jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

Who could be the person in my company covering the business strategy position with Sharepoint?

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Throughout my experience, I saw several companies that find it difficult to find this person, for different reasons. For example, a company that has only SharePoint Foundation and managed to work with this version so far, they realized that in trying to work with some business units or areas, they have no real business strategy or know what can Sharepoint do or not. The company has an IT person that can make all the settings and customizations needed. What advices, experiences, thoughts or feedback are there to find this key person who knows these strategies. Disney-Handy-Manny-tool-sets2
This is a great question. First you should start with someone who knows the business, analysts commonly and generally known how the features of Sharepoint work to help the business. It ‘d be ideal that  not only know SharePoint, but other tools or applications to integrate the company. So for the time being, it is possible that no one in the company covers that blend of skills. What you can do is identify a person's business side thought to be covered or have that ability, generating interviews with these potential key people in the business to gain a better understanding of the problems and issues they identify.

For example, an area of ​​the company could say, "We use emails to collaborate on documents and we never know what the latest version because there are a lot of people manipulating the document locally." This should guide you when you need version control. Start with the basics: What types of documents, forms or information you handle? How often is it updated? How do people collaborate today? What kind of problems are there with your documents? Do they use a common format? Are there search tools? Do they need permission to get those documents?
We must also understand the nature of content and workflow steps to create such documents. Use workflow diagrams to document contents - this is not necessary to be an expert on the subject but takes time to implement these best practices. Another way to meet this need in other companies is to seek, investigate and study the job postings where SharePoint Business Analysts are needed. Observe the skills they need, and then can make that internal search on your company. Beyond familiarity with Sharepoint is needed, it is certain that you need a minimum understanding of the core processes of the company and industry, also the integration of different applications, web applications, and applications used in the construction of new features in SharePoint as RUP, Use Cases, etc.. training
If you can find someone internally that have many of these skills, beginning with a Sharepoint training course to get to know all the features of Sharepoint and identify which ones are most usable for your business.
In parallel, you could post internally for this position or ask a recruiter help with this in a period of some months. Establish a training plan for IT people on the SharePoint platform. When asked in a post such and so many features for a skill you run the risk of reducing the chances of finding someone. There are very few people on the planet with such a range of skills and none of them are cheap. In my experience, I found good analysts with deep knowledge of the business and what Sharepoint can do from the perspective of a user and what can a developer.
To find a business analyst who also knows.Net, IT and web development applications is asking more than what most people can offer. Generally these roles ended up with other important functions. You could add, is that many companies are looking for more than what can be found regionally, and it is advisable to reduce by 70% the expected skills. Another tip for many interior regions of different countries, is looking this person to work remotely. Another good tip is to take a look at the book on Amazon, Microsoft Sharepoint for Business Executives Although we have been discussing this role, would help us evangelize this technology to employees in general, it would be nice to implement some auto site training for all employees so that they know the technology and can think like small teams and know what functionality could use to generate their own applications. Another important item to develop is working with Sharepoint governance, to adapt to this, to bring it back or just to set it from scratch.
You also have to think that this will give impetus to evangelization considering the governance in terms of user growth, storage and applications
Perhaps, initially, should be basic questions such as:
What do you think, What do you want from Sharepoint? How it will help your business?
At the same time, identify what the business does and how they do - in detail. Identify repetitive or automatic alerts, reminders, deadlines dependent metadata and / or human tasks.
Identify sources of each area, for example the HR people may want to focus on that users have restricted access to certain areas of the site, or the marketing people want to focus on the branding of the company with well-defined metadata information and maintained, for quick use and search its contents. For example people from production areas need to integrate their CRM with Sharepoint and more dynamically associated also have a good system of communication with customers who have priority orders.
Depending on the size and purchasing policies, some large companies have implemented a methodology for issues such as workshops, questionnaires, frameworks of analysis, online surveys, each role defined roadmaps. So this role could be obtained in a short time. Collaborative applications are a specific business, so you should not expect to get it right the first time definitely. It is a way to go.
Consulting companies did so for many customers and you know what works and what does not. The added benefit is that there will be focal points and deadlines instead of people working on their fourth or fifth attempt to do this. Some companies that implement SharePoint without a clear strategy, only end up with a good document management application.
We must also know that Sharepoint is an application platform. This is something that many organizations do not think when they buy Sharepoint and end up having a great ROI. We have to find a good strategy elements as:
  • User adoption with good support
  • Corporate Culture
  • Knowledge base

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If you can work with a consultant who can advise the profile of your organization using these items, you will be able to formulate a strategy. You need to find someone between IT and the business who can translate the language features that users can understand. Someone who navigate in the business to understand and define requirements, mapping these requirements to capabilities, like gaps, build a roadmap, and understand the value of the Microsoft partner world. A good BA would have relieved with key actors and map requirements with Sharepoint functionality.
Additionally you should have a developer for customizations. Thinking of your Sharepoint consultants can be expensive and if you're thinking ahead is to employ the best people for this role. Some companies spend thousands of dollars in consulting when you have someone inhouse would be cheaper. You could find an experienced manager intranet can help identify where Sharepoint and setup fits better with business priorities - help them relate to deploy tactical OOB functionalities. They should create a governance team to help deploy and understand the different actors SharePoint opportunities in key areas and help manage culture change and manage expectations.
A good source of reference is Essential SharePoint 2010: Overview, Governance, and Planning by Jamison, it provides a nice high level overview of the business benefits that can be realized using SharePoint. Being aware of future features of Sharepoint or existing applications partners who could help you. Working with some clients, this needed role was clear and created the position of Director of collaborative sites.

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At Baufest , we usually help this role with some solutions to these problems based on:
Sharepoint, Nintex, Nintex Workflows,Nintex Analytics, and Reporting Services. If you would like to see a demo of any of these products please contact us.
See you.
Fernando Hunth
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