Do your organization’s SharePoint governance plans fail because of poor execution?

Every organization should have a SharePoint governance plan in place, so all stakeholders know their responsibilities, and you can monitor the state of your environment. However, once you’ve put together that governance plan, the real challenge is in executing it. Executing the governance plan will involve repeat processes, whereby IT staff and SharePoint admins carry out regular analysis and reviews. Unfortunately, in many scenarios, this process breaks down very easily, meaning that the governance plan is never followed, and you gradually open yourself up to risks.

Governance trends

In our 2016 State of SharePoint and Office 365 Development report, we found that a  38% of organizations don’t have a SharePoint governance tool, that’s a significant number and is an indication that many businesses don’t have any kind of active SharePoint governance plan in place. We spoke to Vesa Juvonen, Senior Program Manager within SharePoint engineering at Microsoft about what a governance plan should look:

“A governance plan for the SharePoint customizations is one of those critical things which should be in place from day one to avoid possible future issues. A simple governance plan could be a few pages where the rules for the customizations are defined, so that everyone knows the different kinds of customizations which are supported in the environment and how they are managed.”

Another worrying statistic our research revealed was that about half the time, execution of governance activities remains covered by manual processes, which is a concern. The key message here? If you don’t have a SharePoint governance plan in place, you should, and if your execution is still done manually, you need to take action.

The continuing dependence on manual processes when executing a governance plan is that you run the risk of it not being executed at all. This is because the process of executing a full governance plan can be a complex task. It is often long-winded and tedious, so if your staff is already busy, then shortcuts and mistakes can arise.

Customization complexity

One of the reasons that a governance plan can be complicated and tedious to execute manually is down to customizations, which can be very time-consuming to keep testing to look for problems. While your governance plan might contain important rules to assure high security, performance, and regulatory compliance, there is a chance these rules are not verified every time the solution is updated, because it would take too much time to individually review each and every customization.

The problem with ignoring this part of the governance plan is that poor quality customizations can put your environment at risk. There needs to be a process for testing to make sure a customization is safe and a procedure for reviewing to make sure it remains so. Does it need encryption? If so, what kind? Have you updated the customization if a security vulnerability was discovered?

It’s the execution that counts

If it’s too difficult to execute your plan for SharePoint customizations, corners will inevitably be cut. The solution, therefore, is to automate the process of testing your solutions. By automating the testing process, IT staff will be much less likely to take shortcuts and will avoid the labor-intensive and tiring process of scanning hundreds or even thousands of lines of code regularly. Instead, an automatic tool can do all this for you, saving your teams time and effort.

Our customization analysis solution, SPCAF helps you do this. SPCAF is capable of automatically testing the code in all the customizations in your environment, alerting you to any potential problems and then helping you decide on how to act. It can highlight any weaknesses and give you the peace of mind that your customizations won’t cause real damage to the business.

The benefits of using SPCAF to automate customization testing

Defeat tedium
Automating the repeatable and manual processes of your governance plan enables your employees to side-step tedious procedures and concentrate on tasks of higher business value.

Say goodbye to human error
SPCAF reduces, and in some case completely removes, human error from the equation. Your governance plan has a lot of steps to tick off (sometimes over and over) and by automating the process you don’t have to worry about missing any of them.

Always be up to date
SPCAF is constantly updating with best practice, so that your environment’s governance plan will always remain up to date.

A flexible approach
Define the rules and policies that are specific to your governance plan and use SPCAF to better integrate them into your IT environment.

That’s one more thing taken care of

The execution of a SharePoint governance plan can all too easily be derailed by the realities of business. While this is understandable, it can be highly risky, and open you up to various dangers, from poor performance to severe security risks.

SPCAF enables the proper execution of your governance plan, so your organization reduces the risks of using customizations and thus increasing the return on investment.

To find out more about the value of SPCAF, download your 15-day free trial and see how it can play a pivotal part in your SharePoint governance policy.

Try out SPCAF now!

  • Craig Humphrey

    Our governance plans fail because every time MS releases new functionality into SPOnline, it breaks any attempt at governance…

    I’m looking at you O365 Groups, Teams, Planner, Communication sites…

    Would SPCAF be appropriate for MS’s own new functionality?

About the author

Waldek is a Microsoft Office Development MVP and Product Owner Customization Governance at Rencore. He reinforces our product development adding loads of business experience from working as a SharePoint consultant for more than 10 years.

Waldek is passionate about what he does and shares his enthusiasm through his blog and as a regular speaker at conferences and community events all over Europe. Recently, Waldek joined the SharePointr Partner and Practices (PnP) Core Team to help developers make better use of the SwharePoint and Office 365 platforms.