I've gone dark for a while as our project languished and stumbled, awaiting buy-in from members of the IT organization and for hardware to arrive in house in order to deliver on the proof of concept solution for an organizational Knowledge Base. The design for the Knowledge Base is that it will allow teams to search for help information across a number of document and web content sources. After several weeks of lag, we are now on track to deliver.
The time it's taken to get hardware in-house has afforded the organization some time to adjust to the notion of embracing new technology and the business teams are hungry for it. So, we are launching not only the smaller scoped proof of concept which was to be the "appetizer," but are now also kicking off the full intranet portal revamp, which is the "main entrée" project that will allow for some of the line of business needs to be met. We have committed to using SharePoint for the intranet and associated web application solutions, and so need to build some core knowledge of that product in-house. That experience doesn't exist today - not in IT teams, and not in business groups. So, bids are being solicited to some local consulting vendors who can bring SharePoint depth expertise to the company. They will assist IT operational and application servicing teams with implementing the infrastructure and architectural design, and will potentially take on a much broader consulting role, helping to build governance plans, train users, etc.
So, with all of this in play, the primary project work for 2012 is kicking off. There is still the need to populate the Active Directory with employee data in order to reap the benefits of the integrated ‘stack' of Microsoft products where AD data is surfaced in SharePoint people profiles, search, and organizational trees. The AD project has been in the wings waiting for approval and resourcing, and will need to be kicked off in the next several weeks.
A team in IT has been deemed the ownership group for management and administration of SharePoint, and members of that team are attending training, reading books and searching online to learn about details regarding installation and administration of SharePoint.
The advisory committee that was formed early on to solicit input on what types of communication issues the company faced - which informed our choice of using SharePoint as a tool to help meet those needs - is now moving into a pre-implementation role and will begin defining a taxonomy and navigation map for the new company home page and site structure.
The biggest difficulty has been working through organizational alignment and ownership issues prior to this point. Thankfully, that has been settled and we are now on our way toward moving ahead at full speed.
For the first pieces in this series, see:
Meg Greene has spent nearly 30 years in the technology sector working at companies ranging from small private businesses to the largest software company in the world. Her experience spans contributions as an engineer on the front lines, to leadership roles where responsibilities spanned global teams designing and delivering solutions in a rapidly evolving environment.