Why SharePoint?

Report
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A Netrix Case Study about Using OOTB SharePoint
Mark E. Vogt
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
SharePoint-Powered
Project Management
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Cage-to-Cloud Infrastructure
Desktop-to-Mobile Applications
Carrier-to-Endpoint Communications
Network-to-Application Security
Expert SharePoint Technology Services and Solutions
Tailored Business Solutions
Engineering Expertise to Design, Deploy and Manage ALL
of your technology needs – we make it ALL work together
Why Customers Choose Netrix for SharePoint Solutions
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More than 30 cumulative years of hands-on SharePoint experience
More than 70 cumulative years of IT & Business Solutions experience in leadership
Comprehensive capabilities from analysis through implementation & support
Focus on customer satisfaction and service excellence
The Netrix Guarantee
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Netrix provides:
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About Netrix LLC…
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Description
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History
Challenge
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Pain
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Consequences
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Requirements
Solution
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Why SharePoint?
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Strengths
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Weaknesses
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Approach
Results/Lessons
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Background
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Case Study Outline…
 Operates own (smaller) consulting firm (350 staff)
 Same characteristics as many companies small & large:
 Wide range of project sizes
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Microscopic: 1 location with 5 phones
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Boil-the-Ocean: 987 locations across USA with 75,000 phones
 Wide range of project methodologies employed
 Project teams often geographically-dispersed
 Project teams often composed of (temporary) contractors
 Project involve complex, dynamic (changing) processes
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
 Major International Telecom (150,000 employees)
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Background…
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Staff comprised of contractors skilled in telecom but NOT project methodology
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Project teams regularly re-organizing – no familiarity
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Project staff continually in a state of ambiguity – actually didn’t know what to do
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Project processes evolve/change rapidly – no time to re-train
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Time spent training processes to contractors is time wasted – they leave
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Management visibility into status (good & bad) difficult at best
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No time for traditional update/distill style of reporting
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Existing SP2010 site collections constrained to 5 GB by policy
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Existing SP2010 policies prohibit custom (VS2012) solutions
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Project teams in-the-field often spend all day not connected
Consequences
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Processes need to be repeated because latest one not followed
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Project teams spend excessive amounts of time reporting
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Time spent training & re-training is time (cost) wasted
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Projects use other less-powerful technologies (Email, file servers) to avoid 5 GB limit
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Sub-projects begin to falter; super-projects as a whole begins to suffer
This pain multiplied across hundreds of concurrent projects is serious…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Pain
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Challenge…
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Single common approach to project management
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Process-related intelligence embedded in technology, not people
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Make executing complex, dynamic processes as simple as tell-me-what-to-do
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Store all content in SharePoint…without exceeding the 5 GB threshold
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Enable field staff to work offline for most of day
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Make it easy for staff to report exceptions
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Make it easy for managers to detect exceptions
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Make it easy to know when a sub-project is actually completed
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Must-Haves
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Requirements…
Leverage OOTB components
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Offload storage to Enterprise Vault™ as RBS (gaining in popularity)
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Model complex project processes as content types
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Capture &Track instances of processes in lists (not hidden inside SharePoint)
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Employ multiple less-complex WFs to model these complex process
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Delegate & Distribute development even with The Client
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
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[email protected]
Approach…
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Strengths
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Client already owns – just needs to use effectively
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Most all functionality required already OOTB (functionality)
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Functionality required already integrated (functionality)
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Website-based; allows intranet & extranet solutions (accessibility)
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Workflows possible… and permissible (functionality)
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Enables both event-driven and schedule-driven automation (functionality)
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Enables delegated & distributed development model (extensibility)
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Possesses robust, feature-filled security (security)
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Modular re: roles & services (performance)
Weaknesses
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Oft-times “idiosyncratic”
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SharePoint Designer workflows take care to make debug-able and “inheritable”
UPSHOT: There are precious-few reasons to not use SharePoint…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Why SharePoint?
[email protected]
Solution…
Single SP2010 site collection
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Single custom project site template
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Custom project management-relevant content types
(dovetail into larger parent taxonomy)
Intranet Home (root)
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Content Types mirror methodology
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Key processes as content types
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Multiple Workplan extract via MSP-SP feed
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Dashboards created via DataView web parts
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Versioning enabled, limited to 3 versions
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Remote BLOB Storage via Enterprise Vault ™
technology (already in-use)
LISTS:
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HR Announcements
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HR Events
HR
Operations
Sales
LIBRARIES:
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HR Documents
LISTS:
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HR Announcements
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HR Events
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HR Processes
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HR Tasks
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HR Discussions
LISTS:
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Operations Announcements
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Operations Events
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Operations Processes
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Operations Issues
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Operations Tasks
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Operations Discussions
LIBRARIES:
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HR Documents
LIBRARIES:
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Operations Documents
Projects (PMO Site)
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Daily build-up of content typically ~ 100 MB/day
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Nightly archiving offloads content to EV “Vault” DB
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Leaves only tiny (50 Byte) links behind in SharePoint
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SharePoint thinks it holds the content… but it doesn’t
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Key Processes modeled first simple, then more complex
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Processes manifested as (visible) list items
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Numerous smaller manageable WFs (“robots”) work in symphony
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Overall solution is inheritable and extensible
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Partial process automation, full process management automation
LISTS:
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PMO Announcements
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PMO Events (Calendar)
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Projects Metrics Dashboard
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Projects Issues Dashboard
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Projects Processes
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PMO Tasks
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PMO Discussions
Project 001
Project 002
LISTS:
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Project Metrics
Project Announcements 
Project Events (Calendar)
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Project Goals
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Project Risks
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Project Issues
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Project Processes
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Project Decisions
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Project Questions
Project Snippets
Project Stories
Project Needs
Project Requirements
Project Tasks
Project Tests
Project Defects
Practice Discussions
LIBRARIES:
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PMO Documents
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PMO Private Documents
LIBRARIES:
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Project Documents
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Project Manager Documents
Project 003
...
A blend of manual & automated elements is
often The Elegant Solution…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved

