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getting out from under the umbrella?

Last Modified: 2012-05-11
How do you guys out there get people to think of organizing sharepoint as something other than up and down the organizational hierarchy.  Everywhere I've been to implement SharePoint, it's always been difficult to get a critical mass of people to think outside of the box and get the sites set-up as something other than their division or organizational structure.  

For example, we have contracts and as a result there's information stored that's related to contracts.  The people that do the day to day paper shuffling on the contracts want all the stuff buried in their own team site.  However, the reality is that many of the business folks have an interest in those contracts (ie. IT, Facilities, etc) need to be able to get to the information.  So what ends up happening is IT duplicates contract information about IT in the IT site, and Facilities duplications facilities contracts information in the Facilities team site, and so on and so forth.  An ideal scenario would be to get people to see the need for a "Contracts" area that's outside of these more team focused sites.  You could still lock things down if permissions are a concern, but at least everything would be in 1 place and not duplicated throughout.  In pratice, what typically happens is the above mentioned scenario, and then several months later people start realizing they need to share the information out with people, and now you've got this bloody mess of content to share out and or duplicate that wasn't thought out properly upfront.

This is just one of literally DOZENS of examples I can think of over my history of working with SharePoint at numerous organizations.  I'd really like to get people to see the grace in thinking this through BEFOREHAND rather than 6 months to 1 year after implementation when we already have our basic site hierarchy in place.  

How successful have you been in getting this thinking going at project inception, and what were some of your success factors?

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