For those of you who have a document management system or “system of record” (other than MOSS) within your organization, and may also have SharePoint 2007 running as a collaboration system, you might find your users may be confused or “hoarding” documents in SharePoint because of the usability issues of your “other” system of record.
With SharePoint 2010, this issue can be easily resolved. The “SharePoint Golden Rule”, as I like to refer to it, is starting to become an issue within organizations from two different sides.
First, you may not have a clear site provisioning process and multiple sites are being created for very similar purposes, and the same or similar copies of documents are being stored in multiple SharePoint sites. Second, you may have another document management system where “final versions” or “records” should be stored, and you may not fully understand when or how these documents should be “routed” from SharePoint to the other “system of record.” This can create a real issue -- especially in companies who worry about e-Discovery, litigation, and proper records management in connection with the legal department’s document or records retention schedule.
SharePoint 2010 can not only replace your existing system of record, but with proper planning, governance and site provisioning, you can restore the “SharePoint Golden Rule.” This means that only one version of a document exists and is stored within the proper location. It also has the proper retention schedule applied to it that will be controlled and then deleted by a related “destruction” workflow at the end of its lifecycle.
My firm, EPC Group, has been engaged many LiveLink to SharePoint and Documentum to SharePoint migration initiatives and these projects in theory are very similar.
There are several things to be aware of when undertaking a major initiative like a Documentum- or LiveLink-to-SharePoint migration:
· How much content (Gigs, Terabytes, etc) will you be migrating?
· What is the existing security model in your current “system of record?”
· How many users, where are their locations, and how can you best identifyi “power users” and champions to help you promote the initiative?
· Develop internal training (via Lunch and Learns, creating videos via Camtasia Studio, Power User training, public relations campaigns, brown bag sessions, and the like).
· What workflows exist within your current system of record? This is critical as you may need to start creating “swim lane” diagrams for these workflows to re-create them in Windows Workflow Foundation / Visual Studio
· What should be the overall Site hierarchy; how can we make improvements to what exists, and how can you do this in a way that will easily allow you to modify this in a company reorganization?
· What are the current branding standards and how can they be improved?
· What is the organization’s current retention schedule and how can you create your SharePoint content type strategy around this so that you do not have to start from scratch?
· Will content need to be accessed externally via an external security model?
I will continue to expand on these strategies in my upcoming articles and will next discuss how to build on SharePoint 2010’s ECM capabilities to build collaboration sites and allow the information worker to create workflows with Microsoft Visio 2010.
Errin O’Connor is the founder and chief executive officer for EPC Group. He is in the process of writing Microsoft "SharePoint Foundation 2010 - Inside Out" for Microsoft Press / O’Reilly Media that is set to be released in June 2010.
Errin is also the author of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Inside Out by Microsoft Press on SharePoint 2007, and is the founder of WebPartGallery.com, an online solutions provider of SharePoint Web Parts and custom solutions.