Making Improvements: SharePoint Solution Assessment

If you’ve got an existing SharePoint or Microsoft 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 Microsoft 365 or a "move to modern," 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 Microsoft 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
  • Understanding how your current "classic" customizations can be adapted for the modern experience
  • 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

Planning Governance: Developing a SharePoint, Teams, and Microsoft 365 Governance Framework

A comprehensive governance framework establishes the processes and roles to:
  • Avoid site sprawl
  • Ensure that content quality is maintained
  • Provide consistently high quality user experiences
  • Establish clear decision-making authority
  • Ensure that user experiences in Microsoft 365 are aligned with business objectives to continuously deliver value
  • Ensure that content is accessed and retained in compliance with record retention and regulatory guidelines
  • Establish change management and process controls to introduce new capabilities over time.
This offering leverages Susan Hanley's proven governance methodology and delivery solution to implement a governance, training, and adoption "center" in your Microsoft 365 tenant. The approach includes facilitating the key governance decision meetings described in the SharePoint and Microsoft 365 Governance Decisions workbook, providing insights into how similar organizations have addressed key governance concerns, and the deployment of a comprehensive "User Resource Center" for training, governance, and adoption customized for your organization.

Getting Support: Microsoft 365/SharePoint Coaching Services

Coaching support is an ideal engagement for organizations where you have a team in place to design and implement your intranet but want an expert to check in to make sure that you aren't missing a key best practice or new or upcoming feature in SharePoint or Microsoft 365. This is a fixed-price, fixed-cost engagement where you pre-purchase 10 hours of 1:1 web-based consulting time.  Meetings are scheduled at mutually convenient dates and times over a three-month period. You control the agenda and can use the time to get advice about governance, information architecture, user experience, user adoption, or change management on an ongoing basis or use the time for key checkpoint reviews at different stages of your project.