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Governance around the different workloads associated to SharePoint seems to be a pretty hot topic, however all of the guidance comes across as more academic/theory.

Is Microsoft making too big a deal about it? Should there be just documentation? Tools?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the tone of the governance papers do appear to be academic as at that level of abstraction, it is not possible to enumerate all the crazy things SharePoint implementations have tried. I know that Microsoft does have a lot of hands on experience with failed/non-performing sites as they have support contracts with many customers who have installed things in an ah-hoc manner and had things work poorly down the track.

I started off as a coder wondering why all the fuss about planning and governing a SharePoint installation, but over the years I have realised that getting a SharePoint site customised and up and running is the easy part. A SharePoint installation will stay running for years in an organisation and people can create an immense amount of data during that time and it all ends up getting stored.

Deleting stuff that is not used does not seem to be as easy as creating it in the first place.

The guidance may seem to be a bit fluffy, but it is distilled from some pretty harsh lessons.

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I agree and have seen the same. My curiosity here is with if it is possible to take the 6 month timeframe it takes to do a good large deployment and compress it in any way. Have you found yourself saying, "If I just had a way to automate __________". Not even sure if this is possible as while there are definite patterns, there are always variances in implementation. – Aaron Weiker Jun 19 '09 at 16:29
Good point, but in the end it would be trying to compress the analysis/decision making process. That takes a lot of time and I doubt a tool is going to magic it away :( – Nat Jun 22 '09 at 0:26

I think MSFT should be building more tools that actualy support the "ideas" represented in the Governance whitpapers. How about actually providing some real world provisioning workflows based on their own internal IT deployments. MSFT has one of the biggest SharePoint farms in the world and surely must have collected a lot of useful IP to govern their own deployment.

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FYI, since this was originally posted MS announced at the 2009 SharePoint conference they plan on doing just this for the 2010 version. – MrChrister Dec 31 '09 at 18:31

An excellent list of resources on SharePoint governance was recently published by Joel Oleson:

It includes both the classic theoretical information, but also some very handy and real world tools, templates and examples.

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Also this by Paul Culmsee: – Alex Angas Jun 19 '09 at 13:11

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