Thanks for those who braved the rain to come and listen to my presentation on SharePoint Governance. I've uploaded the slide deck here.
Some of the key areas that came up during the talk I've noted below:
- SharePoint Designer is the Evil
I've mentioned it before, but I finding it's dangerous enough to allow Business Users lose on SharePoint web interface, without letting them loose on SharePoint Designer (SPD). It seems to instill a set of false confidence because "they've used FrontPage for years" and the fact that it's in a UI they're used to using like Word and Outlook.
One of the members pointed out that they deployed it via their SOE with a locked down install that made it easier to control what they can and can't do.
I'd love to hear your feedback on successful/unsuccessful real world deployments of SPD.
- Solution Development is uncommon
From the group of people in our user group which appeared to be a mix of Business Owners, Developers and Business Users it appeared that it was only really the Consulting companies that were embarking on custom development.
I am really interested to see how many companies are getting away with button clicking to build applications in the web interface and how many are treating Site releases as full development cycles as outlined in my presentation with the following outputs:
- Functional Specification
- Technical Specification
- Release Plan for UAT and Production
- Install + Rollback scripts
- Test Plan
- End User Training Documentation
- Original Source files
- Uncontrollable monsters
I think because it is so easy to build these apps in the interface without full governance around releases and moving sites from dev to prod with a few tinkering changes is acceptable...for now. This is not a world that SharePoint "developers" will enjoy forever, and constant flow of "tweaks" to these live apps will become demoralizing and uncontrollable. These small apps turn into monsters very quickly and need to be treated like monsters from the beginning in a governed process to stop leaking scope requirements and business users raising requested functionality as "bugs" that need to be fixed then and there on the spot!
- Leveraging the Platform
There was a lot of head nodding when I brought up the point of Business Users stating "SharePoint is easy, I could do it in a few days, so can you do it quicker in your development team?"...and then the follow up..."it's gonna take how long...I'll do it myself". This has brought about a lot of pain for IS teams.
The perception is this stuff is easy, but the reality is that this stuff has boundaries where pointing and clicking can get you so far...but there's a gap to bridge them to some of their functional requirements that does require Developers. This will unfold in future posts.