Tags: best practice, content, intranet, publishing, sharepoint 2010
For each approach it is the conflict between minimising the impact on performance of the business with the extra cost of contractors while retaining the knowledge and experience of using SharePoint 2010. There isn’t just one answer and it can be a difficult choice to get right.
Using contractors to rebuild
My last approach covers your organisation hiring external contractors with SharePoint 2010 knowledge and expertise to rebuild your content. Contractors should be able to rebuild all types of content, whether simple or complex, without need for training.
It minimises the involvement of your content editors with rebuilding of content to focus on their business activities. It gives you flexibility on when you train your content editors to be able to update and create content, either during or after the rebuild has been completed.
You can also start your rebuild at short notice providing your contractors are available.
Your organisation can save the costs and effort of training content editors before the rebuild until much later. The impact on operational performance is minimised.
All your content is rebuilt by contractors skilled in SharePoint 2010. You may use some of the contractors on a permanent basis to re-train your content editors and to continue offering expert advice and guidance. Your contractors can be your ‘Super Users’.
You have the flexibility to increase or reduce the time taken to rebuild all your content by hiring more or less contractors.
Hiring external contractors with SharePoint 2010 experience will increase the costs of your organisation’s rebuild. Your content editors will not be so easily able to develop their knowledge by not rebuilding their content and learning from this experience.
It may be difficult to hire the right number of contractors with the skills and experience for the funding you have or within your timeframe.
Contractors have to learn the context and background to why content is published in the way chosen by your organisation. Your editors may save time not rebuilding their content but they will still need to explain what is needed to be done and why to contractors as well as checking and auditing what has been rebuilt before it can be published.
By assessing each of these approaches you can help to choose which will best suit what your organisation needs. You can factor in funding, timescales, editors’ skills and experience, when deciding what to do.
I have been directly involved in several SharePoint 2010 content rebuilds. If you need any more help please contact me.
Tags: best practice, content, governance, intranet, publishing, sharepoint 2010, training
Have you decided what is the right approach to review and rebuild your content in SharePoint 2010?
I will post about the different approaches organisations can take towards who is best placed to rebuilding the existing content in SharePoint 2010 in my next few posts. This builds on my other SharePoint 2010 posts.
Firstly, I want to set out what content editors need training for. This usually happens when you are implementing SharePoint 2010. You may already be using an earlier version of SharePoint or different publishing tool. However it can be used as ‘business as usual’ when you have new content editors who replace existing publishers.
I’m not talking about the training content here. There are many good training courses – both online and face to face – that can help you with that need. I’m also leaving aside the ‘super users’ who have administrative rights for site collections, etc., and just focusing on the vast majority of people who need to publish content.
Content editor training
This training should be ‘just in time’ so content editors can start using it immediately. The longer there is a delay between when you have been trained and you start using it, the greater the risk you will do something wrong or differently because you have forgotten.
Where it is a straight forward and simple activity online training can meet this learning need. However for more complex activities face to face training may be the best way.
A good tip is to reinforce any face to face training with short online videos or podcasts that ‘show and tell’ how to d it the best way. Use the test of ‘Is it easier to go through the online training module than to contact someone for help and advice.
Content editors need to first review their existing content. Is it still relevant? Does it need to be re-written? The aim is to only have the content that is still needed. Most migrations find a very high percentage of content is deleted for various reasons when reviewed. That content should be updated for accuracy, tone of voice, and any change of context e.g. to fit with any other content in another web part that could be merged.
The content rebuild should be the first task after your training. You need to have all your content ready before you can link it together.
Content linking and styling
Once all the content has been rebuilt you can restore the links and fix any broken links as the content will have entirely new addresses (URLs). Then you review each page to ensure that it is styled and written correctly.
Content structure and navigation
The final stage will be checks on the intranet homepages/portals, global and site navigation menus, that any content needs to be ready for launch.
My next post will cover the first approach you can consider for how you rebuild your content.
Tags: best practice, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, usability, usability standards, users
Has your intranet got content littered all over it which isn’t very useful to people needing to use it?
By litter I mean no or little thought has been given by the owner on how people need to have this information presented so it is easy to use. Examples can include:
- Links to documents instead of content on an intranet page
- Poorly worded content that doesn’t make sense
- Poorly constructed content that is hard to follow
- Poorly presented content with the wrong balance of images, text, and video
I wonder how many intranet professionals are nodding their heads as they recognise some of these examples being on their own intranets! Yes, it is irritating and creates a poor user experience.
So, how can you make your intranet look neat and tidy? I recommend you consider these:
- Usability standard that sets out what the user experience should be
- Feedback button so people can report back on bad examples
- Document library for content that has to be shown in its original format (legal document)
- Training for publishers on tone of voice
- Training for publishers on how to ‘write for the web’
- Guidance on use of different media with best practice examples
- Audit content and encourage/persuade/force publishers to publish it following best practice
And you can always contact me if you need more help and advice.
Tags: accessibility, best practice, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, training, usability, value
I have reviewed many intranets and have been amazed at the variety of publishing standards and how they are enforced. These vary from no publishing standards through to everything being locked down depending on the importance of complying with standards. More importantly it is the amount of time, effort, and money that is used to enforce people to comply with the standards when they publish information.
I sometimes think organisations lose the plot and forget to look at the costs being spent for the benefit being gained.
Your intranet needs standards to make sure your organisation complies with business, user, regulatory, and legal requirements in any country it operates in. The best approach is to have ‘smart’ standards that need the minimum time, effort, and cost which achieving the maximum effectiveness and benefits. How many of these questions can you answer “yes” to?
- Do you train your publishers on what your intranet standards?
- Do you also train your publishers on why your intranet has these standards?
- Do you educate and support your publishers with guidance to understand more about your standards?
- Do you embed any of your standards in the publishing templates e.g. branding, navigation menu?
- Do publishers need to comply with your standards before their content is published e.g. images need to have alternative texts before they can be used?
- Do you review content for compliance?
- Do you remind your publishers if their content is non-compliant?
- Do you remove content if no action by your publishers to comply?
- Do you measure how compliant your intranet is?
- Have you measured it more than once?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions then award yourself a gold medal!
If you answered “no” to any of these questions perhaps you had better contact me?
Tags: best practice, content, governance, intranet, publishing, sharepoint 2010, standards, training
SharePoint 2010 gives you the opportunity to upgrade your technology to meet the current and future needs of your business’ intranet. It also enables other changes to improve business effectiveness to be made at the same time. In my last post I gave some tips on the user experience your business needs so it is ready to use SharePoint 2010. This post covers the publishing experience.
- All site collection administrators, site administrators, and publishers need to be trained before they start using SharePoint 2010. The training should be a blend of face to face and online modular training depending on its complexity.
- The look and feel should be consistent – either ‘out of the box’ or corporate branding - so it is familiar to all publishers. It also cover the intranet standards – why as well as what they are – and need people to show they understand and will comply with them.
- While the training will mainly be for publishers there will need to be training for Site Collection Administrators and Site Administrators. The training needs to cover their roles, how they manage the intranet and comply with the publishing standards.
- The training content and method of delivery needs to be tested and shown to educate publishers in SharePoint 2010 best practice and publishing standards.
- A process should be developed so people who need to publish can request permission to publish. This will be approved by their manager and the Site Collection Administrator will set permissions and space to publish.
- The process should cover all publishers to request permission, show they have been trained, alert the approver(s) to decide if it should proceed before being implemented.
- You need to decide on your approach to reviewing all types of existing content – news, video, blogs, and audio. Your approach could include content no longer needed being deleted and people pointed to more relevant content if needed. If the content is still current and needed, it can be updated to meet the publishing standards and right tone of voice.
- An overall project plan and owner needs to be agreed who can give updates on progress.
- Once all content has been reviewed and updated it will be ready for migration. All content needs to be signed off by the owner. Ideally meta data must be added from the taxonomy with extra relevant words and phrases added to help people find the right content.
- When content is migrated it needs to be aligned with your information architecture. It also should appear in search results.
- All new content published from day 1 needs to meet the publishing standards and have the right tone of voice.
