So you’re building an intranet

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Presentation from 2010 outlining steps that an IT manager needs to take when planning an initial SharePoint 2010 intranet site.


  • 1. So Youre Building an Intranet Becky Bertram Independent SharePoint Consultant, SharePoint Server MVP With contributions from Mike Henthorn Covenant Technology Partners, St. Louis

2. Project Planning 3. Evaluating Scope and Granularity 4. Stakeholder = person footing the bill Important to prove business value and ROI This person is sometimes more concerned with dollars and cents than usability. Usability must translate into cost savings. End-user = person using the system once its build This person doesnt care how much the system cost. They care if it helps them do their job better. May not have an eye on the big picture. May wish they could post pictures of their pets on their My Site more than whether the site saves the company money. Stakeholders vs. End Users 5. Important to get input from both stakeholders and end-users (but not necessarily at the same time). Stakeholders have final say in what gets built, but they must understand needs of their users. Find representatives throughout your organization who know their business processes for their particular area/department. Find tech-savvy champions who are excited about technology and are not afraid of change. Steering Committee 6. Users either love or hate what they currently have, but it will serve as their frame of reference. Its important to get people to dream, whether that means giving them hope that something better is out there, or opening their eyes that there might be a better way of doing things than they have done things for the last decade. A key to getting them to dream is to show whats possible. Demoing gives people more understanding than talking about SharePoints features. The Curse of the Past 7. When working with stakeholders, they might continually whine or lament that the new system lacks what either their current system does, or some system they worked with at another job. Set the expectation that SharePoint is not WebSphere, Documentum, Fill-in-the-blank Sell SharePoint, but dont oversell it. It wont do their laundry or buy their groceries. Its a tool, and it can be customized for their needs. The Curse of the Past, Continued 8. Import for everyone to feel heard. Take a note of everything they wish to see. Begin a process of group prioritization. If this is done as a group, everyone gets a vote. If the loudest person insists on a priority, but it becomes apparent its only important to them when it comes to the voting process because it only gets their one vote, its hard for them not to understand if it doesnt get implemented. Primarily stakeholder(s) get a greater vote than everyone else. Dems da berries. Requirements Gathering 9. Create a matrix of: costly, important, cheaper, unimportant. Prioritize the requirements along this continuum. Prioritization Costly and important Costly and less important Less costly but more important Less costly and less important 10. A house needs a foundation before you can hang the curtains. When calculating important things, think about things that cannot be easily changed once you start your implementation. How users authenticate Number of site collections Retention policies Base content types Server location (hosted or on-premises) First Things First 11. Easier to start with limited functionality and add it later. Too much functionality too early: Increases the chances that users are overwhelmed and quickly disregard the whole system Increases the chances that users dont know how to use the system properly and make mistakes, causing frustration and limited usage of system. Because of increased complexity, causes increased maintenance for site and farm administrators, who are new to this system as well. Better to start with limited functionality with a strategy for expanding functionality later. Starting Small 12. People hate change, by and large To get people excited about using the new system, work to get their buy-in earlier than later. Do it while youre building the system. Dont present them with a shiny new system and than be disappointed when they dont care about your pet project. Ways to get buy-in: Periodic updates on projects status. Perhaps this is in an e- mail, a newsletter, etc. Prepare people for this new change that will happen. Periodic demonstrations of new functionality Solicit feedback during the process Encouraging Adoption 13. they will not necessarily come. A SharePoint site must present users with a better way of doing their job than they do it now. No Outlook = no e-mails at work. No SharePoint = business as usual (i.e. e-mailing documents, e-mail discussion threads, etc.) People will NOT voluntarily add meaningful content to the site if they are not assigned it as a part of their meaningful job tasks. Make sure people understand this is a priority and not just one more thing they have to do. (Wikis, blogs, discussion boards seem like a great idea until no one uses them. ) If You Build It 14. Planning your Site 15. This has an effect on a number of things: Technical: Server load Maintenance Logistical: How many people need training? How many people will need to be administering the content on the site? How will you find your champions? Number of Users 16. How many logical sites will be built? The smaller the granularity, the greater the number. You might need one public facing site You might need one intranet portal homepage You might need 5 departmental sites You might need 100 team sites You might need 300 My Sites Scope and Frequency 17. Object model, navigation, browser tools, only work within one site collection. Better user experience when one site collection is used. Monster big site collection = monster big database = bad disaster recovery scenario Reasons for splitting site into site collections: Smaller DB sizes, i.e. faster backup and restore scenario per DB. Quotas Expiration and deletion Number of Site Collections 18. My Sites (Quota, permissions, OOTB) Project or team sites (Quota, expiration) Ad hoc sites (Quota, expiration) Document-heavy sites (Database size) When do multiple site collections make sense? 19. Will your site need to support more than one language? Will the infrastructure team need to install language packs? Will you be using site variations? How will the translation process work? Multi-lingual Sites 20. Ad Hoc: Nearly anyone can create a site, create lists, add or remove content, etc. Controlled content creation: SharePoint Administrators, Site Administrators put in place to limit who gets to create or modify content. Publishing sites: Greatest level of control; usually only Content Owners are given permission to create content; page templates are pre-defined. Spectrum of Control Ad Hoc Publishing 21. Advantage of enabling Publishing in your site: branded look and feel, more pleasant Web experience. Disadvantage of Publishing: meant for public facing Web sites, primarily. Can be inconsistent user experience if Publishing pages used for news stories while list views are used for lists, etc. Blended approaches: Publishing and collaboration are layered in the same site Publishing in one site collection, collaboration split off in another area of the site Publishing or No Publishing, that is the question 22. Benefit of SharePoint is that it allows for distributed use and maintenance. For it to be effective, responsibility must be delegated. How much centralized control do you want to cede in order to encourage distributed ownership? Depends on job responsibility or initiatives of end users Maybe means making a distinction between official and unofficial content. (Workflows, or publishing vs. non-publishing sites.) Delegation 23. Think task over org chart People come to a page or a site because they are trying to accomplish something Logical structure is also tied to security Key to effective content management is creating multiple ways to retrieve the same data Metadata, metadata, metadata: Sorting, grouping, filtering on lists Relevant search terms for data retrieval Content queries Site Organization 24. Columns: At the global level, emphasize search-ability and retrieve-ability. At the list level, emphasize sorting, filtering, grouping, etc. Content Types: Can be used for workflows and policies, as well as a collection of columns or document templates. Global vs. local Fewer the better Take advantage of content type inheritance Base content type at the top Inherited content type at the list level Content Types and Metadata 25. Custom Search Scopes and/or Search Tabs Customized Advanced Search page Customized Results Customized Refinement Panel Canned Searches Search 26. Approval workflows Sequential or parallel Whos in the workflow groups? Are you using a Records Center? Are you archiving content? Do you need to set up routing rules? Are you implementing expiration policies on your content? Workflows 27. Social media components can be implemented independently of one another. Use Personal Features Contains Memberships, such as SharePoint sites and distribution lists; Colleagues, such as the My Colleagues list and colleagues recommendations; My Links; My Personalization links, such as personalization site pinning; and User profile properties. Create Personal Site Creates a My Site Web site, which includes a personal, private My Home page and a public My Profile page. Use Social Features Includes social tags, Note Board, and ratings. (From Social Media 28. Each users My Site is a new site collection. Possible to make changes to a site collection before its created. Doubles the effort or more to make changes to existing site collections after the fact, as well as provide for changes in new sites to be created in the future. How does management feel about My Sites? Do they see it as wasting time? How will you monitor the content that people publish? Are there policies in place if someone misuses their My Site? Storage space estimate and quotas should be in place before enabling. My Sites 29. How will you get content from your existing site (if you have one) into your new site? Whats the process of scrubbing data before bringing it over? Migration options: Manual Programmatic Third-party tool Content Migration 30. Audience targeting is not the same as security Do you want to target content to specific audiences? Can make users more interested in the site because they only see relevant content Can also anger people if they want to see content and feel like they were excluded in any way What are the rules for setting up those audiences? Will content owners take the time to actually target content? Audience Targeting 31. Planning your Infrastructure 32. On premises Hosting Company BPOS Hosting 33. How many servers of which type? (Web front end, application server, database server) Do you have a development environment? Staging? Is your hardware virtualized or not? Will you be extending the sites availability outside the firewall? Alternate access mappings VPN access Will you be applying security certificates to the site? Server Architecture 34. If youre hosting in-house, do you need to order more hardware? Do you have the appropriate software licenses? What will the URL(s) for your site be? Plan Ahead 35. SharePoint Server 2010 supports authentication methods that were included in previous versions and also introduces token-based authentication that is based on Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) as an option. Supported authentication methods: Windows Forms-based authentication SAML token-based authentication Authentication Types: Classic-mode Claims-based Authentication 36. What is right for me? Classic mode This is the same as used in 2007 Kerberos is still used No support for Forms or SAMAL Token-based authentication Claims-based What am I doing Who is my customer Authentication cont. 37. What is supported under each Authentication Mode Classic-mode or Claims-mode Windows NTLM Kerberos Anonymous Basic Digest Claims Only Forms-based authentication (using) LDAP SQL database or other database Custom or third-party membership and role provider SAML token-based authentication (using) AD FS 2.0 Windows Live ID Third-party identity provider LDAP Authentication cont. 38. Best Practice Guidance Claims-mode Only if you have a need for one of the following Forms-based authentication SAML token-based authentication Classic Use it if you dont have a need for the above Important: Classic-mode web applications can be converted to Claims with PowerShell but, Claims-based cannot go back to Classic-mode. Authentication cont. 39. Authentication = Are you who you say you are Authorization = What do you have permission to see and do? Who has permission to do what in your site? Does everyone get to edit everyones content, or do people get to only edit content within their own department? Does everyone have permission to view everyone elses content? Security 40. If users are being stored in Active Directory, which system will be used as the user identity management location? SharePoint 2010 now allows for SharePoint to read or to update AD info. Will users update their own personal profile info? Who will maintain the user groups? Adding people to SharePoint groups directly is not very scalable but works for smaller environments (of several hundred users). Benefit: SharePoint administrators dont need to contact IT people every time a change is made Simply adding an AD group to a SharePoint group means users are managed within AD. This is helpful if you already have a system for managing users in AD. Its also more scalable, and ultimately, allows AD to be used for what its intended: user management. User Management 41. Are there external systems you want to connect to? How will you authenticate with them? Will you use the BCS? Are you using additional applications like SQL Server Reporting Services, or Microsoft Project? Does this affect your authentication requirements? Are you wanted to install any third party SharePoint products, such as imaging/scanning plug-ins, server management tools, etc.? External Systems and Applications 42. Ad hoc site creation Delegated site creation Centralized site creation Sites defined by a feature, site template or definition Request form for new sites Site Creation 43. What is the disaster recovery SLA? Built-in products or third party products? Where are the backups being stored? Physical Media? Cloud Storage? Disaster Recovery 44. Planning Customization and Development 45. What skillset do you have to build and maintain your solution in-house? Are you planning on building your solution in-house, or outsourcing the development to someo...


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