Many business owners and technology stakeholders have ideas on the benefits of Microsoft SharePoint but don’t know how to start a project or what to expect during it. To help ensure the success of a new SharePoint implementation or a new project to an existing system, it is recommended to complete a full SharePoint IT assessment.

An upfront assessment provides the client with the most control over cost, delivery time and scope. This two-step approach provides stakeholders with the following benefits:

  • A more accurate project scope, cost and timeline
  • An opportunity to work with a vendor on a small but strategic project before inking a larger opportunity.

This blog will provide information on what to expect in a SharePoint IT assessment.

What’s included in a SharePoint IT Assessment?

Not all SharePoint consultants offer or approach assessments the same way.

The following outline provides the general framework for a SharePoint assessment, which is typically prescribed using the consultants’ unique methodology.

  • Purpose
    • Analyze existing infrastructure and configuration, conduct business requirements gathering, and finalize business and system requirements.
  • Deliverables
    • Business wish-list documentation
    • Detailed roadmap with budgetary cost ranges
  • Milestones
    • Interview(s) conducted and business requirements prioritized
    • Budgetary cost tool presented to the business

Typical assessment timeframes run between 16 to 40 hours to complete the client interviews and deliverables. This range is directly proportional to the amount of interviews needed.

What are the benefits?

As mentioned above, the main benefit of an assessment is to ensure that business requirements and project deliverables are addressed to ensure that expectations are being met and the project is successful.

Additionally, key benefits include the following:

  • Summarized project roadmap
  • Estimated timeline
  • Prioritized requirements and/or phases
  • Best practices recommendations
  • Budgetary tool to determine which project tasks are performed, moved to a future phase, moved to the Client’s IT resources or eliminated altogether.

I’m already on SharePoint – do I need an assessment?

Even if you are already using SharePoint, a typical assessment deliverable could include a “health check” on both front-end and back-end systems. These health checks are highly desirable for planning and scaling the SharePoint platform into the future.

Get an assessment before beginning the project

If you were to engage a professional services firm to begin a SharePoint project without providing detailed requirements, quality firms would spend at least 16 to 40 hours at the beginning of the project to identify the scope, and would likely have to modify their initial cost proposal.

An obvious question you may be mulling over is “So, I need to pay for an assessment to tell me how much my SharePoint project will cost?” Certainly, that can be a perception, however, you may also view an assessment as phase zero of a project.

Naturally, if you already possess a detailed set of business and IT requirements, an assessment is likely unnecessary but could still be beneficial for prioritizing and planning.

Even if you decide not to move forward with the assessment vendor, you will possess an actionable roadmap to undertake internally or execute with another vendor.

What’s next?

The next time you are presented with an assessment option, consider the benefits which almost always outweigh the small assessment cost. Unsure if your organization needs a SharePoint IT assessment? Connect with us below and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Written by:
Frank Cortese
Senior Account Executive