As with everything new we do in life, there is always a hump we must get over in order to feel fully acclimated. SharePoint is no different. Creating a successful SharePoint roadmap however, shouldn't be too daunting a task if you plan accordingly and follow some simple advice along the way.
All too often companies allocate a budget, select a vendor, see development through and...it stops. They fail to put in the final effort to make a successful transition to SharePoint. Maybe there isn't a SharePoint evangelist on board. Maybe time hasn't been put into explaining how SharePoint reduces work and increases collaboration. Whatever the reason, establishing a creative and encompassing roadmap should be just as important as setting a deadline or paying a PO.
Knowledge is key to a successful roadmap. If you don't know how SharePoint can make your life easier you’ll continue to send large email attachments, have multiple versions, etc. It’s easier than one might think, as all your favourites; Word, Access, Excel, all link nicely into SharePoint. The best way to sell it to employees is as an 'expansive' platform. In other words, something capable of meeting the needs of various individuals within the corporation. Thus collaboration helps carry out the work plan, portals help one find work, and search makes better work. In this sense, a roadmap relates to vantage points.
ROI is the goal of collaboration technology. The ways in which this is accomplished appears almost limitless, for example; discussion boards to bounce ideas, shared agreement via version tracking and reduced time on finding documents with FAST. However it is important to note here that this is inherently a seamless process. Stating a goal of reduced email storage or less hours communicating is not helpful in this situation. SharePoint increases team bonds via agreement on projects and promotes competency in various technologies. Over time this increases profits as employees’ knowledge of the platform increases.
Governance is a word that either makes employers smile wide or frown, as it conjures up thoughts of congress or parliament slaving away, writing complex laws. It doesn't have to be that way though. While it is inherently about the formation of rules, a roadmap differs in that it is the structure and formation of rules (aka governance) over a set period of time. This is needed to avoid old mistakes, individual choices, derailing options and spending money without seeing a ROI. Forming governance groups is also of utmost importance whether you do a micro governance plan which is SharePoint centric (i.e. use of multi-site collections) or a macro governance plan (i.e. handling user adoption). Usually one group is highly technical, another is made up of various department representatives, and a generalized group usually governs user adoption, permissions, etc. Creating a roadmap is not easy, but it should be considered equally as important as selecting a budget or setting a launch date.