Nobody orders bricks and wallpaper on a whim while they're building a house. We create plans, calculate products and orders, and only then do we begin construction. The same should be said for SharePoint, your company's home and hub for collaboration. In the same way that architecture plans and standards are used in construction, we use the fancy term "SharePoint Governance" when addressing SharePoint. Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that govern how your company's business divisions and IT teams collaborate to achieve its objectives.
When you first start working with SharePoint, we recommend that you think about governance. Even if it appears to be a monotonous corporate concept, skipping it may result in chaos. Having a governance plan in place from the beginning can aid your organization in remaining compliant with your business processes and regulations. Simply put, SharePoint Governance is a user manual that defines what people can and cannot do when using a SharePoint. This blog will define governance, its components, reasons for adopting it, challenges and tips for overcoming them, and finally, some how-to examples to put concepts into practice.
First Component – Governance Plan
The "governance plan" - the do's and don'ts of the SharePoint environment - is one of the components of SharePoint governance. There should be guidelines for collaboration, learning, training, and storing, among other things. Before you can even begin using SharePoint, you must first develop procedures, policies, and processes for managing shared resources.
The following are standard SharePoint Governance Plan components:
Site Architecture: Define and categorize the various types of sites your organization will use in SharePoint. Sub-site usage, site collections, group sites, and hub sites should all be considered.
- Roles and Permissions: Security roles, permission levels, authorities, and security groups must be defined and described. Site administrators, user groups, and their roles must all be defined. We need to define who is allowed to do what and access what (as well as user responsibilities).
- Look and Feel: You have the option of using SharePoint templates or creating your own layout. Logos, colors, banners, page templates, and custom branding are all available. Custom branding is typically chosen by companies to match their organizational brand book.
- Taxonomy and Metadata: You must define whether metadata is unique or repetitive across SharePoint sites. This is critical, especially for the SharePoint farm's term store and navigation. The HP structure, how we will use tags, how people may or may not add new tags, will we have a pre-subscribed tag, and so on.
- Data Management: We must define how long we will keep data, what will happen to it when we delete it, whether we will use archive, and so on.
- Tools and Integrations: What is our policy with regard to third-party tools and integrations? What can users contribute to the SharePoint website? There's a lot of integration going on, but what about security? It requires the existence of a process.
- Training: Make sure that your Site Owners and Users are constantly trained not only on "how to," but also on the governance plan itself.
As seen above, developing a SharePoint governance plan entails establishing rules and guidelines for how people within the organization will use SharePoint and collaborate within it.
Second Component – Governance Committee
In our organization, we must form a group of users who will collaborate on and discuss updates, changes, risks, and mitigation strategies. Typically, we want this committee to meet once a week to discuss plans (for example, patch management), risks (for example, using a new third-party integration tool), and so on.
Third Component – User Communication
Communication between the site administrator and the user is essential. Feedback on the environment, improvement of the future governance plan - it is not enough to design roles and responsibilities once and then forget about them. We must maintain "farm" to ensure that it continues to support the organization's goal.
You may still be wondering why we need SharePoint Governance now that we know what it is and what it is made of. SharePoint Governance will help you in overcoming the following challenges:
- Document management - After months or years of using SharePoint without governance, you will have an excess of content with loose ends. Tracking and managing files on your farm will become impossible.
- Chaotic management - We will not use SharePoint to its full potential if there is no clear structure and responsibility matrix. For example, we won't be able to use approval flows, access documents, publishing hierarchy, and other features without a clear security and permission scheme.
- Hidden files - When we have a crowded environment, users will tend to keep documents on their own drivers and computers. It's risky from both a security and management standpoint.
- IT Expenses - Issues tend to arise when users are unfamiliar with the rules. IT departments become involved in any issue that raises operational costs.
SharePoint governance is required to keep the system secure and compliant; to ensure transparent collaboration and communication; to improve the productivity of all departments and teams; and to monitor and control user activities through defined roles and responsibilities.
Consovenio is a multicultural team of Microsoft developers and SharePoint Experts who come from many different countries and continents. Yet there is one thing that brings us all together: a passion for current trends in technology and business. We are always eager to learn - and to share what we've discovered with others. That is why we have teamed up on a mission to provide our knowledge and experience to organizations that struggle with their SharePoint Intranet.
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