Understanding the desired attributes and skills of SharePoint people is challenging for many businesses when they don’t know anything about SharePoint. How do you hire someone for a role you know nothing about? The knee-jerk reaction when the subject of filling SharePoint roles is SharePoint Developer. That may not be what you are looking for at all.
If you need someone to fix the site structure, create content, migrate / upload content, manage permissions, make SharePoint rock out of box, get people to use SharePoint – you don’t need a developer, you need a Site Collection Administrator that can evangelise at the same time.
Here is a suggested job description for this role, tweak it to your specific requirements.
Purpose of Post
To manage and administer a SharePoint site collection for a division.
Key Performance Indicators
- Setup and manage alerts to monitor activity on business critical information as required.
- Establish and enforce governance rules if none exist, or adhere to corporate rules.
- Attend monthly SharePoint User Group meetings and convey information to the team.
- Manage division intranet site and review periodically.
- Compile monthly reports on usage and progress of site collection.
- Establish and maintain a Community of Practice for Site Owners and users in the site collection.
Business Analysis :
- Analyse current business requirements and map to SharePoint.
- Identify new areas on an ongoing basis where SharePoint can be leveraged.
- Assist users in leveraging Enterprise Features, eg: Excel Services – liaise with IT Department and communicate back to business.
- Consult with other divisions on cross-domain integration.
- Analyse file shares for migration to SharePoint.
Information Architecture :
- Manage permissions – restrict and revoke access as required.
- Create, leverage and manage content types, site columns, lookups and templates for re-use in sites.
- Determine and create scalable structure for top level business unit sites.
- Ensure uniform navigation throughout sites.
- Provide guidance to business units on structure of their sites.
- Manage search scopes and best bets with input from business units.
- Create / manage out of box workflows to automate processes.
- Create project / document dashboards.
- Constantly revisit and review content to ensure business relevance.
- Customise and maintain landing page to encourage traffic and user adoption.
- Monitor site usage and follow up on dormancy on a monthly basis.
- Monitor for excessive complexity and suggest streamlined alternatives.
- Monitor to ensure workflow and tasks are working correctly and emails are going out.
- Ongoing research to determine what SharePoint can do.
- Liaise with IT regarding the migration of sites when necessary.
Support and Services :
- Encourage user adoption and embed a sense of excitement in the business regarding SharePoint.
- First line of day to day support for users and other Site Owners below top level site.
- Train end users in team on basic functionality.
- Direct users to training material and resources available in the company.
- Identify training gaps and escalate to Enterprise Governance Forum.
- Demo technology to business units.
- Error identification, investigation and resolution – escalate to IT required.
- Edit and customize pages using SharePoint Designer.
- Assist users in setting up My Sites.
Typical Problems :
- Lack of skills and not understanding the technology sufficiently to fulfil this role – few resources available to learn and understand this role and an in-depth. Advanced understanding of the technology is critical.
- Sheer magnitude of the variety of tasks to manage – need to understand knowledge management, information management, how SharePoint fits together, the business, governance forums, team sites and publishing sites, training, user adoption, project management, etc.
- Understanding the structure and business sufficiently to be able to build a scalable site collection.
- Management not understanding the impact of this post and all its aspects. It is a full time position that requires a lot of training over many months.
- The site collection can become enormous in both storage space and users – this becomes difficult to manage.
- The volume of admin it requires to successfully manage this role. The number of emails alone increases dramatically. A site is required to manage the communication and documentation and this is extremely time-consuming.
- Lack of communication between IT and business makes it difficult to keep a global view of the SharePoint footprint and align accordingly.
- Being overwhelmed.
Impact of Decisions :
- Changing permissions and content types affect the whole structure.
- Designing the primary structure is critical to build a scalable solution. Not understanding the business correctly could require the sites in that leg to be moved into their own site collection due to special requirements or excessive growth.
- Planning and managing space is critical or the threshold will be reached and more space needs to be timeously requested.
- Features can be activated and deactivated with this position which would affect the entire site collection.
- If templates are not monitored and managed, all templates created by the Site Owners will remain available to everyone.
- It is important to understand all aspects of the technology as the Site Collection Administrator is the first line of support for the Site Owners in the structure.
