SharePoint 2010 Infrastructure Design and Implementation – this definitely is a very large topic :), widely covered by a lot of books, MS TechNet and other publications.
My goal for this page and following posts on this topic is mainly to emphasize on the fundamental steps which should be taken into consideration when we want to implement a new SharePoint Project.
So to begin with, I would take a look at the following resources:
- SharePoint IDP Solution Accelerator from Microsoft – a quick and comprehensive guide about SharePoint Infrastructure Planning and Design, composed from 3 files: an overview PPT (slides can be seen below), a document describing the guide, a Visio containing the SharePoint Diagrams;
- MS Software Assurance Planning Services for SharePoint 2010 – you can authenticate with a Live ID, the site has a collection of detailed resources covering all core capabilities of SharePoint: Sites, Communities, Content Management, Search, BI, Composites;
Every SharePoint Infrastructure Project could and should be structured on the following main steps: Envisioning, Plan, Build and Deployment, Operate. You can always use other name for the steps, for example the ones based on the ITIL methodology and consider the SharePoint Project as being an IT service. So we could borrow the ITIL Standard naming for the project phases: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation. What I consider to be important is not the methodology used, but a very well designed and deployed project which in real life situations is useful to its customers (to use the ITIL phrase: The service should always bring value to its customers ).
I think that the main risks of a SharePoint project are:
- 90% of the LOB (line of business applications, not only SharePoint implementation) are failing because of the lack of user adoption
- To have an operational solution which doesn’t match with the business goals and targets of the organization.
Before starting the Planning (or Design) phase of the project you should engage with business sponsors and stakeholders. These people have the overarching vision for the business and the solution that they require and they control the BUDGET for and of the project :).
Critical questions to be asked:
- What is the business vision for the organization?
- What is the budget for the project (here you should attract the sponsors and the stakeholders to your side and secure the project)?
- What is the actual situation?
- What is the project scope (main business objectives of the project, business processes covered by the process, deployment strategy and major milestones)?
- Which is the business vision for the SharePoint project? For example: What business processes should the new system cover in 2-3 years?
At the end of this stage you should produce an envision documents which must be reviewed and signed by the Stakeholders and the Project Sponsor. This document would be used as a starting step in the panning (design) phase of the project.
Please find other major project phases in the following posts: