Hey IT Guy: Are Your End Users Destroying Your SharePoint??

End Users Gone Wild Part II

Sharepoint Scanning Standardization

Have you armed your end users?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

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Posted in architecture, Search, sharepoint, sharepoint 2010

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