SharePoint Standards and the SharePoint Standards Project

by Richard Harbridge on June 8, 2010


Part of any SharePoint implementation (done right) is releasing various sets of standards through your Governance processes/teams. These standards come in many shapes and sizes depending on what you are using SharePoint for, the maturity of your use, and of course your approach. This is the first post working towards building usable standards and guidelines for dealing with this specific area of SharePoint Governance.

Update: Standards Now Available Here

What are possible SharePoint Standards?

I am of course over simplifying possible standards but here are the ones I think are most common that I will be trying to provide specific guidance for:

  • SharePoint Access Standards
    (Where is it available? How will people be able to access it? etc)
  • SharePoint Accessibility Standards
  • SharePoint Communication Standards
    (Planned Outages, Updates, New Functionality, Governance Teams and Reports, Minutes, etc)
  • SharePoint Content Standards
    (This will be broken down into document standards, retention policies, content related styling policies etc)
  • SharePoint Deployment Standards
  • SharePoint Development Standards
    SharePoint Graphic Standards
    (Image focused.)
  • SharePoint Legal and Accountability Standards
  • SharePoint Media Standards
    (Video Format, Video Sizing, Flash, Silverlight, etc)
  • SharePoint Navigation Standards
  • SharePoint Security Standards

I could go into length on each of these but instead think it’s best to seperate them with distinct posts explaining why each is important, what it’s purpose is, and an example of what one looks and reads like. I will ensure each is connected with one another of course and when complete will link them all together in a simplified table of contents.

What is the SharePoint Standards project?

First let me go over the high level points and then dig a bit deeper:

  • The output of the project whether it be documents, pages, e-books, or interactive solutions will all be freely available.
  • All feedback, comments, recommendations, and input is more than welcome.
  • The material produced is meant to help and will not be affiliated with any vendor, partner, or company and only represents the contributors perspective, opinions, and ideas around Standards.

What I have decided to do was try and provide some guidance and help to anyone interested on various SharePoint Standards. My hope is that this turns into a community project (if anyone is interested in contibuting) where we can provide a much more in depth and complete guide to SharePoint related Standards.

For many of those starting into Governance this may be new. For many of us who have facilitated multiple governance strategies, launches, and supported these Governance initiatives it will be us sharing what we can with everyone else.

Why call it SharePoint Standards?

It’s an interesting question.Why not just use a more common name such as Intranet Standards, or the subset names I mentioned above?

By focusing the name and content on SharePoint Technology scenarios it:

  • Saves Time – If I try and make it non technology specific I will need to constantly edit, refine, and waterdown material so it can be applied to many different scenarios. This adds a significant amount of extra time.
  • Makes it More Applicable – If I make the material broader to be honest it’s just not as useful or applicable. SharePoint uses different terminology , and in some cases a very different approach than many other Intranet technology systems out there.

So what’s next?

Now that I have announced the initiative and project…

  • If interested in contributing please contact me and let me know.
  • I will follow up with periodic posts covering updates to the project.
  • Each of the above mentioned Standards will have a page created dedicated to it on my blog as a starting point and we can go from there. 🙂

Looking forward to working on this project and I hope it helps,
Richard Harbridge

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