Sometime soon, if not already, there's a very good chance that you're going to be thinking about putting SharePoint 2013 into your organization. In what is the fifth major iteration of Microsoft's ubiquitous collaboration platform, there are a ton of juicy features in SharePoint 2013 that you and your business users are going to want to get your hands on.


Faced with so many great features there is a real temptation to roll these out immediately; however, SharePoint, "Swiss Army knife" that it is, is not suited to big bang implementations. In fact, there is no surer way for your would-be, glorious SharePoint initiative to be still born, than to try to cram in a bunch of capabilities up front.

A much better approach is to take the time to work out a roadmap for your SharePoint 2013 rollout. Your roadmap is a program of projects, prioritized to give you the most bang for your buck early on and with the projects scheduled in a phased approach that will give you optimal gains, with minimal change impact on the business.

Here's a 5 step process to put your SharePoint 2013 roadmap together.

1. Find Out What the Business Wants

Your plan needs to deliver on what the business wants. That means actually getting out to the business users and asking them what they need and want. You can do this with workshops, interviews, even surveys and you should make a point of talking to a wide range of users -- across, up and down the org chart as well as in different office locations, if pertinent. To make the later planning easier, requirements should also be given a priority by the users, with the understanding that the more important ones will be given higher priority.

This process is pretty obvious, I know, but you would be surprised how often I talk to customers where IT have decided to roll out SharePoint without actually talking to the business.

2. Identify Projects

For each requirement, identify projects that will address the need. Ideally, the projects should be in bite sized chunks that will allow you to delivery capabilities incrementally.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first is to break up projects around functionality e.g., providing departmental teams sites. That might still give you projects that will be overly large. To break these down further look to deliver the functionality to a subset of the total organization. For instance, extending on the above example you could deliver departmental team sites to groups of one to two departments at a time. In this way you can gradually extend capabilities out to your organization.

3. Prioritize the Projects

By following the above steps, you are going to have a long list of features that the business has told you they need. Before you can put these into some sort of roadmap you will need to work out a couple of things: