Tuesday, February 28, 2012

650 Successful SharePoint Implementations | Dissecting a Decade of EPC Group Enterprise SharePoint Success (Article 1 of 4) 650 Successful SharePoint


I am writing this article (Article 1 of 4) as myself and my organization, EPC Group.net, has embarked on and completed our 653 successful SharePoint implementation. In the sections below, I am going to dissect how an Enterprise or Global SharePoint implementation project can become a success 99% of the time. With SharePoint being one of the most popular software platforms in the world, there are new 20 webinars a week from this month's newest experts, 30 new articles on “how governance should really work, this way….” ,and 5 new SharePoint firms popping up every few months (with quite a few failing and others being acquired, for both good and bad reasons.

I am extremely proud of my team at EPC Group.net as we celebrate this 650 successful project mark and 13 years of being in business. This article is meant to covering over a decade of real-life SharePoint “In the trenches consulting”, the 500 gallons of coffee consumed, hundreds of working lunches, and thousands of hours of experience that I would like to share from EPC Group with the AIIM community.


When you log in to your computer tomorrow morning, your browser’s home page will display our organization’s new “SharePoint” solution. This is an exciting time for us because this new (ECM\Intranet\Collaboration\ or “Hybrid” = all of these) platform has been designed to provide not only a consistent look and feel but a user-friendly way for our organization’s staff to store your documents, collaborate with your team members, classify sensitive and business critical information, as well as open up a “Professional Networking” (Social Networking) platform for you to communicate and have your own personal My Site within the organization.

Note: I have posted hyperlinks to previous articles on the topics in the previous section at the end of this article for your review and reference.

Please follow the training links that have been provided to the new SharePoint Training Site that contains not only how-to videos but a wealth of information on how the new system operates and will benefit and increase productivity throughout our organization. We have identified Power Users within each department and these users will assist with any “level 1” type questions about the new platform and the links provided in the help section will allow you to contact the “Help Desk \ SharePoint Support Team” for any additional issues or questions you may have…

Thank you,

The SharePoint Executive Sponsor

How Did We Get to the Message Above (Go-Live)? What Were the Steps that Ensured our Successful Implementation?

SharePoint Training Session(S)

Before any go-live of a new SharePoint 2010 platform or future SharePoint release, you first have to ensure successful training as well as identification of Power Users \ Super Users. EPC Group likes to hold training and train-the-trainer session with our clients. (Sample agenda included below) Note: The pages numbers are out of our training guide and do not need to be referenced.

Agenda - level 1

I. Getting Acquainted

a. Welcome to SharePoint Portal (pages: 9 - 10)

b. Finding information when you need it (pages: 11 - 13)

c. Browsing the Site Map (page: 14)

d. Orientation to a Site (pages: 16 - 18)

e. Navigating in SharePoint (pages: 19 - 20)

f. The Anatomy of a SharePoint Site (page: 21)

II. Setting Up A Site

a. Custom and out of the box Templates (pages: 22 - 23)

b. About Lists (pages: 24 - 34)

c. Working with Announcements (pages: 35 - 37)

d. Working with Calendar (pages: 38 - 40)

e. Using Contacts (pages: 41 - 42)

f. Using Tasks (pages: 43 - 45)

g. Using the Link List (pages: 46 - 47)

III. Working with Documents and Document Libraries (pages: 55 – 76)

a. Overview

b. Adding Documents to a Library

c. Working in Explorer View

d. Checking out/in

e. Versioning

f. Recycle Bin

g. Sending Links to Files in SharePoint

IV. Working with Columns and Views (pages: 79 - 95)

a. Overview

b. Editing Column Properties

c. Adding Additional Columns to a List

d. Creating a Custom Column

e. About/Creating Views.

Agenda - level 2

V. Securing a Site (pages: 108 – 124)

a. A Word about Permissions

b. Understanding Permission Levels

c. Adding Users to Default SharePoint Group

d. Creating a Permission Level

e. Creating a Custom SharePoint Group

f. Editing a Group’s Permission Level

g. Removing a User from a Group

h. Assigning a User Individual Rights

i. Editing a User’s Permissions

j. Managing Access to Libraries and Lists

VI. Administering Your Site (pages: 126 – 132)

a. Managing Regional Settings

b. Monitoring Site Usage and Space Allocation

c. Monitoring Site Usage

d. Monitoring Space Allocation

e. Auditing SharePoint Sites

VII. Advanced Topics

a. Custom Content Type & Metadata

b. Web Parts\ InfoPath Forms & Workflow

d. Business Solutions

e. Custom Site Templates

Let’s Get Into Dissecting a Successful Engagement and the Method to EPC Group’s Project Methodologies

Project Initiation and Planning - Initiation and Definition Activities

Once the EPC Group sales and consulting staff has worked with our clients to scope and build the overall proposal and the project has been won, it is time for the Project Management Office (PMO) to start engaging as well as planning the details such as:

· Create Work Breakdown Structure

· Perform Resource planning

· Create Project Schedule

· Preparing the Budget

· Conduct Schedule Review

The EPC Group team now develops the supporting plan definition activities and Project Initiation activities such as the:

· Communication and Controlling Procedures

· Compile and inspect Project Definition Document

· Review and Approve Project Definition Document

EPC Group then rolls into our project kickoff sessions \ Preparing for Kickoff

Conduct Project Review and Kickoff Processes

· Implement EPC Group’s Project Control Documents and our internal Project

Server 2010 environment

· Kicking of Requirements Gathering

o Conduct Initial Requirements Gathering Sessions and Determine


o Content Sessions

o Conduct Content Requirement Session

o Conduct Content Requirement Session

· Services Sessions

o Conduct Services Requirement Session

· Equipment Sessions

· Conduct Global Equipment Requirement Session

· People Sessions

· Conduct People Requirement Session

· Conduct Global People Requirement Session

· Backend Application

· Conduct Backend Application Investigation

· Steering Committee Sessions

· Conduct Steering Committee Member Interviews

· Develop Requirements Document

· Conduct Requirements Document Review and Apply Updates

· Requirements Document Complete

  • Obtain Requirements Document Client Sign Off
  • Requirements Phase End Review

Conduct Phase End Assessment - Requirements Phase End Review Complete

Onsite Reviews

Conduct 1st - Onsite Review Planning Session

Development Environment


- Provide SharePoint team support in Development Configuration

Governance Document

Governance Overview Meeting

Discover Working Sessions

  • Define SharePoint Service
  • Define Equipment for Environment
  • Define Software
  • Define Policies

Design Work Sessions

  • Building Organizational Diagrams
  • Build Proposed Model
  • Define Information Management
  • Define Organizational Structure

Governance Document Draft

  • Construct SharePoint Services Documentation
  • Construct Equipment for Environment Documentation
  • Construct Software Documentation
  • Construct Information Management Documentation
  • Construct Organization Documentation
  • Construct Policies Documentation
  • Review Draft Governance Documentation with Client

Governance Document Final

  • Construct SharePoint Services Documentation
  • Construct Equipment for Environment Documentation
  • Construct Software Documentation
  • Construct Information Management Documentation
  • Construct Organization Documentation
  • Construct Policies Documentation
  • Review Draft Governance Documentation with Client

Obtain Governance Document Client Sign off

SharePoint Roadmap

  • Develop Roadmap Document
  • Review Roadmap Document

Obtain Roadmap Document Client Sign Off

EPC Group - Begins Design Portion of the Initiative

  • Design Process Overview Meeting

Server Configuration

  • Identify document management approach
  • Identify existing content sources _content audit or inventory
  • Determine content migration methodology
  • Review server software requirements
  • Plan Recycle Bin use and Site recovery
  • Determine site provisioning model and user experience

Determine Roles and Usage Patterns of Users

  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of users of the Web front end
  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of document management users
  • Identify number and anticipated usage patterns of search users

Plan Capacity

  • Determine normal load from roles and usage patterns
  • Determine number of documents stored and document store size
  • Estimate index size
  • Determine needs for growth
  • Determine peak load factor

My Next 3 Articles Detailing EPC Group’s Decade of SharePoint Success Will Entail:

