Build Your Own Fantasy SharePoint Team

Building a Team

Everyone is excited about their new Fantasy Football Teams and Leagues here in the United States. A lot of deliberation and planning go into selecting members of your team. Hours even days are spent pouring over players’ stats and skills before making the final choices.

What about our Fantasy SharePoint Teams? Imagine if you could build your dream team from the ground up.

  • What stats and skills would you pull onto the team?
  • Would you define roles and the skills needed to fulfill those roles OR would you define the skills and then define the roles based on the people with the various skills?
  • Would those skills be different if it was SharePoint Online, On Premises or Hybrid?
  • Would personality traits enter into the equation? If so what would they be?

Here’s a couple I think are needed regardless if you go old fashioned roles based or skills based.

  • Know and understand the tools available in the browser to prevent over development. Exam 77-419
  • Information Architecture / Library Science background
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Keyword Query Language
  • Understand how SharePoint interacts with other Office Applications.
  • Create Search Results templates for SharePoint 2013
  • Know and understand SharePoint Designer Workflows, …
  • Can work in one or more of the following languages:
    • HTML5
    • CSS3
    • Net
    • XML
    • Understand and can make use of the client-side object model and REST APIs.

It’s only a start.

Add your skills list to the comments below.

Is SharePoint Social Dead?


Just like everything else at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014 (SPC14), SharePoint Social is being pushed into Heaven or Hell depending on your point of view. In fact it’s being pushed so hard it got pushed right out SharePoint and into Yammer and new apps.

Basically we are talking about no updates or enhancements to on-premises SharePoint Social.

According to Jared Spataro, the General Manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, “… SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1), …makes it easy to connect an on-premises SharePoint deployment with an in-the-cloud Yammer network.” (Work like a network! Enterprise social and the future of work blog post)


Take a look at some of the new apps that make this loss more palatable:

  • Office Graph – Not just an org chart. Office Graph shows how you are working with people in the organization. Meetings you’ve both attended, documents you’ve worked on together and discussions you’ve shared are all incorporated into the relationship model. Office Graph serves up your connections instead of you having to search for your connections.
  • Oslo (codename) – I hate to say it, but it makes me think of Pinterest for Business. With so much information out there users are depending on images, context and search to find what they need to get the job done. Oslo takes care of the search and presents the information in a graphical format. Think of it as dynamic personal navigation.
  • Yammer Group Experience – You’ll need O365 for this one. When you create a group anywhere in O365 you will get a group inbox, discussion, Outlook web apps calendar and a SharePoint document library. That’s a lot of Office Apps seamlessly integrated to get the job done.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Start considering a hybrid solution. Remember your organization’s Yammer environment can be locked down as tight as you’d like, but it’s still in the Cloud.
  2. If you started using SharePoint Social features, stick with what you’ve got, but start planning for a change.
  3. Don’t panic. SharePoint Social isn’t going away…at least not today.

Don’t Use the F Word When Describing Enterprise Social

NEVER use the word Facebook to describe enterprise social.

“People will be able to connect instantaneously, just like Facebook.”

“Our employees will be able to have conversations regardless of time of day or location, just like Facebook.”

That F word drives fear of a productivity black hole into the hearts of the CEO, CIO, CFO and most others on the leadership team in your organization. Some of them may have already been on Facebook. Your leadership team is already aware that Facebook can easily suck an hour or two out of your day. That isn’t productive, unless your company specializes in videos of people doing stupid things or produces cute pictures of cats doing stupid things.

If you want to sell enterprise social to the CEO, CIO, CFO or anyone else for that matter, show them how it will save time.

Do contracts take forever to review because you are doing it through email? How much turnaround time could be saved by having the discussion all in one place? Posting links to similar contracts within the conversation? Not only will it shorten the turnaround time for contracts, it will free up your sales team’s time to build more relationships with your clients.

Now we have another F word.


No Time for Questions After the Town Hall Meeting? YamJam.

030514_1559_NoTimeforQu1.jpgThe CIO just finished the yearly Town Hall Meeting, but ran out of time to answer all those pressing questions from employees. Now what?

YamJam with Yammer.

Set up an hour or so long session on Yammer after the Town Hall Meeting for the CIO to answer questions from the crowd. Employees feel more satisfied with a meeting if their questions get answered.

Be candid. If you’re not, no one will listen.

If your CIO is a troglodyte, don’t panic.

“If your leaders can talk, they can YamJam. Bonus if they can type.” – Melanie Hohertz, Cargill

ECM is Going Social in SharePoint and Beyond

Female human head shape with social media icons design EPS10 filDocuments aren’t the only thing in an organization that need to be managed to mitigate risk and increase employee efficiencies. Videos, meeting recordings, blog posts, microblogs and activity feeds are all part of your enterprise content.

These frequently missed file types have now earned a place in your file plan and retention policies.

When a judge want to see all the information pertaining to a case, he or she isn’t interested in the easy to find documents, he or she wants all the INFORMATION your organization has retained regarding the issue at hand.

“Sorry, we don’t have a way to get that information to you” is not a viable excuse.

Writing a check for huge fines doesn’t make anyone happy.

My favorite quote from the KnowlegeLake User Conference on March 2nd, 2014 was from Pamela Doyle, Director or Fujitsu Computer Products of America, “Not managing your content is like driving a car 85 miles per hour in a school zone because you can pay the ticket. Obviously you haven’t considered any of the other possible ramifications”

Don’t Add Social Just Because It’s Shiny

Social is neat, Social is cool, Social is shiny, and it isn’t worth a darn unless it solves a business problem.

There are some organizations that install SharePoint Social features or Yammer because it’s the hip new thing. No training, no leadership buy-in, no business problem to solve. These implementations will be ignored by your co-workers, scorned by legal and lamented by HR.

If you want to prevent a “Social Debacle” within your organization put your ear to the ground. Listen for groups complaining about how hard it is to track things in email, find the most recent discussion on a document or project, and spending too much time in meetings discussing the same things over and over and over again.

Now you’ve found your business problem.

Talk to the group find out what they are doing and what they have tried to get the problem under control. Work with the group to create a place where these discussions can occur and be found later for review. Get the leader of the group or their boss involved early and make sure they participate in discussions and interactions.

If leadership isn’t using your Social Solution, no one will.

Make sure your Social Solution meets your users where they live; in email, on their mobile devices or in another location or piece of hardware. The business problem and how people will interact with your Social Solution is more important than the tool you choose.

Links to Additional Views Disappear in SharePoint 2013 When OOTB Style is Applied

Here’s some magic for you. If you add an out of the box style to a view of an App (list or library) the links to the views disappear. We are not talking custom code here. We’re talking about selecting a view style from the Style drop-down.


View with no Style added.

View Links

Add Style.

Add Style

Select Style

Links to additional views are missing.
Style is applied, but your links to additional views have disappeared.

Links to additional views missing.

You can still get to the additional views by clicking on the List or Library tab, and clicking the drop-down for Current View:

Current View drop-down

This is NOT the type of behavior I expected. How about you?

Please comment if you see different behavior in your uncustomized environment.

Keep Track of SharePoint Permissions without a Third Party Tool

It’s not very high tech, but it works. Create a spreadsheet with tabs for your SharePoint Groups/Sites Matrix and each permission level used on the site. You may need to expand the SharePoint Groups/Sites Matrix to include lists and libraries that are uniquely secured.

Here is an example of one I’ve used.


View and download a copy of the spreadsheet here.