Archive for July, 2010

3 Steps to a successful deployment of SharePoint and how to set the time on your VCR

I am old enough to remember the first VCRs and also remember that most homes that had VCRs their clocks flashed 12:00. For the new guys reading this and scratching their heads, this would be equivalent to the internet time service (ITS) not being configured correctly and the PVR has no idea what time it is.

If you carefully examine homes of the flashing 12:00 VCR you will probably notice the VCR was installed by someone in the family who was savvy enough with wires and TVs. And, once installed the new owner was told how easy it was to use and work and that was it. The first time after a power failure the clock reset to 12:00 and the owner had no clue how to change it. The owner only figured out how to rent a tape (err, download a movie from iTunes) and none of the cool recording features of the VCR were ever utilized.

Successfully getting your VCR (err, PVR) to record and installing SharePoint requires three steps, here they are:

  1. Setup SharePoint

    This is usually the part that companies get it right, because it’s interesting. The geeks read Microsoft technet, decide on the SharePoint architecture, install load balancing IIS web servers, SQL Server farms, and tell their friends how many gigabytes of RAM and terabytes of hard disk their new SharePoint farm has.

    For the VCR, unbox it and wrestle with the cable behind the TV.

  2. Decide which SharePoint features you want

    Geeks love features and this is where things begin to go wrong. Heck, we have all the RAM and disk space in the world why not turn on ALL the features! Little or no time is spent on deciding how SharePoint will be used. And if any time is spent, the usual conclusion is, “we are too busy to figure out what users will do so might as well give them all the features and they can figure it out on their own”.

    For the VCR, a 300 page manual is left on the coffee table.

  3. Train the end users on the features that will solve their business problems

    If you did step 2 correctly then you would have a small list of features to show the users. These features will delight the users because it will make their job easier. Train them and they will be happy, happy, happy. If you did not do step 2, then no one will do the training because it will take too long going to go through all the features.

    For the VCR, put the manual in the drawer for reference, and show the user how to reset the clock and record

Gord Maric

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