Back in May, I posted about a couple of articles on “SharePoint: The Reality Series” that Marc Solomon had written which included some quotes from a discussion I had with him back in January. Marc was kind enough to ping me today about a new installment in the series.
This installment is entitled SharePoint The Reality Series 4: Benchmarks for success and includes more from that January conversation, or as Marc called it today, “the interview that keeps on giving”. I must have kept my lips flapping pretty fast if he got all of this from the one conversation!
Once again, I sort of like what I said, so here are some snippets. Of course, there’s lots of other good stuff there, so read the whole article.
First of all, here’s what not to measure. According to Marc Anderson of Sympraxis Consulting, it’s not about documents. It’s about accomplishing goals in a better way and evidencing SharePoint as a catalyst. “It’s one thing to have a mission and a goal structure. It’s another thing to create a welcoming climate for breaking old habits,” says Anderson. “Some of this is sound engineering. Most of it is cultural.”
Storytelling is more powerful than setting mandates. Anecdotes count. Colleagues, otherwise siloed, reach out to each other—not to be social but to jumpstart a project. “Was SharePoint an enabler?” asks Anderson. “If they both say it was a factor, it counts.”
One important metric worth minding is how well SharePoint-hosted content travels over local and wide area networks. According to Anderson, SharePoint does not have a good story to tell as a global software platform: “It can crawl long before it learns to walk over a global LAN or VPN,” cautions Anderson. SharePoint is not replicated all over the world. It lives behind the firewall and can bury a server on an underperforming network with a ballooning database. Documents are the common language of SharePoint, and SharePoint doesn’t make them any smaller.
Ironically it’s a simple thing to make SharePoint available through authentication through a secure IP address. The holdup comes from a misplaced insecurity about the crown jewels (access to SharePoint-hosted intellectual capital). The absurdity for Anderson is this: “Your firewall blocks Twitter and YouTube but everyone has a Blackberry. What did that accomplish? It takes longer for people to do their jobs!”
The ultimate power of SharePoint stems organizationally from what Marc Anderson terms that “one version of the truth thing.”