The SharePoint Governance conundrum – a good SharePoint Governance Plan is not easy to design

11 Sep

A good IT Governance Plan is critical to the success of any organisation but with SharePoint the approach to governance differs from the traditional approach to IT Governance.

SharePoint is a powerful tool. It provides knowledge workers with tools to create, share and manage information. Good SharePoint governance attempts to balance these freedoms against the need for standardisation and alignment with the information and business goals of the organisation.

SharePoint is an enabling technology and it delivers a standard set of features that can be configured by the user community without the need for specialist developer inputs. The challenge for the governance regime is how to get the balance right and the plan needs to define the people, processes, policies and technologies that deliver your SharePoint services. The Governance Plan should cover security principles, design principles and content principles and will define the SharePoint Information Architecture for the organisation.

The Governance Plan is intended to describe the policy framework setting out the limits to user configuration of SharePoint to keep the technology in line with business constraints and objectives. Examples of the questions that might be answered in a SharePoint Governance Plan include:-

Will all sites follow a standard design template to ensure consistency?
Will user management be devolved to departmental teams?
Which users be able to define new site collection?
Will MySites be allowed for personal site areas?
What is the policy for the use of SharePoint designer?

The ideal place for the Governance Plan is in a dedicated SharePoint site collection, set up and defined for this purpose. Governance documents can then be stored in a central place, available to all authorised users.

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