s new “SharePoint” solution. This is an exciting time for us because this new (ECM\Intranet\Collaboration\ or “Hybrid” = all of these) platform has been designed to provide not only a consistent look and feel but a user-friendly way for our organization’s staff to store your documents, collaborate with your team members, classify sensitive and business critical information, as well as open up a “Professional Networking” (Social Networking) platform for you to communicate and have your own personal My Site within the organization.

Note: I have posted hyperlinks to previous articles on the topics in the previous section at the end of this article for your review and reference.

Please follow the training links that have been provided to the new SharePoint Training Site that contains not only how-to videos but a wealth of information on how the new system operates and will benefit and increase productivity throughout our organization. We have identified Power Users within each department and these users will assist with any “level 1” type questions about the new platform and the links provided in the help section will allow you to contact the “Help Desk \ SharePoint Support Team” for any additional issues or questions you may have…

Thank you,

The SharePoint Executive Sponsor

How Did We Get to the Message Above (Go-Live)? What Were the Steps that Ensured our Successful Implementation?

SharePoint Training Session(S)

Before any go-live of a new SharePoint 2010 platform or future SharePoint release, you first have to ensure successful training as well as identification of Power Users \ Super Users. EPC Group  likes to hold training and train-the-trainer session with our clients. (Sample agenda included below) Note: The pages numbers are out of our training guide and do not need to be referenced.

Agenda - level 1

         I.            Getting Acquainted

a.        Welcome to SharePoint Portal   (pages:  9 - 10)

b.       Finding information when you need it   (pages:  11 - 13)

c.        Browsing the Site Map   (page:  14)

d.       Orientation to a Site   (pages:  16 - 18)

e.       Navigating in SharePoint   (pages:  19 - 20)

f.         The Anatomy of a SharePoint Site   (page: 21)

        II.            Setting Up A Site

a.        Custom and out of the box Templates   (pages:  22 - 23)

b.       About Lists   (pages:  24 - 34)                                                            

c.        Working with Announcements  (pages:   35 - 37)

d.       Working with Calendar   (pages:  38 - 40)

e.       Using Contacts  (pages:  41 - 42)

 f.         Using Tasks (pages:   43 - 45)

g.        Using the Link List  (pages:  46 - 47)

      III.            Working with Documents and Document Libraries  (pages:  55 – 76)

a.       Overview

b.       Adding Documents to a Library

c.        Working in Explorer View

d.       Checking out/in

e.       Versioning

f.         Recycle Bin

g.        Sending Links to Files in SharePoint

      IV.            Working with Columns and Views   (pages:  79 - 95)

a.        Overview

b.       Editing Column Properties

c.        Adding Additional Columns to a List

d.       Creating a Custom Column

e.       About/Creating Views.

Agenda - level 2

       V.            Securing a Site   (pages:  108 – 124)

a.        A Word about Permissions

b.       Understanding Permission Levels

c.        Adding Users to Default SharePoint Group

d.       Creating a Permission Level

e.       Creating a Custom SharePoint Group

f.         Editing a Group’s Permission Level

g.        Removing a User from a Group

h.       Assigning a User Individual Rights

i.         Editing a User’s Permissions

j.         Managing Access to Libraries and Lists

      VI.            Administering Your Site  (pages:  126 – 132)

a.        Managing Regional Settings

b.       Monitoring Site Usage and Space Allocation

c.        Monitoring Site Usage

d.       Monitoring Space Allocation

e.       Auditing SharePoint Sites

    VII.            Advanced Topics

a.        Custom Content Type & Metadata                                                              

b.       Web Parts\ InfoPath Forms & Workflow                                                             

d.       Business Solutions

e.       Custom Site Templates


Let’s Get Into Dissecting a Successful Engagement and the Method to EPC Group’s Project Methodologies

Project Initiation and Planning - Initiation and Definition Activities


Once the EPC Group sales and consulting staff has worked with our clients to scope and build the overall proposal and the project has been won, it is time for the Project Management Office (PMO) to start engaging as well as planning the details such as:

·         Create Work Breakdown Structure

·         Perform Resource planning

·         Create Project Schedule

·         Preparing the Budget

·         Conduct Schedule Review

The EPC Group team now develops the supporting plan definition activities and Project Initiation activities such as the:

·         Communication and Controlling Procedures

·         Compile and inspect Project Definition Document

·         Review and Approve Project Definition Document

EPC Group then rolls into our project kickoff sessions \ Preparing for Kickoff

Conduct Project Review and Kickoff Processes

·         Implement EPC Group’s Project Control Documents and our internal Project

          Server 2010 environment

·         Kicking of Requirements Gathering

o    Conduct Initial Requirements Gathering Sessions and Determine


o    Content Sessions

o    Conduct Content Requirement Session


·         Services Sessions

o    Conduct Services Requirement Session

·         Equipment Sessions

·         Conduct Global Equipment Requirement Session

·         People Sessions

·         Conduct People Requirement Session

·         Conduct Global People Requirement Session

·         Backend Application

·         Conduct Backend Application Investigation

·         Steering Committee Sessions

·         Conduct Steering Committee Member Interviews

·         Develop Requirements Document

·         Conduct Requirements Document Review and Apply Updates

·         Requirements Document Complete

  • Obtain Requirements Document Client Sign Off
  • Requirements Phase End Review

Conduct Phase End Assessment - Requirements Phase End Review Complete


Onsite Reviews

Conduct 1st - Onsite Review Planning Session

Development Environment


- Provide SharePoint team support in Development Configuration

- Provide complete knowledge transfer sessions, build documents, etc.

Governance Document

Governance Overview Meeting - (Identify Roles and Responsibilities)

Discover Working Sessions

  • Define SharePoint Service
  • Define Equipment for Environment
  • Define SharePoint Platform as well as Supporting Software
  • Define Policies - From Support, Training, Go-Live, Existing Company Policies, etc. (Note: SharePoint is not meant to change company policy but to improve the user and company experience on those policies)

Design Work Sessions

  • Building Organizational Diagrams
  • Build Proposed Model  
  • Define Information Management
  • Define Organizational Structure

Governance Document Draft

  • Construct SharePoint Services Documentation
  • Construct Equipment for Environment Documentation
  • Construct Software Documentation
  • Construct Information Management Documentation
  • Construct Organization Documentation
  • Construct Policies Documentation
  • Review Draft Governance Documentation with Client


Governance Document Final

  • Construct SharePoint Services Documentation
  • Construct Equipment for Environment Documentation
  • Construct Software Documentation
  • Construct Information Management Documentation
  • Construct Organization Documentation
  • Construct Policies Documentation  
  • Review Draft Governance Documentation with Client

Obtain Governance Document Client Sign off      

SharePoint Roadmap

  • Develop Roadmap Document      
  • Review Roadmap Document      

Obtain Roadmap Document Client Sign Off      

EPC Group - Begins Design Portion of the Initiative

  • Design Process Overview Meeting      

Server Configuration

  • Identify document management approach      
  • Identify existing content sources _content audit or inventory      
  • Determine content migration methodology      
  • Review server software requirements      
  • Plan Recycle Bin use and Site recovery
  • Determine site provisioning model and user experience

Determine Roles and Usage Patterns of Users

  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of users of the Web front end
  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of document management users
  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of search users

Plan Capacity

  • Determine normal load from roles and usage patterns
  • Determine number of documents stored and document store size      
  • Estimate index size      
  • Determine needs for growth      
  • Determine peak load factor      


My Next 3 Articles Detailing EPC Group’s Decade of SharePoint Success Will Entail:

  • Security Best Practices and Consulting Methodologies
  • Performance Best Practices and Consulting Methodologies
  • Failover and Disaster Recovery Best Practices
  • Reviewing and Selecting 3rd Party SharePoint ISV’s and Tools
  • Localization Best Practices
  • Long-term Maintenance Best Practices
  • Content Navigation and Its Structure
  • ECM \ Metadata \ Content Type Design
  • Retention Schedule \ ECM \ ERM Workflow Development Meeting Expiration Basis Data of Related Metadata
  • Detailed Training Overview Best Practices – With an Emphasis on “Real World” Training and not “Canned” Out-of-the-box Training
  • Testing \ Break-fix, etc. Best Practices
  • Communication Best Practices
  • Migration Best Practices from Systems such as eRoom, FileNet, Hummingbird, Documentum, LiveLink, and many others
  • Project Management Communication Strategies for Consultants and Business Analysts

I would like to thank my many staff members at EPC Group for our success over the past 13 years and these 650+ implementations as these methodologies and strategies were developed by a massive team effort over many projects over these many years.

I also referenced several of my previous AIIM articles which I have listed below for your reference to the terms in this post:



#Fortune1000SharePoint #SharePointEnterpriseDeployments #ElectronicRecordsManagement #EPCGroup #SharePoint #ProjectPlanningSharePoint2010 #ScanningandCapture
1 comment


10-30-2013 05:35