WEEK 1: Planning


First of all, I would like to say, “Thank you!”, to those of you that attended my keynote at the SharePoint TechFest 2010, in Dallas, Texas.  Your comments and feedback were refreshing and very much appreciated.   During this conference, you were introduced to “The PORTAL Method – 6 Steps to a Successful Portal”.    As promised, I will be breaking down each of the 6 steps in a 6-week series, beginning with Step 1:  the Planning phase.

For those of you who were not able to attend the keynote session, please see my “about” page for my background and/or The PORTAL Method article, which I contributed earlier.

My goal with this Series, “The PORTAL Method – 6 Steps to a Successful Portal”, is not to sell you something – at least, not until my book is finished!  :-)   Rather, my intention is to tell you something.   I’m here to tell you as much as I know about how to properly plan and execute the build of a Successful SharePoint Portal as possible.   When you read through these pages, don’t wait for the catch – there isn’t one! The only thing I want from you is your attention.   I want you to be able to deploy a portal more rapidly, smoothly, painlessly, and methodically than I have ever done.   I’m going to help you achieve this using my mistakes, successes, experience, and lessons learned.   Why?  Because, I want to, that’s why.  :-)

  • So, if you’re looking to deploy a portal for the first time, migrate from another platform to SharePoint, or upgrade an existing SharePoint portal deployment, I’m here to help!
  • If you have a small team and are not sure how to go about it, I’m here to help!
  • If you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the process, I’m here to help!

However, if you’ve done this many times before, are stuck in your ways and consider yourself a Portal Expert, this method is NOT intended for you (though, I think you could, potentially learn a thing or two).   That said, I would love to hear your input, commentary, and any wisdom you would like to bestow upon us through the blog.  If you would like to contribute content to my blog, I welcome you to http://www.thesharepointdude.com.   Feel free to create a contributor login and start adding blogs and comments.

Now that we know what The PORTAL Method is all about, let’s cut to the chase, roll up our sleeves, and get into the process!

The PORTAL Method – 6 Steps to a Successful Portal:

Let’s start by laying out the entire PORTAL Method process.   As you may have gathered by now, “PORTAL”, in this case, is an acronym.   It may seem clever that my Methodology has it’s purpose spelled right out in its name, however, it was originally “5 Steps to a Successful Portal”.   Though more concise, the 5-step process didn’t make for a memorable acronym.   I know, it’s silly – but you won’t forget it!  :-)   Thus, The PORTAL Method – 6 Steps to a Successful Portal was born!

Here are the 6 Steps of the Portal Method:

P – Planning and Vision
O – Outlining
R – Requirements Gathering
T – Tactical
A – Analytical
L - Launch and Evolve

I have further classified these 6 steps into 3 phases of the process:

Strategy – Includes Planning, Outlining, and portions of Requirements Gathering.

Execution – Also includes portions of Requirements Gathering, as well as the Tactical and portions of the Analytical steps.

Delivery – Includes the latter portions of Analytical, as well as the Launch and Evolve steps.

It is important to keep these three phases in mind as you progress through The PORTAL Method, as there will be distinctly different deliverables and timelines in each phase.

In this installment of our six-week series, we are going to discuss the Planning step within the Strategy phase.

By request, I’ve broken each step down, so they can be consumed and commented on, individually.    Let’s move on to Step 1:  Identify Business Drivers

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