Tag Archives: Sharepoint Ottawa

Part 2 of 3: A SharePoint Roadmap: Implementing SharePoint

-Dany Charland, Partner

This is the second post in a three-part series that outlines best practices for planning, implementing and using Microsoft SharePoint in an SMB environment.

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Checklist: What’s Your IT-Business IQ?

As this Deloitte Consulting survey indicates, business today is being strongly influenced by these key technology forces:

  • Mobility
  • Cloud computing
  • Social media
  • Touch computing
  • Security threats

If even one of these forces is having a significant impact on your current or future business, then a solid information technology (IT) strategy that is aligned with the business will be critical for continued success.

The following checklist will help you to evaluate the importance IT to your business’s success and future growth, and to assess your business’ “IT IQ”. For each statement, choose either Yes or No, and add up the values of all your answers.

 Download this checklist as a PDF >> YES NO

M

    O

B

I

L

E

My workforce is increasingly mobile and/or needs to be mobile in order to be productive, close deals, and/or support customers.

1

0

My customers need to be able to access my business from mobile devices.

2

0

We understand mobile technology, its risks, rewards and options for deployment.

0

5

 C

L

O

U

D

Our competitors are offering products/services in the cloud.

5

0

Our customers are asking for products/services in the cloud.

4

0

We are offering products/services from the cloud.

3

0

We are leveraging the cloud to reduce capital and operating expenses, and/or to become more mobile or more productive.

2

0

We understand “the cloud”, its risks, rewards and options for deployment.

0

5

S

O

C

I

A

L

We have or plan to have a social media strategy as a key part of our marketing/sales strategy.

3

0

Our competitors are using social media to build awareness, reach target audiences, interact with customers/prospects/media.

5

0

Our employees are using social media to build their professional knowledge and networks.

4

0

Our employees are using social media while at work.

3

0

We understand social media, its risks, rewards and how to leverage it in a way that is beneficial and safe for the business.

0

5

T

O

U

C

H

Our products would benefit from touch-screen features.

4

0

Our competitors’ products incorporate touch-screen features.

5

0

Our customers are asking for touch-screen features.

5

0

We see opportunities to increase our employees’ productivity through the use of touch-screen technology.

3

0

We see opportunities to improve our customers’ experience through touch-screen technology.

5

0

We understand touch-screen technology and how we could integrate it into our business.

0

5

S

E

C

U

R

I

T

Y

Our network and/or systems are often sluggish.

3

0
We have experienced a major network failure/outage within the past year.

3

0
We have experienced a network security attack within the past year (e.g. DOS attack, major virus, hacked data, etc.).

5

0
We issue mobile devices to our employees (laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc.)

4

0
Our employees are bringing their own mobile devices to work.

4

0
We store our customer’s data in our systems.

5

0
We have a back-up and restoration strategy and redundant back-up systems. 0

5

We have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that includes our IT systems. 0

5

The higher your score, the more critical your need for a robust IT strategy that is aligned with your business goals and strategy. Within each section, a score of 6 or higher indicates an opportunity or need for IT strategy that should not be ignored.

Please contact Tango Technology Group to discuss your score and ask us about a complimentary IT assessment.

Business Leaders: Get an IT Governance Audit Before Tackling Your Next Corporate Project

–          By Andréa Nadeau, Business Analyst, Tango Technology Group

The Project Management Institute (PMI) runs an annual global survey of project management leaders and practitioners called the Pulse of the Profession.  Last year, participants reported that 36% of projects failed to meet their original goals and business intent. These participants went on to report that when a project gets labeled as a failure, its budget is cut by one third.

This is especially problematic given that project support and maintenance costs kick-in post deployment. Suddenly, a project manager can find herself left with a third of her original budget to fix what went wrong, while responding to client requests for enhancements.

Turning to IT for Leadership & Structure

The IT Department can provide leadership and structure to systems and processes that help organizations attain strategic goals and objectives.

When your next corporate project kicks-off, it’s likely that IT will be involved, given that most business activities require at least one of their services – from hosting and development to workflow process automation.

