Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 Day #3 Thoughts

The conference continues along at breakneck speed toward tomorrow’s wrap up. I’ve noticed a few themes I thought were worth recording.

As with almost all SharePoint events, I still see an overabundance of sessions focused on the technology side of SharePoint and not enough sessions focused on the so-called “business” side. The technology shouldn’t even be in play unless it is driving business success, yet there’s still so much attention paid to keeping servers tuned and code written, and so little on process improvement, change management, incentives, and knowledge management. Jamming stuff into SharePoint alone does not equal business success.

So many sessions I’ve seen tell me that thinking about your organization’s SharePoint Maturity is critical to success. If you’re at the conference, find Sadie Van Buren (@Sadalit) and ask her how it can help you improve how you use SharePoint across the board to drive your organization to that mythical “next level”.

All that said, many of the technical sessions I’ve sat in (or more often stood in – all the popular sessions are filled to the hallways) have been first rate. I’ve learned a lot: at least a few great nuggets from just about every session. In a later post, I’ll list out some if my favorites and why I liked them.

Last night we got to go to Disneyland and act like kids again. Great fun, so thanks, Microsoft.


That’s Tom Resing (@resing)behind me in the “boat”, with Matt Bramer (@IOnline247), behind him, then the SharePoint Ninja himself, Michael Doyle (@SharePointNinja).

Last Thursday Was a Very Good Day

Last Thursday was indeed a very good day. I got to do [at least] four great things:

  • I wrapped up some cool jQuery/SPServices/jQueryUI-based functionality to enhance a site which uses workflows extensively. The functionality allows us to add dialog popups which display all the underlying tasks for a running workflow. No postbacks! More on this in a future blog post.
  • I met with Sadie Van Buren (@sadalit) to talk about her SharePoint Maturity Model, which, if you read my post entitled Applause for Sadie Van Buren’s SharePoint Maturity Model, you know I think may actually be competing with sliced bread for greatness. As cool as it already is, keep an eye on the site and what Sadie’s up to, as there’s more to come.
  • I met Claire Willett (@clairedwillett) from SoftArtisans (Sadie and I also had lunch with Claire and the CEO of SoftArtisans, David Wihl – it’s great to connect sharp people then stand back and see what happens!). Claire’s tweets (as @SoftArtisans) and posts caught my eye a while back and I wanted to find out more about what SoftArtisans is all about.
  • I got a demo of SoftArtisan’s OfficeWriter and Pylon products from their team and was *very* impressed. You should definitely check out their stuff.

If there is one great benefit to being a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint (yup, I just mentioned it – for context), it’s the fact that it opens some doors to these types of discussions. I love talking about what I do with SharePoint and getting to do so with new people and hear different perspectives is primo.

Watch for follow-on posts about SoftArtisans’ OfficeWriter product (awesome) and Sadie’s SharePoint Maturity Model (awesome) in the days ahead.