Getting The Best ROI From SharePoint For Your Projects – Part 2
Last week I wrote a post (Getting The Best ROI From SharePoint For Your Projects – Part 1) talking about the protocols that you should observe if you are building project management (or indeed any application) into SharePoint. I explained that many of the protocols are written in the extensibility guidelines provided by Microsoft (e.g. never write straight to the database, rather use the SharePoint API’s, or you will be in upgrade hell!). I further explained that most of these rules and protocols you get with experience. I then went on to give some sample questions you can ask yourself (or your IT department or your SharePoint vendor) to see how “friendly” your application is. I also committed to giving more examples / screenshots – hence this follow-up post!
Does BrightWork act and look like SharePoint itself, so that your users find it easy to use?
Users should look at a home screen like this and not know that it is “Enhanced SharePoint” – so it makes deployment faster and easier. Brightwork enhances the SharePoint interface that you are already familiar with.
Does it use standards lists and libraries to store information?
All standard list functionality should work – but extra configuration options should be available and should be made available from the same place and in the same manner/style/interface as SharePoint makes them available.
Does it use web parts to report data? (Is it easily maintainable? – as customers will ask for changes very quickly – especially as they evolve their project management capabilities)
Customers know to “edit web parts” – so this configuration option (if security cleared) should be available in the same place. You will also find BrightWork, project management, pre-configured web parts.
Does it use the standard quick launch on a site to assist navigation?
This Quick Launch is standard SharePoint and is easy to understand and configure.
Does it use normal SharePoint security – with no funny business going on?
Enough said! Can you imagine going to the IT Department and saying that you are using a different/modified security mechanism than SharePoint – yikes!
Can I move and copy sites using the normal SharePoint provided capabilities?
You should have access to all the normal SharePoint Admin capabilities – and your BrightWork should be added here also
Is it easily configurable? Can it be configured by non-IT people?
Yes it is absolutely configurable. All configurations should be as easy as configuring a standard view in SharePoint
Is it low cost and low complexity to upgrade? When new versions of SharePoint come out – is there an upgrade path or a nightmare?! (we have seen small applications delay a larger upgrade – it is never pretty when the CIO is yelling!)
Upgrading your SharePoint version is easy with low cost and low complexity. BrightWork is also continuously improved with regular updates that can be implemented easily and safely.
I guess the proof is in the “delivery” over many years
I hope this gave you some food for thought.