December 6, 2012

In Chapter 4 of my forthcoming book SharePoint 2013 User Adoption Planning and Governance, there is a section titled ‘Collaborative Ownership’; it is my take on the creation of simple rules to manage a SharePoint solution (note – an implementation of a SharePoint environment could be defined as a solution)…

Irrespective of what tools, components or features that are made available to the SharePoint users, ‘collaborative ownership’ needs to be defined and communicated up front. Collaborative ownership is not set by using some SharePoint tool. It is defined, granted, and then managed those who have been given responsibility to own (through further collaboration). This starts from the SharePoint farm, to the sites, to the repositories, the content and any related business processes via workflows. Collaborative Ownership comes from the creation of business rules (can even be related to information security), which whilst mentioning terms from SharePoint land, are written in such a way to inform users of the boundaries, and guides put in place. As said, even though there may be technical components, tools or features in the background or third party, which helps with configuring and managing rules and policies, rules need to be communicated (and in any case, third party managing rules and policies come under platform governance purposes – which could relate to a different audience).

The below is a list of typical business rules that could be applied to a new SharePoint environment, some you may argue against, some you may agree with. The point however, is that you must ensure there is a process that documents the relevant business rules for your SharePoint solution, and plants these so that as part of the user adoption strategy they are communicated, and relevant individuals trained.

Much more information concerning how to build these will be available in my book. For any further information please contact me.

Rule Description
Top Level Sites can only be created through business process If there is a requirement for a new SharePoint site a request for it and there must be a reason for the site to be created (and not simply to store documents in it)
Granting of Full Control permissions is controlled Users cannot be granted full, owner, full control, content hierarchy rights unless they are part of second line technical support or have been trained.
Changing Access Rights in List or Document Library Where granular rights have been applied to a document library a user who wants rights altered must have the approval / emailed authorisation of the person responsible for looking after the list or document libary
Altering Access rights where the design owner wants to alter it Must be sent with details of the area including the access right alterations. This assumes that the area does not have a content hierarchy manager or full rights business owner.
User wants FULL CONTROL of their site. Full Control of the site is an administrative right, not an information user right. Users can only receive Full Control rights allow them to fully control any content and structure of their sites. Full Control right musts must understand the nature of the responsibility on the sites they own.
Just got a site and/or become a Site Owner on SharePoint? Tips! 1: Try not to create any team sites beneath your top level site unless it is absolutely necessary and based on a supported functional requirement where the number of contributors are likely to exceed 10.
2: You should be recorded on our site directory as a Site Owner. This means that if any calls come from users requesting access to the site they will be redirected to the Site Owners for authorisation / dealing. Do not set any other user as with Full Control rights unless there is a business requirement to protect the integrity of the site.
SharePoint Designer and / or Visual Studio and who should use it? SharePoint Designer and/or Visual Studio (both of which have the abilities to create custom workflows and a lot more) is defined as a software development tool. These products are not available for use on SharePoint 2010 Production. Those who are SharePoint Software Developers approved by the SharePoint developer team can have access to use it and only in a development environment.

Additionally, anyone requesting a workflow should ascertain through discussion with SharePoint support whether the out-of-the-box workflows could suffice i.e. approval, feedback, signatures, disposition.

No-one from the Team Site even at Site Owner permission are allowed to have the ‘rights’ to have such a tool installed to interact with their team site.

The policy for the creation of anything requiring the use of either these tools comes from a process; the perspective that the designer (and others from the business representing the request for a workflow) develops the business requirement, and engages with a development team who then have the knowledge and skillset to analyse the objective and provide solutions.

These solutions can then be provided from development into a test regime which in turn allows the development team, IT Support and SharePoint Support to manage on all the features, solutions, workflows and custom coding provided at SharePoint level across all the relevant SharePoint farms.

This policy is designed to protect the internal SharePoint environment and at the same time ensure the correct levels of support for custom applications in SharePoint are applied. For further information please contact SharePoint Support.

