Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Too many projects … not enough resources

Over the past couple of months I have had several discussions with companies and groups about their list of ongoing projects.  Some of the questions I asked them are:
  1. Do you have a list of all of your projects (you would be surprised how many said no …)?
  2. Do you rank your projects, and if so how are you ranking them?
  3. Do you really have enough resources for all of your projects?  If not, why are you trying to do them all at the same time?
  4. Do you review your projects, let’s say, quarterly to make sure you are focused on the right ones and to cut the ones where the market place has changed?
  5. Do you have this list in a common location for all to see (again, you would be surprised how many said no to this … really?)?

The key to making this ranking system work is having the correct ranking criteria for your organization prior to sitting down with the ‘deciders’.  The ranking criteria will include things like project performance indicators, business value indicators, looking at the resources needed and finally things that are deemed important by your organization.  Here is a short presentation that I put together using some of the concepts from a presentation by Barbara Schrage.

Once you have your rankings in, the debate is on to see if everyone agrees.  The key is you want to have a balanced score card for your organization.  Glen Alleman recently posted an excellent presentation on this topic:

The key to making this work is having something in place to rank your projects and a reason why they are ranked the way they are.  Otherwise the top projects in your company will be someone’s pet project which may not help the strategic vision of your organization (I like to call these the chest thumper projects or the, whoever is the loudest has the highest ranking project).

Thursday, March 03, 2011

How to do you measure the maturity of a SharePoint implementation?

So your organization is thinking about taking the leap, or already has, into launching SharePoint.  When you started on this adventure you treated this as a project, right?  Or did you just turn it on and send out an email stating, “SharePoint is now available”.

If you don’t treat it as a project you are headed for an early disaster and users won’t want to use it. 

Five most common mistakes when rolling out SharePoint:
1. Lack of proper planning
2. Showcasing Features; not building solutions
3. Undefined business case
4. Poor understanding of SharePoint
5. Unrealistic Staffing

The key to adoption of SharePoint is to start out small with one department and bring in those team members that are typically the early adopters.  As you build up the first site you will also need to build your training documents and start to train the people that will use the site.  Then you need to continue training, re-training, start to add articles to your company’s newsletter or blog about SharePoint and finally if it is a requirement to move away from the old paper way, monitor your staff to make sure they made the switch.

Once you get to the point that your company is making the switch over to SharePoint we need some metrics to determine how SharePoint is maturing within your organization.  About a year ago some of the big name advocates of SharePoint started this discussion.  And recently Sadie Van Buren has been giving talks about how she determines the maturity of a SharePoint system in an organization.  Below is her template to determine the maturity of a SharePoint system.

And here is her presentation that shows some examples of 100 and 500 level SharePoint sites, and she also gives an overview of each area and what she thinks is a 100-500 level of maturity. 

Also, recently Dux Raymond Sy brought together 4 SharePoint advocates (including Sadie) to discuss “Understanding the SharePoint Maturity Model” 

In my own organization I’ve seen our SharePoint sites go from only a couple hundred clicks a month to now over 130,000 clicks per month.  That is a pretty impressive jump and we are only at about the 300 level of maturity. 

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."  -  Alvin Toffler

Captain Kirk reviews his ship's status on a dashboard made in SharePoint