Breaking Down the Common SharePoint Governance Myths

Over the years, a certain mystery has developed concerning SharePoint governance. But the whole thing is quite simple if you follow the ground rules and avoid common misconceptions. We broke down the 11 SharePoint governance myths that were circling around the SharePoint communities. So, let's start!

Myth #1: Business executives and managers should write the plan

Not necessarily. The people who have the most knowledge should write the plan. That’s usually the IT department.

Myth #2: The SharePoint Governance Plan should be extensive

Not true. The scope of your plan should depend on the size of your organization, SharePoint environment, your goals and the number of users. If your SharePoint needs are basic, and you have a small business, a few simple guidelines will do the job. 

Myth #3: Once you write the Governance plan, you can delete it from your to-do list

Not true. A SharePoint Governance Plan is a living structure and it will have to change over time. A Governance plan is not meant to be put on a shelf as a trophy. It should constantly be adapted to the needs of your users and your evolving SharePoint architecture. It’s wise to choose a format that allows real-time changes from multiple users, such as a wiki page.

Myth #4: The purpose of the SharePoint Governance Plan is to tell people what to do

Not at all. The purpose of the plan is to guide people to use SharePoint so as to benefit the organization. It’s immensely important to have all your people understand that. User adoption and user education are a key to successful governance. 

Myth #5: Creating SharePoint roles to fit the existing team members

Don’t try to adapt your roles to your existing team – that’s not the point. Create the roles that reflect your defined SharePoint goals and environment structure. If you currently don’t have enough staff to fill all the roles, it’s OK to leave them empty until you find the right people to do them. Check an overview of the common SharePoint roles and responsibilities in our SharePoint Governance e-book.

Myth #6: Every SharePoint role should be assigned to a unique person

This is not true. Each person within the organization can fill more than one role. If a person is competent enough to carry out the duties of more than one role, there’s no reason why he or she shouldn’t. Many smaller companies follow this practice and it works fine for them.

Myth #7: You should follow industry-defined SharePoint architecture templates

Searching through the vast cyberspace of the Internet, you’ll stumble upon many expert sites offering information architecture templates. But there’s no requirement to blindly follow such advice or to define your architecture just like everybody else does. The most important piece of advice we can give you is: know your organization’s goals and plans and build your own architecture accordingly. See an example of a SharePoint information architecture in our SharePoint Governance e-book

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Myth #8: Once you build the architecture, it won’t change

Not true. The information architecture, just like your SharePoint environment itself, is a live structure that requires constant adaptation. Moreover, you should build your information architecture to be scalable. It should be able to grow and accept new types of content.

Myth #9: The more content types, the better

Surprisingly, this is not true. It is believed that four to five options are optimal for users. If you give them too many options, it may lead to user frustration or even errors.

Myth #10: You have to fit your needs into one of the SharePoint templates

SharePoint templates serve only as a framework of how you can build your site, if you so choose. But you can also create your own template if predefined templates don’t suit your needs. When it comes to creating customized templates, knowing your users’ real needs is half the job done. That’s why an elaborated site planning process comes in handy.

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Myth #11: The more SharePoint policies, the better

The reverse is true. Keeping the number of policies to a minimum is better. It’s easier for users to remember and understand fewer rules. Check our e-book to see which policies you shouldn't miss out in your SharePoint governance plan. 

Learn How to Write a Practical SharePoint Governance Plan 

Download our SharePoint Governance e-book to learn how to create effective and simple Governance plan. 

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