Governance Best Practices: SharePoint 2013, Office 365, SharePoint Online

Courtesy of by EPC Group
Governance is sometimes used as a catchall term to refer to nearly any and all functionality and how it should be managed with a SharePoint 2013 and/or Office 365 or SharePoint Online initiative. The word “governance” is also one that is sometimes frowned upon in some organizations due to previous failed governance projects. If your organization’s management has experienced previous failed efforts or has an overall distaste for the term “governance,” you should consider using an alternative word or term to describe the development of your governance strategy and related policies.

Governance is a key component to ensure long-term success and is unique for every organization. It should define who will manage the environment or overall platform and define the related granular roles and responsibilities within an organization to establish rules for its appropriate usage.

It should also outline how the business and technical users leverage the environment with a careful balance of required restrictions and enterprise compliance policies with well-defined procedures for growth and future change.

Governance Best Practices for SharePoint 2013, Office 365, SharePoint Online, Office 365 Governance, SharePoint 2013 Governance, SharePoint Online Governance, Lync Governance

The strategies within this post have been developed by the team at EPC Group over the past 15 years to ensure that your organization’s governance plan covers nearly all scenarios you may experience throughout the platform’s life cycle. These strategies are outlined in the following four major pillars:

  • People: Roles and responsibilities
  • Process: How to accomplish common tasks as well as new business and technology requests
  • Technology: Leveraging features and tools to enforce policies
  • Policy: Collection of principles and clear definitions on how the platform is utilized

One of the keys to implementing a successful SharePoint and/or Office 365 governance strategy is to do so in a manner and mind-set that reflects “operational governance.”

One of the best ways I have heard this described was when a client’s CIO once said to me that he felt their organization’s SharePoint and Office 365 governance strategy would be an overall successful if it detailed not only how “the SharePoint ship was built but also how they should drive the SharePoint ship, maintain the SharePoint ship, and even how the SharePoint ship should be winterized.”

Governance and its overall strategy should be controlled by a SharePoint/Office 365 Steering Committee that is responsible for ensuring best practices governance policies, as well as implementing and making available to users the features and functionality that will support the organization’s mission. Read more

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