Show of hands… who out there has ever Googled the words “SharePoint” and “Best Practices”? Come on.. be honest? I know I have… well, I’m here to save you some time on those searches….
THERE ARE NO SHAREPOINT BEST PRACTICES!
Okay, maybe that was a bit brusque, and not entirely true. The more accurate statement is that you will not find the information you need by doing a Google search on “SharePoint” and “Best Practices”. Why??? Because the answer will depend on YOUR unique situation. A best practice for you may not be a best practice for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a handful of true 100% all the time Best Practices (creating solution packages for example), but generally the correct response is “It Depends”.
If anyone tells you that they have the “Best Practice” for your SharePoint deployment without knowing anything about it, you should turn around and walk the other way. There’s a good chance this person doesn’t understand SharePoint and they can leave an incredible mess in their wake that you are stuck cleaning up.
Have I confused you yet? Let me reiterate, there ARE Best Practices out there for SharePoint and it is SOOOO important that you follow those Best Practices. However, there may be DOZENS of variations of a Best Practice depending on your situation. There is no one-size-fits-all in SharePoint. Your search may need to be configured differently, you may not need that extra app server, maybe you can virtualize everything… It depends!!!
So… What do I do? What hope do I have????
Ah! Don’t panic! There is hope and there is an answer! You ready for this… got your pen and paper ready? The key to finding YOUR Best Practice is….
Yes… you must learn and in some instances get your hands dirty. It will take time, and effort but if you truly want to discover the correct Best Practice you can either spend a ton of money on high end consultants (I’ve got some names if you need them) or take the time to gain the knowledge so that you will know your Best Practice when you hear it…
As you gain more and more knowledge around SharePoint you start to understand SharePoint more and understand your deployment better. You learn the right questions to ask and you learn to pick out the Best Practice that applies to you. If you are serious about SharePoint, you MUST learn what you’ve gotten yourself into!
Where do I find this “knowledge” you mention?
Funny you should ask! It just so happens that there is a little conference going on in a couple of weeks in DC called… are you ready for this???
This is one of the top SharePoint conferences this year with an all star line up of speakers. I’ll actually be speaking at 3 sessions (but don’t hold that against the organizers). The best way you are going to find YOUR Best Practice is to attend conferences like this and learn from those that have preceded you. Learn from our pain and suffering to help prevent yours.
If you have ever attended a SharePoint Saturday you just have an inkling of what the Best Practices conference will be like. Imagine taking the 2 or 3 best sessions you heard and having 4 days of sessions that are THAT good. I know that I’m looking forward to attending just as much as I’m looking forward to speaking, because trust me, I don’t have all the answers and this is the best way I have found to learn.
Anyway, I hope to see you there. Maybe we can hang out, grab a drink and reminisce about how much easier work was before SharePoint… but be honest.. it wasn’t as fun!