SharePoint - Proof of Concept
Microsoft SharePoint simplifies compliance efforts and keeps business information more secure through a comprehensive set of tools to manage and control electronic content. It aids in streamlining the everyday business processes that are a drain on organisational productivity by using electronic forms and out-of-the-box workflow processes that users can initiate, track, and participate in through familiar Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, or Web browsers.
If you are uncertain about taking the next step and moving to a SharePoint solution, or what it has to offer, Black Marble’s Proof of Concept Service provides you with a demonstration portal for SharePoint in your own environment, where you can familiarise yourself with its key features, and help achieve buy-in from the key stakeholders in your business.
Black Marble’s Service provides peace of mind to your business while growing confidence in SharePoint. Black Marble’s implementation will be based on your requirements and data, allowing you to evaluate how SharePoint can be incorporated into your content management infrastructure and plans. We will collect a set of requirements, design and configure SharePoint, allowing your company to prove out actual workflows, search strategies and document management processes with rapid turnaround.
Black Marble takes the following approach to a SharePoint Proof of Concept for your business:
- Identify the style of Proof of Concept
- Broad user access and less fully featured
- ‘Spike project’ - Limited user access but a complex solution to test lots of technology aspects at once
- ‘Hybrid Project’
Deploying SharePoint using the approach of incremental improvement is the most common. The system is made available to the widest possible audience, but the initial functionality is comprised largely of the basic SharePoint building blocks with little customisation. The initial aim is to build familiarity with the users and encourage rapid feedback to generate improvement and development.
Incremental improvement works well with a set rhythm. Typically, new features (such as custom content types for documents or workflows, etc) would be delivered every three months, with solutions being more focused to specific departmental needs over time.
A ‘spike project’ delivers a complex solution which incorporates a wide range of SharePoint technologies and involves a reasonable amount of customisation and development, but to a very narrow audience. This approach is intended to build skills and knowledge quickly, touching as many aspects of SharePoint technologies as possible. This approach works well for pilot projects with small departments when an organisation has specific needs but is not certain as to whether SharePoint is the best fit.
Spike projects may have a longer time to delivery as development must have reached an appropriate level of completeness to allow reasonable use. Once delivered, users must have longer to perform more rigorous testing due to the higher complexity of the solution. This would typically mean that initial delivery may lag behind the incremental approach by around three months and then user testing would run for three to six months.
If the organisation is confident that SharePoint is the right technology platform and has identified one or more potential spike projects, then a hybrid approach may be appropriate. This combines the two techniques to deliver a limited capability to a wide range of users in order to drive adoption whilst targeting key areas with rapid development of complex solutions. If an organisation has enough IT and development resource to sustain the approach it will allow more rapid development of the SharePoint solution, but has a higher overhead as multiple work streams must be carefully managed.
Work on the spike project would commence at the outset of the project with the benefit of this approach is that users will see incremental improvement along the lines of the three-monthly rhythm, with the larger projects delivering at a slower pace, perhaps every six months.
- Documented goals and success criteria for the proof of concept
- Installation, configuration and build of a proof of concept environment
- Documented findings from the proof of concept with recommendations and decisions for next steps for deployment
How we carry out the Proof of Concept Service
- Vision Workshop to determine the Business Requirements that will be met by the Proof of Concept solution.
- Identify the audience/stakeholders.
- What projects would benefit from the Proof of Concept.
- How long the Proof of Concept should last.
- Information Architecture process to determine a scaleable solution for your business.
The report will include:
- Summary of the Proof of Concept project to date.
- Recommendations – how to take the Proof of Concept forward.
- Next Steps – assessing the project at regular intervals, and how to move from Proof of Concept to working solution.
Black Marble’s SharePoint Team are Microsoft Services Ready, and emphasise the importance of following MCS Best Practice in all SharePoint implementations to ensure they are delivered ‘right first time, every time’.
For more information on our service you can call Jessica on +44 1274 300175.