Our client’s internal IT team recognized its existing SharePoint implementation was valuable to some departments within the firm but was not yet fulfilling its potential as an enterprise-wide solution to enhance communication, collaboration, and information access.
Therefore, at the time of a planned upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013, we worked closely with our client’s internal IT team to establish a strategic plan for SharePoint services and adoption.
As we did this work, we focused not only on SharePoint 2013 but anticipated future upgrades. In that way, we helped ensure that work done now wouldn’t have to be done again in the event of a future upgrade to SharePoint Online (Office 365).
In developing the roadmap, we sought input from representatives of multiple business units. Specifically, we conducted several workshops with business users. This process enabled us to gather detailed business needs while also helping to foster excitement about the potential for SharePoint solutions to make a meaningful impact on day-to-day user experiences.
Over this phase of the project, we provided:
- A strategic review of the current solution and business platform
- A content analysis of the existing SharePoint intranets
- A migration plan & roadmap
- A draft set of branding and wireframes
We also identified how collaboration and content management practices could better aid the core vision of the business. The following highlights were especially relevant as aspects of the desired solution:
Collaboration & Sharing
- Information Consolidation into a central location and eliminate administrative burden, redundant information, out of date documents, misplaced information, legal risks and associated costs
- Accelerate access to content—Search, Filter, Sort, Browse, Smart phones/tablet devices.
- Integrate with different business systems with one access point to all systems of record
- Sharing and editing one iteration of content eliminating compiling edits
- A system could help the groups collaborate and allow other groups to share, cross reference, and access information across groups
- Employees could identify other employees with subject matter expertise
- Enable spokes, teams and departments to capture and share the intellectual property that they possess
In moving toward these objectives, one of the big needs was unification of Sites. Previously, our client had multiple SharePoint environments and multiple SharePoint server farms. With this roadmapping project, we helped the organization establish a unified architecture that brought all business needs—across many geographic locations and functional areas—into a single plan.
This new planning architecture emphasized how people work rather than who they are in the sense of what department or location. The architectural solution was in place before any site building or migration planning occurred.
Another significant focus was design. We assisted in establishing a new look and feel, new logo, new vision statement, and a templated approach that ensured a consistent and user-friendly experience.
Once the planning and roadmap was complete, we built out the new environment, assisted with content migration, and helped the business units initiate their use of the new templated standards.
We also reconfigured the old SharePoint sites, archived them, and eventually shut them down.
Results and Next Steps
By applying a strategic, forward-looking approach, we helped to ensure the SharePoint solution met needs of both business users who already had content to organize and share and those who would need content creation and management space in the future.
The resulting solution gave users across the enterprise a new way to work, share content, and engage in cross-company communications.
In the new SharePoint governance approach, users could clearly understand “what should go where” and gain access to the information they needed—which greatly increased use of the portal.
The next step for SharePoint’s evolution at our client is an upgrade to the Office 365 platform. Because the strategic roadmapping project anticipated future upgrades, the organization benefits from not having to redo the work accomplished in this project.