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Importance of SharePoint Governance

Posted by Paul on January 15, 2013

In this article we can explore Governance.   The topic is very important for the Success of a SharePoint in meeting business objectives.

What is SharePoint Governance?

Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that guide, direct, and control how an organization’s business divisions and IT teams cooperate to achieve business goals.


In simpler words, we can equate Governance as something we see in our daily life. For example we can take the Traffic control mechanism where there is a set of rules & procedures in using road, overtaking, parking etc. supported with authorized persons.

The importance of Governance lies on the problems of No Governance!

What are the problems of No Governance?

Without proper Governance, the SharePoint Implementation could end up without meeting the Business Objectives. Some of the failure scenarios are following:

1. Hundreds of unused sites as a result of unattended site creation, eating up disk spaces

2. Too many document versions taxing on content database size

3. Poor Performance & Unstable Environments keeping users run away from SharePoint

4. Duplicate documents & contents creating chaos & wasting productivity hours

5. Folders are used in a Hierarchical way & Metadata columns are deferred

6. Extranet Data Threat as unauthorized external users can view confidential documents

7. Too many customized pages adding load to servers due to fetch from content database

8. Users gaining power of SharePoint Administrators thereby decentralizing authority

Without Governance, in the long run a chaotic situation might occur as depicted traffic jam below:



After all, this is a Dynamic Topic and requires careful analysis before implementing any pre-defined Governance plans. The Governance Team formation & procedures explained here specify a typical Governance model & should be tweaked based on your organizational requirements.

A Proper Governance Plan is as important as a Proper SharePoint Implementation.

What are the steps involved in Governance?

Following are the steps involved in Governance Implementation:

1. Organize the Governance Committee

2. Decide the SharePoint Elements to be governed

3. Implement Rules & Policies

4. Monitor & Reinforce Governance


Step 1: Organize the Governance Committee

A governance committee includes people from the Business & IT divisions of organization. A typical Governance Committee will be having 5 Teams:

1. Business Strategy Team

2. Technical Strategy Team

3. Operations Tactical Team

4. Development Tactical Team

5. Support Tactical Team

Step 2: Decide the SharePoint Elements to be governed

Following are some of the SharePoint Elements can be governed or controlled:

1. Site Collections & Sites – Creation, Deletion, Quotas etc.

2. Security – User Permissions, Groups, Policies etc.

3. Content – Document, List, Versions, Upload Size, Metadata etc.

4. Backup & Recovery

5. Customizations – Page editing, Branding, Navigation etc.

6. Document Versions

7. Solutions & Features

8. Workflows

9. Information Management

10. Managed Metadata

Step 3: Implement Rules & Policies

In this step the Governance Rules & Policies are implemented. The implementation includes proper creation of Rules & Policies around the elements. Some of the activities during this step are:

1. Setting up Rights & Permissions for Users / Groups

2. Restrict Site Collection creation

3. Setup content approval & routing

4. Setup Locks & Quotas

5. Set Document Versioning Policies

6. Set Retention / Deletion Policies

7. Restrict page customization & usage of SharePoint Designer

8. Setup workflows for automating approvals & processes

The Policies created around Governance Elements should be communicated effectively with the users. Proper communication ensures higher productivity, less overheads & support calls.

Step 4: Monitor & Reinforce Governance

Periodic meetings are conducted by the Governance Committee to review governance. Any necessary change to the Rules & Policies is updated during this phase. In general a quarterly meeting is conducted.

Governance Pyramid

Following is the Governance Pyramid. It depicts that higher the accessibility of content, more will be the Governance requirement.


Please note that down the pyramid, where My Sites are deployed, the amount of governance will be lowest.

Scope of Governance in Water Fall methodology

The activities of Governance usually start after the System Analysis phase. Following diagram depicts the occurring of Governance.




In this article we have explored the Importance of SharePoint Governance & How to implement it. You can refer the References link for more detailed approach to Governance.


3 Responses to “Importance of SharePoint Governance”

  1. Mark said

    Nicr one! can u give me some examples of rules & policies

  2. […] This SharePoint Blog Post From SharePoint Governance – Google Blog Search: […]

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