Site Storage Quota for New Sites To ensure that the growth rate and integrity for each site is managed, a quota is applied to any new SharePoint site.
The initial quota of 200mb which can be increased upon request of the relevant site owner(s) – this is to prevent storage wastage and to ensure the site owners manage site growth.
All SharePoint Site have Site Owners A Site Owner (who has the SharePoint permission called Full Control Owner) in a SharePoint Site in their function, is responsible for the security, content, available features and structure of the SharePoint site where they have been set with the relevant SharePoint permission. They have been nominated to coordinate these aspects on behalf of their business function.

A Site Owner ensures the content held in the site meets the premise of the site and provides a good point of collaboration to the relevant team.

Additionally, when anyone requires access to the site the Site Owner is responsible to deciding whether that person gets access, and they carry out the task of granting access to the site as required.

Site Owners are assumed to have basic knowledge of SharePoint particularly in setting user permissions. A SharePoint site should have at least two Site Owners so that there is adequate cover to the site, but no more than five for an entire site collection (depending on functional use and size).

What happens if there were no Site Owners? There would be Site Chaos. Without the this level of control on a site, all requests for any permissions to that site would have to be handled by IT and subject to significant delay. Additionally, this sets a dangerous precedence stating that SharePoint Administrators manage the security of confidential data which they should not access.
What happens if there are too many Site Owners? It would be ‘Wild West’. No one would be able to assume site responsibility and site security could very easily be compromised.

Permission setting is carried out by a Full Control Owner Those users set with SharePoint Full Control permissions (known as Site Owners) are responsible for setting access rights to the data held within the relevant SharePoint team site. SharePoint support is on hand to give aid to them and there is guides showing how to do this.
If there are no managers for the site (highly unlikely) or all managers are not available only then can SharePoint support set the permissions, but authorisation must be obtained from the line manager of the Site Owners, or from the Site Owners when they return.
This policy is defined to protect the integrity of the data and ensure that the Full Control owner knows who has access to the site and why it was granted.
Hence, a Full Control Owner is fully responsible for all the data on the site, the structure of it, and the management of any security permissions to any content on that site.
Additionally, a site which has no owners explicitly defined is not a true SharePoint site in that there is no policies assigned, applied or managed to the site.
Consideration for Sub-Sites Having too many sub sites leads to confusion, mis-management, longer URLS (http). Each team site carries its own permissions, content, format, look and feel and adds onto administration (for the owners of the site).
It is much easier to have the content delivered on one site and targeted accordingly – help is available if you want to know how to target and structure content in one team site.
A team site should only be used when the number of contributors of each team site exceeds 15 people (i.e. 15 people who are actively engaged in creating and modifying content on the site) and the function is a distinct area from any other sub team sites.
Additionally, there is a quota set on the top team site and this is 200mb – sub sites will eat into that quota and reduce the space available for content you can store.
Branding logo cannot be altered It is not possible to change the organization logo on the top left and put a different logo in, since the branding on the entire SharePoint space across all of SharePoint relates to the organization- any modification request would need to be applied across SharePoint and/or ratified.
Governance and Operations for SharePoint Read the Statement of Operations:
Outline of the service,  the support responsibilities, the policies,  escalation, support model, service availability and makeup of the service.
Read the Acceptable Use Policy:
Ownership, Acceptable Use, Privacy, Supporting Policies
Read the SharePoint Logical Framework:
Describes the format, structure, and strategy for all the hosts on the production farm: 
Support Information SharePoint is supported by the Business, and by SharePoint Technical Support using a method called Triage Support.
The Business looks after their SharePoint site in terms of governance, permissions, sub-site creation, content management, structure. Individual users are set as owners of the content they provide and as such provide their own levels of support to access the content provided on their sites. The level of business support is provided through the business owners of the site. Escalation of issues concerning SharePoint sites starts with the owner of the content (first line), to the content manager (called the content hierarchy manager – second line), and then onto SharePoint Technical Support (third line) if the issue is not solved within the business SharePoint site user base.
To do this, information on how to use the product is available and updated regularly. This ensures that users are provided with the knowledge  needed to use the product effectively. Any requests for information on SharePoint which is  identified as being useful to others is updated on the HOW DO I pages and FAQs at the  SharePoint One Stop Shop. There is an online productivity learning host dedicated to SharePoint

You May Also Like…