“SharePoint is causing information management problems.” Really?

"SharePoint sites are easy to set up, but when the project ends, business-critical information is stuck in these sites." — Erik Moller quoted in an article, SharePoint Causing Info Management Problems

I’m not sure how to handle this type of comment, it’s so off on so many different levels. Is it really a SharePoint problem being described here? Instead of me picking this apart, how about some feedback. Read the article and then leave a comment back here. If I’m off base, let me know.

Mark

13 thoughts on ““SharePoint is causing information management problems.” Really?”

  1. As the lead of a user group, I often heard this type of comment and I have a very simple answer to this statement: I show them a SharePoint site using the blank site template. I always hit my point with no additional comments :-)

    Regards,

    Alain Lord
    MVP SharePoint Server
    SharePoint Québec User Group lead

  2. i don’t know what to say.. as i’m a big fan of SharePoint 2010.

    for sure the one who wrote this comment on sharepoint, doesn’t really know it .. make him prove it and he will be definitely wrong about, if u just know how to work with sharepoint.. believe me your business problems will be solved but u didn’t even give it a try and it’s obvious ..

    really this is the first time .. i read this about sharepoint.. and hope it’s the last..

    shame to say this about the best product in Microsoft…

    do u even know or realized how many licensed sold for this product in small time…!!! wow sure who wrote know nothing..

    have u looked at SharePoint new feature about Record Management.. sure not, it’s here in SharePoint to apply to goverenance rules and you say it’s not !!!!

    i suggest we contact that person and give him a try on sharepoint 2010… really … we have to do this..

    With my regards;
    Mai Omar
    Senior Solutions Developer
    Blog: http://maiomar.itegyptcorp.com
    Website: http://www.itegyptcorp.com

  3. Archiving a project site seems to me to be part of the project close out phase; the phase that is often ignored or glossed over as everyone moves on to other projects quickly. So not only do lessons not get learned but the documents seem to get lost too.
  4. I agree with the article in that information can easily become trapped in SharePoint, causing it to not be leveraged as a corporate asset. The same thing happends on file shares, Lotus Notes, flash drives, C: drives and cloud-based storage. The problem, as is often the case, isn’t an issue with the technology but rather the storage and usage strategy by the people using the tool.

    SharePoint works well when one focuses beyond the use of SharePoint as a simple collaboration platform and focuses on using SharePoint as a records management system. In brief, we should all investigate the use of SharePoint Records Centers to store content that will become a corporate asset, move worthy content from SharePoint sites to the Records Center and then delete the site where the documents were created.

    A short-term view of SharePoint leads to the ‘site silo’ syndrome mentioned in the article. A long-term view is focused on consolidating valuable corporate document assets into a centralize location for ease of access and the application of aging policies.

  5. The article reminds me of tabloid press headlining a biased perspective, with the rational response appearing a few days later buried in the adverts for SharePoint Governance tools. Pure hype.

    As with other record and knowledge systems, the corporate body quickly realise the need to extend KIM governance to SharePoint content, to include training about what different site types are to be used for, and manage the archiving or records centre/management policy accordingly. Legislation kicks hard if these policies are not in place and implemented.

  6. I normally like anti-SharePoint articles; they provide more fodder for SharePoint best practices, i.e. governance and taxonomy discussions, than they do for providing nails in SharePoint’s coffin.
    Looking at the title I was expecting a beefier argument and a more 360 dissection. I guess the European IT guys who were quoted were not the same ones who decided to use SharePoint for one of the biggest global sports brands, the English Premier Football (soccer) league.

    FA opts for SharePoint 2010 to improve communication

    http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2263007/fa-opts-sharepoint

    Don’t know how long that link will be under this article but I found that one way more significant than the one I was supposed to read and comment on.

  7. I think it would have been better if they just stated that "…business-critical information Could Be stuck in these sites", instead of just a blanket statement that businesses are losing information.

    Ignoring the rest of the article, the statement of "…firms were deploying SharePoint for business collaboration without any forethought about information governance around the technology." is really the main point here. Dont blame IT for not being able to pull data out afterwards, if you remove everyone that had access as soon as a project is over without at least leaving one "Data Archive" person to be able to manage legacy information, then you’ve screwed yourself. This has nothing to do with SharePoint and everything to do with improper planning, forethought and governance.

    Personally, I find the article a bit silly in how its presented. It reads as if the writer has no clue what he’s typing…just a bunch of one-liners (probably fed from his editor) that are designed to do nothing but intice debate. There’s no substance, just loaded statements, and not enough of a story to really see whats behind it. Not that I disagree with the idea of what trying to be presented, I just dont feel it does any good to present a topic like this in such a "weak" manner.

    Just my opinion.

    - Dessie

  8. I definitely agree with the author that there’s an archiving issue and that information is stuck in the sites (especially metadata).
    How can I access today the information for my projects that where managed in a SP 2003 environment? Do I need to apply massive upgrades to all the legacy sites every time a new SharePoint version is out?
  9. Mark,

    I’m totally with you. Just like a network drive (or any file storage/collaboration method), a SharePoint implementation, to be truly useful, has to be designed and managed (ongoing) by a human being, with thought put into both initial organization and long-term usage. The key in the article is "…without any forethought about information governance around the technology." Well duh–of course you end up with problems later on.

    And in response to, "’Getting IT to dig out that information will not be high on their list of priorities, because staff will be working on other projects by then,’" I’d argue that all along, there should’ve been, not necessarily an IT person, but perhaps better yet, a information-management-focused person organizing the content, designing the SP interface for easy access to same, and maintaining the site. Without that, one’s SP site becomes just another disorganized network drive (only in fancier SP packaging).

  10. I think the key to the article is a couple of sentences before the quote where they talk about surveys indicating that SharePoint is being implemented "without any forethought about information governance around the technology." There needs to be some discussions about what happens to the information once the project ends. Are there records (i.e. evidence of business transactions) buried in the content that need to be captured? Is there some corporate knowledge that needs to be added to a lessons learned or other knowledge management applications?

    It is true that without a decommissioning process that is part of overall information governance, then there are some information management problems. SharePoint is not causing them, it’s just where it is currently stored.

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