  • Security Best Practices and Consulting Methodologies
  • Performance Best Practices and Consulting Methodologies
  • Failover and Disaster Recovery Best Practices
  • Reviewing and Selecting 3rd Party SharePoint ISV’s and Tools
  • Localization Best Practices
  • Long-term Maintenance Best Practices
  • Content Navigation and Its Structure
  • ECM \ Metadata \ Content Type Design
  • Retention Schedule \ ECM \ ERM Workflow Development Meeting Expiration Basis Data of Related Metadata
  • Detailed Training Overview Best Practices – With an Emphasis on “Real World” Training and not “Canned” Out-of-the-box Training
  • Testing \ Break-fix, etc. Best Practices
  • Communication Best Practices
  • Migration Best Practices from Systems such as eRoom, FileNet, Hummingbird, Documentum, LiveLink, and many others
  • Project Management Communication Strategies for Consultants and Business Analysts

I would like to thank my many staff members at EPC Group for our success over the past 13 years and these 650+ implementations as these methodologies and strategies were developed by a massive team effort over many projects over these many years.

I also referenced several of my previous AIIM articles which I have listed below for your reference to the terms in this post:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Message and 2012 Roadmap from EPC Group's CEO, Errin O'Connor

EPC Group - Time Tested and Proven

A Message from Our CEO

EPC Group is the nation’s leading Microsoft SharePoint Consulting firm but we are more than just a SharePoint consultancy. EPC Group is a nationwide leader in Microsoft Solutions delivery and services provider that enables technology to fit the business and functional requirements of our clients. EPC Group’s services range from not only our unprecedented SharePoint (Enterprise Content Management (ECM \ ERM), Global Intranet initiatives, Analytics, Collaboration and Social \ Professional Networking) solutions, but to the entire Microsoft Suite of solutions and beyond.

The vision for EPC Group in 2012, and since our founding in 1999, if to offer innovation through best practices “in the trenches” consulting services and solution development to not only improve our client’s productivity and continued innovation to ensure their continued success but to look toward the future and develop long-term roadmap and platforms that will be relevant for years to come after their deployment.

Our vast professional services offerings of not only Microsoft SharePoint but Microsoft Project Server, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Custom Development (workflows, custom User Interface (UI) design, and industry leading Project Management, Mobile Development, Business Consulting Services, I.T. Roadmap development, and many others.

At EPC Group, we have evolved over time into industry thought leaders for implementing efficient (doing it right the first time) professional services while providing “soup to nuts” capabilities in multiple platforms from initial discovery, business requirements gathering, implementation and configuration, custom development, training, post go-live support, and truly being there for our clients.

EPC Group employees are truly the best in the business. I am proud to say that my strategy of hiring people smarter than me time and time again while continuing to adapt to the ever changing market, economy, technology stacks, and the unforeseen has given EPC Group a brand name in this industry that we are very proud of and will continue to work every day to sustain regardless of the challenge.

At EPC Group, we cannot afford to have a bad project. Not from a financial perspective, but the I.T. world is a very small community even thou there are thousands of professionals worldwide who may be doing similar initiatives, we have the EPC Group brand and reputation to protect. EPC Group is committed to offering you a guarantee of a successful project from the experts who, in many cases, literally wrote the books on the technology.
I personally am committed to ensuring our clients success and employing and partnering with EPC Group’s staff of unprecedented hard working, industry leading, honest, and brilliant professionals.

In 2012, you will see EPC Group continue to grow as we engage in even more global initiatives and will be providing our continued webinars, case studies, workshops, and other mechanisms to not only fill your inbox with yet another service provider wanting to showcase their solutions, but to be connecting with EPC Group who has over 640 successful SharePoint engagements, 75 Project Server engagements, 100’s of custom development, analytics\ business intelligence, custom user interface, and other efforts from our ever growing set of offerings to provide you real-word answers.

If you every have a question about EPC Group, you can not only reach out to our staff whom you may already be in contact with, but personally contact me anytime at errino@epcgroup.net and I will work with you and your organization to ensure whatever the project, however daunting the challenge, to know you are not only hiring a “consulting firm” but a partner who will work with you while providing continuous knowledge transfer and honest feedback about what you are trying to accomplish.

Errin O’Connor – EPC Group
Founder and CEO