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'SharePoint Governance' is a guideline on how SharePoint will be used within your organization. It is a set of all the rules and procedures as you will apply them to SharePoint.

Proper SharePoint governance assigns responsibilities and access levels to various members of your organization to ensure SharePoint runs smoothly.

In short, SharePoint governance determines how SharePoint will run, who will do it and what equipment will be used.

Why is a SharePoint Governance Plan needed?

SharePoint's power and ease of use has made it one of the hottest selling pieces of software to hit the market. This success has lead Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to talk about SharePoint as the company's next big operating system.

One of the keys to SharePoint's popularity is its ease of use. After SharePoint has been installed, users can create collaborative websites in less than 5 minutes. But, because it is so easy to build new sites, SharePoint systems can grow quickly and become unwieldy.

If administered wisely, SharePoint can be a tremendously powerful resource. And that is why a SharePoint governance plan is essential. Rules, technology, responsibilities, protocol and policies need to be written out in advance. A SharePoint governance plan holds the whole operation together.

A SharePoint governance plan can also serve to measure the success of a SharePoint installation; items in the governance plan can be checked off as they are accomplished.

What Goes Into a SharePoint Governance Plan?

There are many things to consider and address. This sample SharePoint governance plan from Microsoft can serve as a useful template for writing your own. This PDF checklist from Microsoft is also helpful.

Among other things, a SharePoint governance plan addresses:

  • Individual and group roles and responsibilities
  • Equipment
  • Storage
  • Locations
  • Operations
  • Application Use
  • Branding
  • Configuration
  • Navigation
  • Training
  • Support

A specific example included in a SharePoint governance plan might specify when SQL backups take place, how often and who is in charge of them.

Another example might specify the protocol for creating a new site - who is informed, who signs off on it and who oversees the management of the new site.

Establishing these policies early ensures the system will run in an orderly fashion afterwards.

How does ControlPoint help in SharePoint Governance?

ControlPoint gives users tools to make sure their SharePoint environment runs according to the rules specified to their governance plan.

For example, because sites can be created so easily within SharePoint, the problem of 'orphaned sites' - sites created and used for awhile but later abandoned - can become widespread. The sites occupy precious storage space in your environment.

ControlPoint allows administrators to see all the sites contained within an environment and when those sites were last accessed. From this, ControlPoint administrators can see which sites should be deleted, as specified in the SharePoint governance policy ("all accounts not used in X time frame will be deleted").

To use another example, SharePoint governance plans typically specify "permissions", ie. user access rights. In an example governance plan, people in the marketing group might have access to sites created in HR but not necessarily to sites created by development.

ControlPoint allows administrators to see all permissions for all users of the system. Using ControlPoint, administrators can quickly change permissions that are inaccurate.

ControlPoint is built to integrate seamlessly, acting as an extension of SharePoint's reporting tools. ControlPoint allows administrator to see what is going on in their environment and the tools to act on that information.

See what ControlPoint can do for you by downloading a free evaluation version.

Last edited Dec 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM by EROL, version 1