Mr. Miyagi is Not a Direct Descendant of Superman

I just got back from Boston where I presented at the SharePoint Technology Conference.I just got back from Boston where I presented at the SharePoint Technology Conference. I had a great time meeting a lot of new friends and reconnecting with old buddies. To get a glimpse of what happened during the conference, here are the #sptechcon tweets.

In the session that I presented with Mike Taylor entitled: “SharePoint Worst Practices: Five Common Mistakes to Avoid“, one of the commmon mistake in implementing SharePoint we discussed is unrealistically staffing SharePoint deployments.

I began the conversation by confessing to the audience that my real name is Dux-El, my grandfather is Jor-El and my father is Kal-El. To prove this, I even showed everybody my superman undershirt. However, I was ashamed to admit that I am a direct descendant of Superman because unlike my forefathers, I have unsuccessfully tried numerous times to implement SharePoint projects all by myself.


Humor aside, does that sound familiar? It’s a common sight to see a single or maybe two individuals carrying out the responsibility of deploying SharePoint in the entire organization.

“You’re the Windows Administrator? OK, starting tomorrow, you’re also the SharePoint Administrator! Your job is to roll it out to the whole company by next week.”

What makes it even more challenging is that deploying SharePoint is on top of all the other responsibilities that they may have.

The impression that successfully rolling out SharePoint only entails installing SharePoint on a Windows Server and sending a mass e-mail telling the organization that they can start using it is pure fallacy. In fact, this is a perfect formula for disaster.

To be successful in SharePoint, there’s more to just installing the software. Proper planning, engaging the business to properly identify requirements, designing and architecting the relevant SharePoint solution, defining governance strategies, creating an adoption plan, installing, configuring, customizing and maintaining SharePoint, and managing the entire SharePoint implementation are necessary to be successful. Now, can a single person do that? Not even Superman.

That’s why I can see myself more as Mr. Miyagi. The ever patient, methodical, process-oriented (wax-on/wax-off), sensei who has been there and done that. He sees the value in properly understanding what the mission is, critically planning how to address the need and equipping appropriate resources to face the challenge.

More importantly, Mr. Miyagi is a mentor. That’s exactly who I want to be. I would like to mentor others out there who needs guidance in properly deploying SharePoint. Having been involved in various SharePoint deployments, I’d like to share practical methods and techniques to:

– Generate executive excitement
– Gain committed sponsorhip
– Identify measurable business goals
– Effectively gather requirements
– Create realistic project plans
– Define the appropriate SharePoint team
– Foster better SharePoint adoption

How will I be able to do this? Along with like-minded SharePoint mentors (Paul Culmsee, Ruven Gotz & Andrew Woodward), we are planning a special “SharePoint Governance Mentoring Workshop” that will run over a period of 3 days (August 19-21, 2009), prior to the SharePoint Best Practices Conference in Washington, DC. It will be a unique, one-off event and numbers will be strictly limited. We think that our combined skills cover the broad spectrum of the SharePoint universe very well. If you haven’t, see what Paul has to say about this in a recent blog post.

Would an event like this benefit you? If so, we need to hear from you! We will publish the workshop details and outline in mid-July but we need to gauge interest now. The cost for this three day event will be $1750 per attendee, although anyone who is registered for SharePoint Best Practices Conference will be entitled to a 10% discount. So if this sounds good to you, then please register your interest.

What do you think? Ready to make a sacred pact? I promise teach proper SharePoint implementation to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.

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