Assessing Whether IT Can Deliver

Odds are good that IT’s deliverables will require a sizable portion of your budget, and their tasks will represent a significant amount of burn time within your project’s schedule. Depending the IT Department’s workload and available resources, you may be concerned about its capacity to deliver on time, on budget and in scope.  If that’s the case, it’s time to perform an IT governance audit.

An IT governance audit will provide you with an assessment of your organization’s IT leadership and high-level IT activities. You’ll acquire a better understanding of:

  • IT’s corporate structure and leadership
  • Current capacity levels, ongoing and upcoming projects
  • The project management framework that will be applied to your tasks and deliverables
  • The effectiveness and efficiency of how existing systems and processes are being managed
  • Performance measurement, compliance and quality management practices

While you may have a sense of the corporate risk appetite, an IT governance audit will point out the project delivery, operations and service delivery risks. You can’t afford not to understand the risks associated with owning, operating and adapting technology to fit your operations.

Embrace IT governance, mitigate your risks, and your project will be a success!

Contact us at Tango Technology Group to schedule an IT Governance Audit.

How to Make or Break a SharePoint Collaboration Implementation

At Tango, we’re sometimes (too often) reminded of the costs of getting a SharePoint implementation wrong. It goes beyond the cost of the technology investment. When an intranet or collaboration project goes awry, there are a more damaging costs to corporate culture and productivity. And yet, it is not difficult to avoid. But it does require planning, and an effective bridge between IT and the business.

In the end, it’s about the users. Because if you build it, they might not use it. If you try to force a new technology or tool onto users, they may use it incompletely (deliberately), or badly (inadvertently), or not at all.

We recently revived a SharePoint collaboration environment that was all but dead due to disuse. Our method wasn’t rocket science – it was best practice. We provided a missing link: a bridge across the gulf that had formed between the business and the technology. To build that bridge, we engaged in a thorough consultation with users and established a change management process.

We are strong believers in the potential value and power that SharePoint holds to bring diverse organizations together into a shared virtual space; to effect significant improvements in productivity through effective document sharing and information management. But it doesn’t happen by magic. It doesn’t happen through great technical prowess. It happens by talking to users and configuring the technology to fit, then talking some more and adjusting where needed.

It happens through people. Read about how we made that very connection at a mid-sized organization in this case study >>

SharePoint Collaboration vs. Governance: Not Necessarily Mortal Enemies

– by Dany Charland

Virtual/online collaboration is an absolute necessity for many small- and mid-sized organizations today. It may be required to support ad hoc project teams; to facilitate geographically dispersed teams to work together; or, to increase the efficiency of internal communication in any organization.

Virtual collaboration environments – such as SharePoint intranets or SharePoint collaboration environments – can certainly add significant value to a business. But they can also become liabilities. Common causes of collaboration environment break-down include:

  • Rapid growth of the organization and/or the collaboration environment – unfettered growth can make collaboration environments unruly and difficult to use
  • Increasing proliferation of information shared in the environment – rapid increases in information can make the environment overwhelming and discourage use
  • Duplication of information in the environment – this can lead to version control problems (also regulatory/compliance breaches) as users unwittingly interact with multiple versions of the same document
  • Loss of relevance or timeliness of the information shared – this discourages use and can lower morale as the environment seems neglected

This is where a Collaboration Governance Strategy is invaluable. It is the tool that brings structure to the free-spirited collaboration environment, by governing growth, content management, information management and versioning/aging. When combined with a Change Management process, the governance strategy comes to drive ongoing decisions about the management and use of the system.

Rather than discouraging users with complex rules and controls, an effective collaboration Governance and Change strategy increases user satisfaction by creating alignment between the business/business goals and the various content producers; content managers; collaboration collections and properties (sites and sub-sites).

Tango Technology Group’s information management experts are seasoned in delivering governance strategies and related processes for intranets, SharePoint intranets, and SharePoint collaboration environments. We are experienced in the development and implementation of strong governance structures that encourage creative, free-spirited collaboration.

If you have an existing or planned collaboration or intranet project in the works, I hope you’ll contact me to ensure that your investment in the new environment will be a success: dcharland(at)tangotechnologygroup.com

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