Guest Column | July 18, 2012

The Backseat Driver's Guide To Governance Planning

Christian Buckley Axceler

By Christian Buckley, Axceler

There's nothing more annoying on a long car ride than someone in the passenger or back seat of your car dictating your every turn, commenting on your speed (or lack of speed), and my biggest pet peeve -- constantly changing the radio stations you're trying to listen to. Nobody wants to be viewed as that back seat driver, and yet that is what some administrators and project managers have become when it comes to governance -- constantly pushing toward policy definition and enforcement, trying to enact best practices, while your SharePoint drivers (most likely your end users) just want to hit the gas and go.

A common pattern seen within any collaboration platform release cycle is the tendency to shift our attention from features to administration concerns over time, and as the deployment matures. For example, shortly after the release of the SharePoint 2010 platform, the vast majority of content from the community and from Microsoft itself centered around features. Locating guidance on administration and governance issues was a difficult task. It's understandable, of course -- from a customer perspective, they want to know more about the newest productivity tools, how to accomplish more with the platform. And from the vendor standpoint, you want to be selling the latest, greatest version because it’s the shiny new thing -- it’s easier to market and get customers excited.