Archive for June 2009


A Teamsite "Get it Right" Primer

Most of your SharePoint people will be able to share any number of war stories about how team spaces become unwieldy and unmanageable. The symptom is a large and growing number of lists and libraries storing information that becomes difficult to find and offer unclear and ambiguous storage facilities complicating the path to the information that knowledge workers need. Coupled with limited or ineffective navigation aids and limited depth of content and internal linking, the stereotypical space becomes analogous to your first hard drive where everything was stored in the C: directory.

Our community leaders will recite a well known but short list of cures: First, visibility and depth are supported with regular and normalized communications, directions, and navigational tools. Second content type management and information life cycle analysis provide a framework for providing an efficient and waterproof body of knowledge.

If you've been given designer access to a team site and want to begin to use it to support your team's collaboration efforts, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are my team's inputs? Identify them as content types and define their ownership and lifecycle.
  2. What does my team do with those inputs? Pay particular attention to the need to interact,  "hand-off" or track.
  3. What are my team's outputs? Define their ownership and lifecycle from creation to archive.

Before you answer these questions with great specificity, remember the objectives are to:

  1. Make it clear where stuff belongs and what team members are supposed to do. Use landing pages with links and filtered views to instruct and direct users to the content they need.
  2. Make content easy to find. Point to filtered and sorted views from landing pages with navigational aids. Use web part pages to hold filtered views and support parentchild item relationships.
  3. Eliminate duplication of content – Create the necessary metadata to support your filters and workflows without requiring copying or moving content.
  4. Make aggregate views of status easy to access – Add priority and status columns that allow team leaders to address and dispense with escalated items and guage status ata  glance.

If you'll take the answers to the set of questions and build your teamsite to meet that set of objectives, you'll find that your team will move into and continue to use your site and gain SharePoints collaboration advantages.