SPC2011: Drive Adoption and Get Users Excited About SharePoint (SPC102)

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session:  Drive Adoption and Get Users Excited About SharePoint (SPC102)
Speakers: Scott Jamison, Chris Bortlik

I’m always interested to hear about how others drive user adoption for SharePoint because in my opinion, it IS hard to get users to adopt SharePoint. Let’s face it – SharePoint is big/complex and its got its quirks and you really have to spend time playing around with it before you can start getting use out of it.

In this session, they used an example of VHS over Betamax to point out that even though Betamax was the better technology, VHS won out in the end because it had better content (this was all before my time so I’ll take their word for it). It’s content that drives user adoption, not the technology.

Another point that they made was that SharePoint adoption is hard because people don’t need to use SharePoint to do collaboration – People have been sending and resending documents to each other as attachments in emails  for forever.

Connect SharePoint with user’s business goals

What is the driving factor? (not requirements like this button should be red)

Good site design

What’s in it for me? How will it help my job? –> need to show how it will actually help them

Elements for Adoption Strategy:

Communication Plan

    • Leverage experts and champions
    • Town hall meetings
    • Break Room poster
    • Online scavenger hunts
    • Launch Parties
    • *Ongoing communication!*

Training Plan

    • Training for Power Users, Visitors, Members, Contributors
    • “Just in time and just enough” – ie. 60 second videos

Content Conversion Plan (for migrating data from legacy systems)

    • Clean and migrate recent content only
    • Trash in = trash out

User Support Plan

    • Contact person for every page
    • Internal User Groups
    • Get the IT help desk on board
    • End user feedback loop! Get evidence that SharePoint is better for them!
    • Training guides

Incentives and Reward Plan

    • Show with real data why something is useful
    • Make it fun!
    • Recognition for Content Contribution (ie. Leader board)
    • Example – Microsoft Academy Content Contributions

Executive Sponsorship Plan

    • Getting Executive buy in: not just numbers, its intangibles like productivity gains, employee retention, community)

Information Architecture Plan

    • If it’s not easy to find, users will give up (going back to good site design)
    • Branding
    • Simplify templates – don’t just turn everything on!

Governance Plan

Find your Killer Application:

Adoption = Value > Change

Using SharePoint as a glorified file share is not enough to adopt

Find where users need to use SharePoint (critical business process/flow) – Mostly around automation

Using surveys to get user buy-in/opinion/support

Microsoft Experience Center: http://envisionthepossible.com

Examples of killer apps:

  • Youtube for the Enterprise

Motto: Crawl, Walk, Run

Don’t need to know how to do everything at once

Just in time training as roll out different functionality

http://blogs.technet.com/b/cbortlik/archive/2010/04/27/learning-to-crawl-walk-and-run-with-sharepoint.aspx

Must-Have (Free Resources):

  • iUseSharePoint.com

Getting Buy In:

Forrester study shows positive ROI in roughly 9 months: http://tinyurl.com/sp2010roi

This was a good session – I liked everything they were saying!

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SPC2011: How the SharePoint Dev Team Troubleshoots Performance and Reliability

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session:  How the SharePoint Dev Team Troubleshoots Performance and Reliability

SPMonitoredScope

  • captures performance
  • have one outer monitored scope to identify code
  • wrap calls to external code in monitored scope
  • specify SQL & SPRequestCounter
  • do not use in a for loop (due to resources)

Developer Dashboard

  • Can include SPMonitored scopes (unless its for sandbox)
  • Includes header and trace information

Caveats to the Developer Dashboard

  • available to all site administrators
  • trace logs may contain sensitive information
  • Only for aspx – not with ajax, scripts, office rich clients requests

Usage database

  • IIS logs
  • timer job executions
  • event logs
  • SQL queries (blocking, deadlock)

Caveats to Usage database

  • 7 day retention default (can change)
  • failed requests wont appear
  • SQL is costly for usage
  • only works for single farm

SPDiagnostic Studio 2010

  • troubleshoot visually

Caveats to SPDiagnostic Studio 2010

  • built for internal
  • not ideal for monitoring
  • good for bug finding/exploration

SPC2011: Best Practices from the Field: Managing Corporate Metadata and Taxonomies

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session:  Best Practices from the Field: Managing Corporate Metadata and Taxonomies
  • Terms – max: 7 levels deep
  • managed metadata can be imported
  • Content Type Syndication (this is new) – federated service for reusing content types across the enterprise
  • Design Best Practices

– define purpose of taxonomy
– avoid deeply nested taxonomies: start with 2-3
– do not underestimate the time for prep

  •  Technical

– Translate business requirements to sharepoint capabilities
– understand limits (max level = 7, max term sets in term store = 100, max terms in termset = 30,000, max terms in term store = 1,000,000)
– multilingual consideration

  • Business Best Practices

– Identify ownership
– Keep it simple
– factor ongoing maintenance
– identify change control protocol
– define governance