- Not enforcing strict governance will result in run-away site creation and users ‘breaking the rules’ of acceptable use of the platform.
- Could be responsible for sourcing a vendor should one of the business units require custom development or special training. Choosing the wrong vendor could result in requirements not being met, sub-standard development taking place due to lack of internal skills to know any better. The wrong training vendor would result in best practices being ignored and incorrect use of the platform, which in turn could affect user adoption and scalability.
Special Aspects of Post :
- It is important to understand what SharePoint can offer out of box to advise business correctly. Otherwise they could end up custom developing a system they could have built using core functionality.
- It is important to understand the different functionality available on Standard and Enterprise Features and to be able to consult on the implications of Enterprise Features.
- Creating and maintaining a site for using SharePoint in that division.
- Meticulous organizational skills and the ability to see the bigger picture are essential to manage the hierarchy and number of users.
- It is vital to always be professional and go the extra mile due to the various interaction levels across the business as well as with external vendors.
- The image of the division can be affected by the way you treat your clients, you need to be very efficient and proactive at all times as you are mostly the first point of contact.
- Having administrator rights means you have access to highly confidential documentation as well as server settings, it is particularly important that you can be trusted with this information.
- Required to establish and run a monthly Governance Forum which all the Site Owners in the structure must attend. Will also then be required to represent the division at the Enterprise wide Governance Forum and communicate information and issues as required.
- It is key to have some technical experience as SharePoint has errors that need to be resolved on a programming level in some instances.
- One will wear many different hats due to the management, maintenance, analysis and training aspects of the post.
- A creative flair is beneficial for thinking up innovative ways to work with the information to be managed, shared and presented.
- Team sites have the potential of becoming site collections and this needs to be understood and planned for.
- Need to be able to demo SharePoint to business units to show them what is possible with the technology.
Interaction Levels :
- Business users.
- Management team.
- IT staff.
- External vendors.
Skills Required :
- Strong PC literacy and Microsoft Office skills.
- Minimum two years full-time SharePoint Site Collection Administrator experience.
- Comprehensive SharePoint End User / Train the Trainer / Mentorship Training.
- Understanding of the SharePoint licensing model and application concepts.
- Business acumen.
Attributes Required :
- Coaching / Mentoring.
- Quality conscious.
- Strong written, verbal and presentation skills.
- Planning, scoping and organizing.
- Ability to multi-task.
- Inherent project culture within the business.
- Stress tolerance.
- Operational decision making.
- Innovation and resourcefulness.
- Leading through vision.
- Customer focussed.
- Information monitoring.
- Managing conflict.
- Developing and building a successful team.
- Delegating responsibility.
- Drive execution.
- Drive change.
- Building partnerships.
- Contributing to team success.
- Willingness to share information.
- Job motivation.
- Culture interpersonal sensitivity.
- Work without supervision.
- Flexible and open to change.
Great post | Informative | Relevant
Any time!! On the other hand David, if you are a good SCA, your Management will have to step up Their game to keep you! 😉
Pleasure Athena. You certainly are! Plus very head huntable… just sayin’…. 😉
Pleasure, glad to help. You are so right, they seldom know how to spec for this.
Thanks V. the job description matches 100% what I do. It is indeed difficult to find a job in SP space because HR personnel know little about SP and their specs are very shallow…
Teach them until they LEARN…
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Thank you so much V, I do about 97 percent of the above, need to step up a notch with my Workflows….. Pity that not all companies see the value of SP but that’s my mission in life…. Going to send this to some Management 🙂 We really are key to our SharePoint platform.
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Very nice Veronica! If my management gets their hands on this, I’m going to have to step up my game!
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Talk about a tall order, a vast skill set and many hats to juggle!
These look similar to my day job. What helps as well is to evolve SP Governance gently and gradually, keep influential management types involved, assign willing “Site Custodians” and groom business user champions.
Since some organizations are too small to justify user groups, it may help to offer information sessions on a regular basis. One may have to lure them in with the offer of chocolate, Timbits and other treats at times ;o)
It helps to have a consultant group on retainer to solve really deep technical issues or explain the occasional oddity.
Keep up the good work, V!
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