We had a phone call at Officetalk this week that caused a lot of debate. The caller simply asked “How long does a SharePoint Project take for 250 users?”. Based on my own experience SharePoint Projects can vary considerably and in fact we have recently completed a project in just ten days, but have another project that has already exceeded six months and is still not ready to Go Live...
Of course, a SharePoint Project is never complete as it keeps growing and changing, but for this article I will take the Project Length as the number of days, weeks or months (hopefully not years) from the date of first Project Meeting until the ‘Go Live’ date.
So here are what I think are the stages you need to include in your SharePoint Project.
- Sponsor – Find a top level Management Sponsor for the Project ideally a Director. (1 week)
- Project Team – Put together a Project Team. (2 weeks)
- Resources – Find all available SharePoint resources. Officetalk Project Checklist is a good start. Also UK SharePoint User Group. (1 week)
- Information - What have you got already? This should include list of all documents and systems that are currently used. (3 weeks)
- New Requirements – What extra information would you like in SharePoint that you don’t already have. How about an IT Helpdesk System? (1 week)
- Get Consultant – SharePoint Consultants should know all about SharePoint and the best add-ons for you. They’ll help you avoid some costly pitfalls. They know them because they have usually suffered them before. I am told Officetalk are pretty good. (1 week)
- Scope – Agree the final Scope of the project of phase of the Project. Make it clear what is and more importantly isn’t part of the Scope. (1 week)
- Design – With the help of your SharePoint Consultant create the basic Site structure and sites. (2 weeks)
- Input – Now fill it with your documents and any other information you want adding. Linking to Active Directory can also have great benefit. (3 weeks)
- Pilot – A Pilot Group is the best way to start the roll-out because you will find teething problems. Choose a department who will be big users of the system. Maybe HR or IT. (3 weeks)
- Pilot Review – Allow at least two weeks to review comments from the Pilot Group and make appropriate changes. (2 weeks)
- End User Training – Even if it is only one hour all End Users should receive some kind of training in the basics. This also helps you sell the system to them. (1 week)
- Roll-out – Now we ready to go. (1 week)
- Support – Support especially important after the first month of Roll-Out (4 weeks)
So there we have it SPRINGS DIPPERS.
If you add up the weeks in brackets you will see that it comes to 26 weeks which is six months. This is purely an estimate and project length really depends on the workload of the Project Team as well as the amount of data involved.