Gather Your Team:
The first step in planning is to gather together your team. This may sound easy, but depending on your corporate climate, this could prove to be the most challenging step for you. If your company has a lot of red-tape, or seemingly takes “forever” to make a decision about IT, you’ll need to muster your selling skills on this step. Make sure you do your homework and come prepared for the “hard-sell”
Once you have your sales pitch in-hand, it’s time to beat the streets! Gather up the players you need to make this portal team a success. You will need representation from, at least, four different groups within your organization. If your company is small, some people may play multiple roles. At any rate, here’s the breakdown:
Executive Sponsors – As we have already discussed it is critical to have someone Champion your portal project. This person (or these people) will distribute communications down through the rank and file. They will “urge” users to participate in the exercises necessary to complete this process, and will help you position your project from within the realm of your company’s strategic initiatives. The Executive Sponsors may also be referred to as Stakeholders.
Technical Staff – You will need technical expertise in a variety of areas, including
- Building Servers – Admins (SharePoint and/or Infrastructure)
- Installing/Configuring software – Architects, including SharePoint and server physical and logical architecture.
- Integration with Exchange / Outlook / ActiveDirectory
- Database configuration, administration, replication (potentially), and DR.
- Developers /Designers - Any “fancy” integration you want to take on, such as Data presentation, presence awareness, forms and workflows, etc.
- Project Lead or formal Project Manager.
Subject Matter Experts – You will need people from key departments throughout the organization. These people will tell you (good or bad) what they need and why. They will also tell you whether or not your design and functionality will help or hinder their productivity. Here’s a tip – aim to HELP them. :-) Brilliant, huh? Not only does it just make sense, but they will love you for it and be infinitely more cooperative. (i.e. you will be a HERO).
Partners, Consultants, or Influential-types – You may need someone who has a project-oriented mindset and can help you keep organized and on-track. This may also include technical expertise in a variety of areas where you may lack resources.
So, now that you know what you need, go out there and gather up the masses. This could be a small group, or a larger one. My recommendation would be to keep it between 10-15 people maximum. As you’ll see in future exercises, you’ll need to get group consensus on some things. The larger the group, the more difficult it is to get a consensus. Trust me – no matter how big or small this group is, you will be challenged with getting them to agree at some point!
With your team in tact, let’s move on to Step 3: Assess your current status and needs.