In my next post in this series I will cover how to get your business ready for SharePoint 2010 governance.
Tags: best practice, collaboration, governance, intranet, sharepoint 2010, strategy
As part of your SharePoint 2010 strategy you need to get the governance right for your organisation’s intranet – restricted if you are highly regulated, looser if you are creative and innovative - for publishing and for accessing and using the information. Setting the right level of permissions for people publishing and using SharePoint 2010 is critical to the value it can bring to your organisation.
What level of control do you need centrally? What level of control do publishers need? You need to understand the key roles when using SharePoint 2010. Getting the balance right and assigning permissions to MySites, TeamSites and MyProfile is critical to your organisation gaining the full benefits expected.
You must be very careful about who you give site collection administrator rights to. There are other levels of permission you can give publishers to create pages and sub-sites, edit content or just read only for some parts of the site collection without making them site collection administrators. Site collection administrators are responsible for training, awareness and education of authors.
To encourage collaboration and innovation using SharePoint 2010 you may want to have looser control and remove unnecessary barriers that prevent this happening. But you really want tighter management of the corporate memory in documents with an audit trail and limit permssion rights here.
The roles needed for publishing and managing the site information are:
Site Collection Administrators
A site collection administrator manages a collection of sites.
- A governance model will help decide how many site collection administrators are needed and who they will be.
- Sets the level of permissions for anyone using the Site Collection and content and are trained on how to use it.
- Review the content published for best practice and help make sure it is managed properly.
- Make sure policies, such as information security and information retention, are understood and followed.
- Make sure the Site Collection is reviewed regularly and either renewed or deleted.
A site administrator manages the site.
- The site collection administrator sets permissions for whoever will be the site administrator.
- Advise authors how to access and use SharePoint, grant or remove access to the Site.
- Regularly review the content published by authors on your Site for best practice and help make sure it is managed properly.
- Agree and implement the structure and access control permissions required for your Site lists and document libraries.
- Make sure policies, such as information security and information retention, are understood and followed by authors publishing on the Site.
- Make sure the Site is reviewed and either renewed or deleted by acting on the site expiry messages.
An author publishes content to the areas of the site they have permission to use.
- The site administrator sets permissions for whoever will be an author and the areas of the Site they can use.
- Make sure policies, such as information security and information retention, are understood and followed when publishing to the area(s) of the Site with permission to use.
- Make sure the expiry messages are acted upon and content is reviewed and either renewed or deleted.
My next post will be on SharePoint Designer.
Tags: best practice, content, digital workplace, governance, intranet, Mark Morrell, people finder, standards, strategy, value
To have a successful digital workplace (which I define as ‘work is something you do, not a place you go to’) it is vital organisations have the right strategy, culture, environment and infrastructure to exploit the benefits fully. It needs to become the natural way of working so everyone is more effective and productive and your organisation more efficient and successful. For me a digital workplace can include:
- people working from any location (or mobile) rather than their office workstation.
- IT infrastructure providing the same or similar experience wherever somone uses the digital workplace
- people being able to collaborate, search, complete tasks as well as read the latest news
- people choosing how to do ‘things’ – RSS, mobile, etc. – that help them
- the organisation measuring the benefits and encouraging people to use the digital workplace
So, does your intranet look or feel like a digital workplace?
Is it meeting your organisation’s needs – now or in the future?
Does it offer the right tools that people are able to use easily?
Have you the right governance and standards to make your digital workplace successful?
If you have answered no, maybe just shaken your head sideways, then I can help and work with you.
I have first-hand experience of creating, implementing and managing a digital workplace that is one of the best in the world.
Whatever help you need, maybe a call, presentation (online or face to face), workshop, training, consultancy or implemention, I can help.
I will be posting in more detail over the next few weeks on the principles for a great digital workplace to entice you.
So, why not use make your life easier and use my first-hand experience and wider intranet knowledge for your benefit?
Just let me know with a comment, email – markmorrell.ltd@gmail com, Skype (mark.morrell58), call +44 (0) 771 338 5309 or even visit me in Brighton!