The SharePoint Deployment Checklist

SharePoint has become a key requirement for any organisation that wants staff to securely collaborate, access data easily, and improve business efficiency. Whether the solution adopted is on premises or online, any deployment needs to be planned correctly for the business to gain the most value and maximise return on investment.

Here at igroup our SharePoint specialists share some of their expertise on deploying a new SharePoint environment for a business.  

Out-of-the-box SharePoint is not ready to go

When looking to deploy SharePoint, businesses must consider that it is not just a matter of loading up the software, clicking a few settings and “hey presto” it will bring business miracles.

Out-of-the-box SharePoint is an immensely powerful piece of software, but it needs to be customised and adapted for every organisation type and user. Without appropriate planning, the business is unlikely to see any real benefit and could potentially see costs rise if they need to make changes to the way they operate.

Planning a deployment is the key to success

One of the main reasons for failed deployments of SharePoint is a lack of prioritisation. Different stakeholders and teams often demand different solutions that do not address the core objectives of the business.

Undertaking a clear planning process and following a deployment checklist ensures that SharePoint is right from the start. It enables a business to benefit from a deployment that is optimised and flexible for the organisation and which delivers the right solutions for all stakeholders consistently and securely.

The SharePoint deployment checklist

igroup have put together a checklist for organisations, regardless of sector and size, that will guide them through the deployment process.

 Review your current environment

Whether you use SharePoint already and are just migrating to the latest version or are brand new to it, a full review of your existing environment must be undertaken. By conducting a review of SharePoint Hosting servers, document management systems, CMS and other business critical applications you can get a good idea of the scope and size of the SharePoint project that needs to be undertaken.

The review will also enable you to identify any custom apps required early on in the SharePoint Development environment reducing time spent later on.

Identify what challenges SharePoint will address

Before deploying SharePoint, your business needs to understand what it can do and who it will most benefit. By outlining these challenges against business objectives as you plan your SharePoint environment then the better performing it will be for the business and the greater the return.

SharePoint needs c-level support

The introduction or upgrade of SharePoint can have a major effect on a business and how it operates. By not getting buy-in from senior management the project can be doomed to failure from the start as they do not understand or see the benefits that will be achieved so will not ensure that systems are adopted and used by subordinates.

Set timings at the start of the project

A key part of the SharePoint deployment checklist are timings. They are important for a number of reasons including:

Setting expectations – SharePoint can take up to six months to deploy properly so managers should know the times from the outset

Progress monitoring – Setting timings allows you to monitor progress and allocate or move resources if required

Keeping to budget – A fundamental benefit of setting timings means that you are able to stay on top of the budget. Without timings it is easy to overspend resources

Work with stakeholders

It is important to work with stakeholders at all times during the deployment of SharePoint. By running workshops and setting up working teams you can get continual feedback which will ensure that all stages of the project are a success.

Working together also means that you can quickly identify current and future requirements for your solution and include these in the plan as well as outline how you will measure the final success of the project.

Use pilot groups

The final stage on our SharePoint deployment checklist is to use small pilot groups as you deploy it. Using these groups allows you to test your understanding of the requirements, measure how beneficial it will be and also identify if any changes need to be made before it is rolled out.

SharePoint can bring major benefits for businesses of all sizes and by following our checklist organisations can get the maximum return on their investment. igroup have worked with hundreds of companies to deploy SharePoint and our expert team can support you every step of the way. For more information contact us on 0203 697 0302.

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