The SharePoint Best Practices (Phase 1) Project

The SharePoint Best Practices Project was funded by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (ICT subcommittee), PRAC-ICT and began in June 2012 for 12 months.

Background

The Nexus SharePoint service was launched in April 2011 for the collegiate University after an early adopter period. It has been recognised that, due to its beginning from a low starting point of understanding that potential, the uptake needs to be stimulated in order for the service to be as successful as possible. Currently the Nexus team provides very little outreach and encouragement of best practice, but runs a robust, highly available service. In the early life cycle of a new service, this is not enough and the Groupware Programme Development Panel has acknowledged this in their request for enhanced support for several high profile committees and/or offices. These exemplars should serve as beacons of best practice at a later stage.

Business case

SharePoint has been a major investment and, in order to see a return on that investment, some stimulation of its use and the level of expertise available across the University is needed. Before SharePoint reaches a self supporting level (or adequately supported by local unit ITSS) some expertise must be generated regarding design, but also in how clients access the service.

Currently SharePoint is able to automate highly bureaucratic and time consuming business processes that are repeated around the University. It will not, however, be employed for these purposes until more people engage with it and achieve a level of competence in other areas, such as simple document storage. This project needs to build exemplars and how-to documentation, given the experience of solving some high profile committees' and offices' needs. This, in turn, should increase expert levels across the University and uptake of these business process opportunities.