  • Challenges: Life science area

– complex process to ensure traceability for FDA audit
– patent expiration
– drug discovery
– account for regulatory compliance and record retention

SPC2011: Best Practices for User Profiles

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session: Best Practices for User Profiles

1. Don’t  enable personal sites just for search

2. Host mysites on its own web application

3. Don’t create personal sites ahead of time

4. Encourage users to observe and use existing tags -> consistency
*FAST search does not index social tags

5. Enable metadata keywords
– list settings > metadata publishing
– follow tags as interest in MySite
– get all info about tag in MySite newsfeed
– tags don’t have permissions but search is security trimmed so users wont see anything they aren’t supposed to

6. Ratings are overrated. Use with caution

7. Enable Activity feed timer job (may be disabled by default)
– default scheduling is hourly – may want to change according to your needs

8. Take time to plan
– what are the business goals?
– which features do you want enabled?
– what permissions should users have?
– what profile properties do you need? (talk to HR/AD group)
– create governance around tagging, ratings, updates, and privacy

9. The AD group may lie to you

10. Configure write back to AD to show picture of users in outlook and lync

12. Use dedicated account for synchronization
Each connection needs to be configured separately – AD, BCS, LDAP

13. Remove disabled users
userAccountControl = 2 filter

Check out:
– Spence Harbor’s blog for more details
– White paper on technet about planning for user profiles

SPC2011: Clearing away the clouds: what’s hype and what’s real about cloud adoption

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session:  Clearing away the clouds: what’s hype and what’s real about cloud adoption

Benefits

  • capability on demand
  • reduce cost

Approaches

  • Most companies start by moving their email to the cloud
  • Also consider try before buying

Challenge: end users overlook IT and engage cloud services

Getting Ready

  • Engage compliance/legal groups
  • Determine why to move to the cloud (ie. flexibility, cost)
  • Determine where to start (ie. email, storage, business applications)
  • Find areas of least risk
  • Look for vendors
  • Create criteria for moving off the pilot
  • Create criteria for success

Why to consider waiting

  • Complex customizations
  • Cost saving is the only driver
  • Custom applications/integration
  • No buy-in from upper management

Talking to the boss

  • Compare cloud to current
  • Don’t minimize risk
  • Describe exit plan
  • Make sure peer and other leaders are behind it
  • Research what other organizations are doing

SPC2011: Out of the Sandbox and into the cloud: Build your next SharePoint app on Azure

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session:  Out of the Sandbox and into the cloud: Build your next SharePoint app on Azure

Overview:
Using Windows Azure as a workaround for sandbox solution limitations in SharePoint Online

How to get around sandbox solution limitations

  • Fully trusted proxy
  • Client side web part that contains javascript and jquery
  • Silverlight web part

How to consume Azure based solution in SharePoint

  • Content Editor web part
  • Sandbox solution web party
  • BCS
  • Search

How to enable Azure based solutions to interact with SharePoint

  • Client Object Model
  • REST
  • SPS Authentication configurations (ie. Classic mode, Claims based)

Demos

  • Using an IFRAME to show Azure content in SharePoint site
  • Using a Content Editor web part that contains javascript/async JSON to access the Odata svc
  • See Andrew Connell’s blog for more information/materials
  • Check out the Azure learning kit

SPC2011: Understanding SharePoint Administration, Part 1

Notes from the SharePoint Conference 2011
Session: Understanding SharePoint Administration, Part 1

Overview:
Discussed infrastructure best practices, virtualization, hardware/software requirements and installation

Infrastructure

  • Have SQL server on a separate server
  • Use load balancing
  • Need a server license for all SharePoint servers
  • Consider search on a separate server – Crawling will not affect web front ends
  • Consider separate index servers for large document capacity

Production environment

  • 100 GB C drive (used by e. 14 hive)
  • X GB second drive (move all possible files such as logs)
  • 4 cores
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Make sure that you have the same drives on each server
  • All servers need to be in the same datacenter

Virtualization

  • Web front ends – sure
  • Application – usually
  • SQL – never
  • Reference: Todd Klindt’s blog on sp2010 hardware/software requirements

Development environment

  • Need at least 4 GB RAM
  • Can run on Windows 7 or Vista but never for PROD

Test environment

  • Developers should have zero access to test servers
  • Should be multi-server if PROD is

Installing

1. Prereq installer

2. Installing the bits (setup.exe)

  • Install on all servers at the same time
  • Use admin account
  • Do not do standalone install
  • Uncheck the box to run the config wizard – will run later

3. Configure the bits (powershell)

  • Powershell: New-SPConfigurationDatabase
  • Now run config wizards on each server – can run all at the same time
  • Use NTLM

4. Farm configuration (powershell/central admin)

  • Manually provision servers (if do automatic, may get strange names)
  • Use powershell for service application configuration
  • Todd Klindt has a blog for cheat sheet for required service accounts to have
  • Create state service and usage and health data collection using powershell (not available via UI)