SharePoint “sands of time” projects

Tech Trek – 2011.06.05

I was recently in a seminar conducted by Habañero Consulting group titled “Navigating a Successful SharePoint journey.” As validated by the speakers, the biggest challenge that we face is not how we accomplish things technically but navigating the ins and outs of projects that can become quicksands in our career. It can become a quicksand since it sucks all the time and effort to complete a project but:

  • Eventually not being used, or becomes abadon-ware;
  • Not targeting the correct business opportunities even when users adopt the solution

This is especially true in a SharePoint implementation since it can involve stakeholders from cross-functional teams with different motivations. One of the trick is finding the right approach that will work with the background of the development team, the project sponsor, and the actual end-users of the system.

In summary, one key factor that was missing in the event session were samples on how one could measure the ROI’s of a successful journey apart from just the “soft” benefits. It is true that metrics is a case-to-case basis but the second bullet point above should be the primary consideration of any organization when starting the journey in the first place.

So why is this post titled “sands of time” projects? I recently recalled a scene from the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time movie where King Sharaman advises Prince Dastan, the lead character that he shouldn’t have went along with his brothers invading the holy city, Alamut.

“A great man who would have stopped what he knew to be wrong, no matter who was ordering it.”
— King Sharaman

What resonated with me on how it relates to us technologist. Sometimes we get involved on projects that we know were done for the wrong reasons but don’t have the onus to take a step back and think why we should doing them. It doesn’t mean turning projects down but building up the business case should done first instead of getting gung-ho. Unfortunately, we don’t have the dagger to turn back time so tread carefully when navigating on such journeys.


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