SharePoint Best Practices: A Guide to Successful Deployment

Remember the days before SharePoint?

In most organizations, if you wanted to find a file or document, or store a vital piece of content, you’d have to sift through a confusing maze of folders and disorganized file structures. If you were lucky, you’d find the right version of the right document, or the right folder to save it in. If you weren’t so fortunate, you’d spend hours trying to track it down — only to give up and create something from scratch.

Thankfully, SharePoint has helped eradicate a lot of those issues (assuming you avoid some of the common mistakes that undermine SharePoint deployments).

To ensure your teams extract the true value that SharePoint offers, here are some SharePoint deployment best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Assess your team’s skills and perform a gap analysis

Before you begin a SharePoint deployment, it’s important to assess the skill sets of your technical and business teams. Some questions you might ask during this phase include:

  • How much help will each key stakeholder need to get started with SharePoint?
  • How familiar are people with the tool?
  • Do they understand how to set up file folders and structures, and create workflows?

Those are just a few questions to consider. In all likelihood, your teams will need some amount of skills training to help them grasp the basics of the tool and achieve greater sophistication around its most valuable features. This training can run the gamut — from upfront training plans to get started, to deeper training programs that take SharePoint to the next level — but it’s critical to understand where training is necessary before getting too deep into deployment planning.

  1. Create a plan for implementation

One of the biggest mistakes companies make with SharePoint is assuming they should just migrate all of their old content and files from on-premise servers (or old SharePoint sites) to the new tool. Why is this a problem? If you don’t take time to plan and think about how your teams are going to organize, access, and share documents in SharePoint, you’ll end up with something that’s just as disorganized, cluttered, and useless as your old content management system.

In this phase, you want to methodically plan for:

  • Which files are vital to the organization and must be migrated
  • Which files are unnecessary and can be purged
  • Who will lead SharePoint deployment and management for each team in the organization

Done right, this step will help you break SharePoint deployment into manageable steps that keep everyone focused, organized, and on-task.

  1. Establish clear governance structures

This is the final phase of the planning process. In this phase, you want to answer a few key questions:

  • How are you going to set up each SharePoint site?
  • How will files be organized in each of those sites?
  • Who will have access to each site and what will they be responsible for managing/overseeing?
  • How will you structure file viewing and sharing permissions? Will they be role or team based?

Ultimately, striving for this level of planning from the very beginning is critical to developing a smooth, effective SharePoint experience. Yes, these steps require some upfront investment of time and resources. But you’ll thank yourself for making that investment when your SharePoint sites are clean, secure, organized, and easily searchable.

Want to learn more about SharePoint and how your team can better leverage it?

Here’s are a few resources:

Join us for webinars specifically focused for Business Professional or IT Professionals.

Here’s a full listing of the wide range of SharePoint On-Premises and Online training courses we offer at TLG Learning.

SharePoint 2016/SharePoint Online Courses 

SharePoint 2013 Courses

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly!


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