Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MOSS Governance considerations

Here are some of my key deployment considerations to governance & management.

  • Quota - to encourage storage management, if not manage your disk space and search relevancy
  • Usage Policies - what is ok, SharePoint Designer, Custom web parts, SQL data sources in dataviews, what types of sites do you provision, who can own a site?
  • Data/Site Retention policies - How long does data that isn't accessed or categorized or even used for a couple of years stick around?
  • Web Part/Development policies - Ownership, support, deployment?
  • Meta Data Capture & Content Types - How can you get the best data out of your users?
  • Managed Approach to deployment (top down) - What is our enterprise search story, what is our browse, site map and site directory story... What do the departments in my company use for aggregation?
  • Self Service approach to deployment (bottoms up) - how can I keep Help desk from being a bottleneck to information worker productivity
  • Montoring Plan - Is there a 24/7 plan with a MOM console? What application packs or web services verifications and synthetic transactions for verifiying uptime.
  • Global Considerations - Shared Services, WAN and end user performance levels, enteprise search considerations
  • Cost Model or Charge Back Model for recapture of IT Costs - who pays for all this?
    Solutions Deployment packaging best practices and rules to live by - How can we consistently deploy web parts, site definition changes
  • Branding - how can we consistently have a good experience for our end users and keep the sense of company ownership
  • Stakeholder and ownership - who should be involved in these decisions
  • SSP Delegation models - Who owns Search and relevancy (best bets), who owns the profiles (company directory), who owns the BDC (business data catalog) connections to our SAP, who get's safe locations for Excel published charts, spreadsheets
  • Operational & Service SLAs -
    Backup and Restore/Recovery & Business Continuance SLAs
    Downtime windows
    Performance SLAs
  • Communications plan - who do we communicate to, when and how often and what? Is there a Communications website where we communicate this list of info?
  • End User Education Plan - Is there an FAQ, training materials, brown bags, web sites?

I recommend going through this list, and adding more of your own, then building a governance worksheet or "Green book" that helps bring the stakeholders together.

~ Gangadhar Kotu

Features of MOSS 2010

SharePoint 2010 is the business collaboration platform for the Enterprise and the web that enables you to contact and empower people through an integrated set of rich features. SharePoint 2010 helps you cut costs with a unified infrustructure while allowing you to rapidly respond to business needs.
Features of the new SharePoint 2010
  • New User Interface including the new Ribbon - A streamlined new user interface including the Ribbon is an intuitive and contextual web user interface that makes users more effective. reduces training, provides better performance and lowers cost.
  • Web Edit - Web Edit allows users to easily customize a site, making it possible to respond more quickly than ever to changes in your dynamic business environment.
  • Silverlight Web Part - The Silverlight Web Part allows you to fully integrate Silverlight applications within your SharePoint site for a more interactive user experience.
  • Rich Theming - Combined with Web Edit, rich theming allows you to skin your SharePoint site using your favorite office client themes. Change the colors and fonts to customize just as you like it.
  • Multiple Browser Support - SharePoint 2010 will now support not only MS Internet Explorer, but now FireFox and Safari will also be fully supported.
  • Visio Services - Visio will now be fully supported. You can link diagrams in real time, with high-fidelity in a consistant matter so that everyone can stay up to dat. Even those who do not have Visio.
  • New SharePoint Designer - SharePoint Designer comes with a new User Interface with enhanced modeling capabilities and improved workflows.
  • Business Connectivity Services (The Business Data Catalog) - Business Connectivity Services (BCS) allows you to connect to Line-of-business applications, web services and databases in a user friendly way enabling users to interact and update it easily in both web and office clients.
  • SharePoint Workspace - Formally named Groove, SharePoint Workspace is a rich client for SharePoint that lets you take your SharePoint lists and libraries off-line, including the ability to update content and sync it back when you re-connect.
  • Rich Media Support - Silverlight and PowerPoint presentation capabilities are easily integrated with the new SharePoint 2010. Your information and presentations will come to life in new and dynamic ways with ShjarePoint 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

Based on a mammoth research study conducted by the Gallup Organization involving 80,000 managers across different industries, this book explores the challenge of many companies - attaining, keeping and measuring employee satisfaction. Discover how great managers attract, hire, focus, and keep their most talented employees!

Key Ideas:

  1. The best managers reject conventional wisdom.
  2. The best managers treat every employee as an individual.
  3. The best managers never try to fix weaknesses; instead they focus on strengths and talent.
  4. The best managers know they are on stage everyday. They know their people are watching every move they make.
  5. Measuring employee satisfaction is vital information for your investors.
  6. People leave their immediate managers, not the companies they work for.
  7. The best managers are those that build a work environment where the employees answer positively to these 12 Questions:
    1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
    2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
    3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?
    4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
    5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
    6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
    7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
    8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
    9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
    10. Do I have a best friend at work?
    11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
    12. This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?
The Gallup study showed that those companies that reflected positive responses to the 12 questions profited more, were more productive as business units, retained more employees per year, and satisfied more customers.

Without satisfying an employee’s basic needs first, a manager can never expect the employee to give stellar performance. The basic needs are: knowing what is expected of the employee at work, giving her the equipment and support to do her work right, and answering her basic questions of self-worth and self-esteem by giving praise for good work and caring about her development as a person.

The great manager mantra is don’t try to put in what was left out; instead draw out what was left in. You must hire for talent, and hone that talent into outstanding performance.

More wisdom in a nutshell from First, Break All the Rules:
  1. Know what can be taught, and what requires a natural talent.
  2. Set the right outcomes, not steps.
  3. Standardize the end but not the means. As long as the means are within the company’s legal boundaries and industry standards, let the employee use his own style to deliver the result or outcome you want.
  4. Motivate by focusing on strengths, not weaknesses.
  5. Casting is important, if an employee is not performing at excellence, maybe she is not cast in the right role.
  6. Every role is noble, respect it enough to hire for talent to match.
  7. A manager must excel in the art of the interview. See if the candidate’s recurring patterns of behavior match the role he is to fulfill.
  8. Ask open-ended questions and let him talk. Listen for specifics.
  9. Find ways to measure, count, and reward outcomes.
  10. Spend time with your best people. Give constant feedback. If you can’t spend an hour every quarter talking to an employee, then you shouldn’t be a manager.
  11. There are many ways of alleviating a problem or non-talent. Devise a support system, find a complementary partner for him, or an alternative role.
  12. Do not promote someone until he reaches his level of incompetence; simply offer bigger rewards within the same range of his work. It is better to have an excellent highly paid waitress or bartender on your team than promote him or her to a poor starting-level bar manager.
  13. Some homework to do: Study the best managers in the company and revise training to incorporate what they know. Send your talented people to learn new skills or knowledge.
  14. Change recruiting practices to hire for talent, revise employee job descriptions and qualifications.

~ Gangadhar Kotu