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Mart Muller's Checklist for Interviews with System Administrators when implementing SharePoint  » View
The following is a list of questions we ask prospective SharePoint site owners in order to start requirements gathering and determining which product implementation will best suit their needs. The questions help determine if the user needs a portal, a WSS site, or a combination of the two. The questionnaire is preluded by a brief description of SPS and WSS describing key differences in purpose. For the most part these questions are general, but some have undertones to our unique SharePoint environment. We have two versions of our questionnaire, one is a protected formatted form in Word that is sent to the prospective site owner, the other is an answer guide to assist evaluating the questionnaire responses. The blue text below with each question represents the answer guide response to that question.

Topic: Overall

  1. Please explain your business needs and expectations for a site.
    Review answer and use to aid in determining which implementation is best.
Topic: Content
  1. Check all that are applicable: (List of checkboxes)
    • You have content that you want to make available to all employees. (i.e., policies, procedures, news releases, product information, etc.)
      Checked: Portal
    • You have content that you want available only to a controlled (select) group of employees. (i.e., team information for a specific audience such as project status, management reports, etc.)
      Checked: WSS Site
    • You have content targeted at a specific group of employees, but all employees could view it. (i.e., company campus information, division procedures, strategy, etc.)
      Checked: Portal
    • You want a collaboration area for employees to work on documents, projects or meetings.
      Checked: WSS Site
  2. What type of content requests do you receive for providing information to people?
    Review answer and use to aid in determining which implementation is best.
  3. How static is the content you want to provide? (List of checkboxes)
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
    • Yearly
    Frequent edits in a good reason to have a site manager or overall content owner for the site. Having a person in charge of doing or reviewing all edits will keep the tone the same and consistent and reduce content duplication. Edits that happen infrequently can probably be handled by a central administration group and will possibly not require the group to undergo training.
  4. How many people contribute to or are responsible for this content? (List of checkboxes)
    • Less than 5
    • Less than 15
    • Less than 30
    • More than 30
    The more people involved with a site's content, the bigger the need for a central site manager or overall content owner. See the reasoning above for more details. Additionally if there is a large group of people editing the content, the site may be a good candidate for Content Management Server.
  5. Do you want to provide any of the following types of content? (List of checkboxes) All of these are available with Portal or WSS Site except where noted.
    • Document libraries (if checked answer additional information below)
    • Surveys
    • Lists (i.e., events, links, announcements, issues, tasks, contacts, custom, etc.)
    • Discussion boards
    • Forms
    • Images/graphics
    • Workspaces (Section specifically targeted to group collaboration on document(s), meeting(s), project(s), team(s), list(s) and/or web page(s).)
      Checked: WSS Site
    • Other
      Please describe:
      Review answer and work with an implementation team member to determine which product meets the content need.
Document Library - Only complete if document libraries is a type of content you want to provide.
  1. Where do the documents currently reside and what type of information is it?
    Review answer, may effect how content is moved to site and storage space allocation costs for client.
  2. Who needs access to these documents?
    Review answer, documents targeted to all employees can be on a Portal, documents targeted to a select group of employees will need to be on a WSS Site (best implementation) or on a restricted access sub area of a Portal.

    (The following are questions with Yes/No checkboxes).

  3. Will the documents require unique user permission assignments?
    • Yes Checked: WSS Site
    • No Checked: WSS Site or Portal
  4. Will the documents need versioning?
    • Yes Checked: WSS Site
    • No Checked: WSS Site or Portal
  5. Will the documents need an approval process before being posted for all users to see?
    • Yes Checked: WSS Site
    • No Checked: WSS Site or Portal
  6. Are there any old or archived documents that need to be available as well to users? (If answer is Yes, answer additional question below).
    • Yes Checked: See below
    • No Checked: No further action
  7. Do old documents need to be available for search only and not collaboration and browsing?
    • Yes Checked: Portal
    • No Checked: WSS Site or Portal
Topic: Search
    (The following are questions with Yes/No checkboxes).

  1. Do the users only need to search contents located on the site?
    • Yes Checked: WSS Site
    • No Checked: Portal
  2. Do the users need advanced search features such as searching other sites, file shares, Notes databases, and/or documents?
    • Yes Checked: Portal
    • No Checked: WSS Site
  3. Do the users need to have the ability to narrow their search results via selecting topics to search? Example: Search only within Human Resources
    • Yes Checked: Portal
    • No Checked: WSS Site
  4. If you need anything beyond basic search (just searching the site contents), how much additional data do you have? (i.e., estimate of file size/disk space)
    Review answer, additional storage space will possibly incur additional costs for the client.
Topic: Audience
  1. Audience (check all that are applicable) (List of checkboxes)
    These are general guidelines for which server farm the site should live on. Each site will have to be handled and evaluated on a case by case basis.
    • Contractors Checked: Content needs to reside in the Intranet server farm.
    • Clients Checked: Content needs to reside in a non-Intranet server farm.
    • Employees If only one checked: Content needs to reside in the Intranet server farm; If checked in conjunction with Clients: Content needs to reside in a non-Intranet server farm.
    • Limited group of employees. Estimated number in group: ___________ Checked: WSS Site; For an ideal WSS Site, estimated number in group needs to be under 150.
  2. What services do you provide your audience? (i.e., HR policies, online payroll, weekly status reports)
    Items targeted for all employees like HR policies, should reside in a Portal. Items that are targeted to a smaller subset of employees, like weekly project status reports, should reside in a WSS Site. If the content is geared for mass assumption and distribution, it should be a Portal. If the content is geared to a limited number of employees who would be the only ones that would understand and use the content, it should be a WSS Site.
  3. How often do you need to interact with your audience? (List of checkboxes)
    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • Quarterly
    • On demand
    Frequent interaction is better suited for a WSS Site, while content that does not change very often is better suited for a Portal.
  4. Is the interaction with your audience short-term or long-term?(List of checkboxes)
    • 1 - 6 months
    • 6 - 12 months
    • 1 - 2 years
    • 2 + years
    Short term content is better suited for a WSS Site, while longer term content is better suited for a portal.
Topic: Site Setup, Support and Administrative Roles
  1. Site Setup, Support and Administrative Roles (check all that are applicable) (List of checkboxes)
    • Which best describes your initial site setup needs?
      • Full setup - SharePoint administration team sets up entire site structure and inputs content
      • Partial setup - SharePoint administration team sets up entire site structure, but does not input content
    • Which best describes your site support needs going forward after the initial setup?
      • Full support - SharePoint administration team supports and maintains entire site
      • Partial support - SharePoint administration team provides Help Desk support and high level administrative support

    Note: A site manager is responsible for managing sub sites, workspaces and adding/updating areas for content contribution. Either the site manger or a designated security administrator is responsible for adding users as a reader to the site.
  2. Do you have a person(s) in your group to serve as "site manager" over the site? (List of checkboxes)
    • Yes
    • No
  3. Do you have a person(s) in your group to serve as "security administrator" over the site? (List of checkboxes)
    • Yes
    • No
    Depending on the outcome of this survey and what implementation is determined to be the best fit for the client, a Site Manager may or may not be required, although one is always strongly suggested. For large sites, a Site Manager is highly suggested and if there is no one they can identify to fill this role, we need to discuss that further with them to see how we can help effectively manage the site.
Topic: Custom Development
  1. Do you have existing applications that need to be linked to or incorporated into a SharePoint site? Please explain.
    Answers will have to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  2. Do you need custom content functionality/development? Please explain.
    Answers will have to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:08 AM

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