This is Part 1 of my series Getting Organized; taking all of those file share documents, emails, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces of information and getting them migrated into SharePoint . Click here to see the introduction to this series. The introduction includes my PowerPoint slides and a detailed look at the migration process that I present on.
Lets get started!
Why do we take the time to do discovery? We can just move the documents over…
As a business, you may know where the majority of the files and information in your organization live. Ahem, or where they are supposed to live. But lets be honest – the locations your business users are supposed to use for data, and the ones they actually use can be quite different. Its also important to know how they use the information. What kind of data is it? Are there approvals and processes associated? And most importantly, how is it organized?
What if my manager doesn’t want us to spend the time/money on creating a plan? They want results!
This is what you need to remind them of:
*Assists with defining time frames and budgets *Set goals, prove success, and show ROI *Provide others time to align with those goals *Determine training needs *Identify if you can handle the work in house or if you need to hire additional help, bring in consultants, or both *Time to plan appropriate security, governance, and archiving needs
Once you have approval… its time to dig in and have some fun!
Below is an outline to supplement my presentation and provide links to templates that you can use during the discovery process.
1. Before Getting Started – get familiar with the version of SharePoint you are implementing! This will help you understand what features you have available out of the box so you don’t recreate the wheel or promise things that aren’t available. Here are those links:
Online (Cloud): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj819267.aspx
2. Identify groups of business users to talk to (its not always by department!) Thinks of project groups, functional groups, as well as leadership and events.
3. Schedule discovery sessions with those groups, 2 to 4 hours each.
4. Use the Mind Mapping Questionnaire to ask the right questions. Once you get them thinking, users will find all kinds of things to tell you about!
5. As you find information, start documenting the taxonomy and content types. There are plenty of taxonomy tools out there.
My Personal Favorite: Mindjet for Business (free trial avail) – MindJet is tightly integrated with SharePoint and provides features that make it easy to move through discovery, design and into implementation. Free: Protege (Open Source)
Highly Detailed: MetaVis Architect Suite
No matter which tool you use, the important thing is that you work in a way that allows you to think freely, and review terms and content types so that you can organize your information effectively. See slides 15 and 17 in my presentation for a good example of how to get started.
If the content is too overwhelming to take on with a manual discovery process (and you have the budget), third party tools are also available to help
So there you have it! The discovery process doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take it in manageable pieces and document as you go. Everything you use here will be applied in Part 2 of this series – Design.
Part 2: Design (Coming soon!)