End Users Gone Wild Part II
Have you set yourself up for failure with regards to SharePoint? As a former IT Guy, I can speak with experience. If there is nothing to govern standardization, there will be no standardization. Corporate fileshares are a prime example. The problem is, every user has their own way of filing, “foldering” and naming, and as a result, most organizational file servers are a prime example of “End Users Gone Wild”. So how do you prevent the SharePoint Organization Grenade from hitting your servers? Some tips below:
- Control and plan your architecture from the start. Like most Microsoft Technologies, SharePoint looks so easy. Click here, add here, create here. In the hands of the uneducated, a massive mess can immediately ensue. If you are deploying a SharePoint Scanning project, here are some great tips to initiate the planning evolution: 10 Tips for Planning SharePoint Scanning. There are also many other references on the web for basic architecture planning and deployment, here is a Technet Reference: SharePoint Deployment, Planning and Architecture. Do not let your deployment become a sandbox.
- Standardization is key. Use every possible measure to make sure the process of adding documents, scanned or not, is a repeatable and standardized process. SharePoint allows for a number of “controlled” column types, like choice lists and managed metadata fields that are linked to a set structure. Providing users with an easy pick list for metadata can make their lives easy, and also standardize your information store.
- Use required fields. Pick a few pieces of metadata, and make them required for entry. Too many fields, and the users wont bother entering them, and you will quickly have a repository that is not searchable. Here is a post on defining how you want to find documents: How do you want to find your documents in SharePoint?
- Use third-party software to help in the quest for standardization. From a scanning perspective, there are some great third-party apps that can make adding documents a standardized repeatable process. These apps can control content type, taxonomy, folder structure and file naming to ensure a structured site. Automatically naming and creating folders for documents is extremely important, and makes your repository more usable.
A few tips to help. Know of any other best practices? Please add to the discussion.