This post is more in and around business analysis and adoption of SharePoint. Business units typically know they need some type of communication and collaboration tool (or an upgrade to an existing one), but have no idea what to ask for or how to get there. If SharePoint is just thrown up with no input from the End-Users you will typically have a very low rate of adoption. If the lines of business are included in the process they are more apt to use the solution once implemented. The following is a partial set of questions that I have found very useful when attempting to extract this information from lines of business.
- What functionality exists in the current solution (if one exists) that you need in the new SharePoint solution?
- Explain Metadata and how it works for organization and search. What categories make sense for metadata? (i.e. Risk Management might have: Claim Loss Reporting, Contractor Services, Emergency Assistance, Insurance, Risk Management Services and Travel Related Services)
- Is a private departmental site needed with corresponding rights for storing sensitive data?
- How many people can: add new content, change content or delete content? (Contributors) Who are they? Will content require approval?
- How do they handle document versioning? If versioning is to be used, how many major and minor versions should be stored?
- Do they have an established workflow for document submission / approval? Is this a manual process that can be changed into an automated one with workflow?
- Have they thought about Site Administration? - someone needs to Administer the site
- Do they have any look and feel requirements? Decide whether they will have the ability to change the look and feel or if a standard is going to be used from the top down.
- Are there any standards that they have to conform to?
- Is there a committee or someone controlling the content / look and feel?
- Do they need any Managerial or Operational Statistics displayed on the site (i.e. KPIs)?
As I said before this is just a partial list. Feel free to submit your own ideas.