[email protected]
Solution…
DISPLAY only lists relevant
to current project phase…
DISPLAY “Landing Page
View” of each list…
Project Overview/Status
Project Announcements
Project Calendar
Project Goals
Project Issues
Project Risks
Project Decisions
Project Questions
Project Snippets
Business Needs (or User Stories)
Solution Requirements
Project Tasks
Project Tests
Project Defects
Project Documents
Seemingly vast Landing Pages swiftly
become invaluable to busy project
members seeking information…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
ORDER lists to reflect
methodology…
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Solution: Landing Page…
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Process
Workflow(s)
Task
Workflows
Library
Workflows
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Process-as-item metaphor enables “State Machine” Workflow
Projects involving repeated, complex processes can be readily tracked
Complex processes can be automated in smaller, re-usable WFs
Complex processes can be partially automated, but the overall management fully automated
Numerous people can “feed” these items (unlike MPP files)
Numerous documents (deliverables) can be involved in a single process
Numerous stages can be readily tracked
Numerous criteria for completion can be readily & intuitively tracked
The website contains (retains) the process – freeing the workers to work!
Manifesting Key Project Processes as content types in lists sets the
stage for “embedding” methodology – freeing workers to work…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Solution: Processes-as-Items…
Results:
• Ambiguity virtually eliminated
• Workers perfected only 2 “plays”:
1. PROCESS email
2. WORK the site
• Client could “inherit” solution
• Client could “evolve” solution
PM
FE
DE
PE
CLIENT
Process Management automation can be
just as useful as process automation…
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Approach:
Daily numerous smaller,
manageable WFs monitored
key processes, And emailed
out explicit instructions to each
project member – even clients.
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Solution: Workflows…
Typically SPD Workflows (Declarative) can only be triggered when an item is created and/or changed.
Triggering SPD Workflows to run on a scheduled basis requires a custom timer job…
…but Custom timer jobs were NOT permitted, due to organization development capability
Useful Workaround:
Leverage the nightly timer jobs(2)
already built-into the Information Management Feature!
Created a retention stage which repeated a selected “Nightly Item Inspection” WF daily, starting
immediately after creation  …
With both event-triggered and scheduled WFs, much is possible…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Challenge:
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Solution: Workflows…
System
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NOTES:
• NEVER (ever) modified SharePoint’s built-in content types!
• USED content types instead of “item” in lists
• DEFINED site content types at the site collection level
• DIDN’T over-solve needs
• PLANNED for future via placeholder/abstract content types
• SUBCLASSED document content types only when needed!
Item
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ABCItem
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ABCProjectItem
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ABCProject
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ABCProjectGoal
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ABCProjectRisk
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ABCProjectIssue
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ABCBusinessNeed
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ABCSolutionRequirement
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ABCSolutionStory
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ABCProjectProcess1
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ABCProjectTask
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ABCSolutionTest
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ABCSolutionDefect
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ABCSolutionEnhancement
…
o Item
• Title [single line text]
USEFUL!
o ABCItem
• Description [multi-line text]
• Priority [A, B, C]
• Condition [Green, Yellow, Red]
• Notes [multi-line text]
o ABCTask
• %Complete [number, 0-1, %]
• %CompleteBar [Calculated; = REPT(“*”, 10*(%Complete) )]
• Status [Queued, Started, Pending, Completed, Deferred, Cancelled
o ABCProjectTask
• Client [lookup OR managed metadata]
• Program [lookup OR managed metadata]
• Project [lookup OR managed metadata]
Document
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ABCDocument
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ABCProjectDocument
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved

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Solution: Content Types…
Just a few content types can be very effective
for project management…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Managers used dashboard to detect & resolve exceptions
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Solution: Project Dashboard…
Lesson: dashboards needn’t be
fancy to be effective…
This would allow them to carry and work on a document
while offline, continually saving to this local copy…
When next connected, SharePoint would synchronize these
changes back into the associated SharePoint library!
Sometimes the simplest of techniques end up
being The Elegant Solution…
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
Project staff who knew they were going off-site would
simply check-out a document in local draft mode…
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Solution: Check-out with local draft…
1.
PROCESS Inbox daily
2.
WORK the site
 Project members received explicit emails telling them what to do daily
 Project Ambiguity greatly minimized
 Project teams could re-organize with minimal loss of productivity
 Processes could evolve/change daily with minimal impact
 Project members easily fed process statuses into natural, intuitive lists
 List WFs immediately informed PMs and other members of issues
 List WFs fed PM dashboards for improved exception detection & response
 Email usage (content sharing) reduced significantly
 File Server usage reduced significantly
 Project staff could work disconnected effectively
 Production environment constraints were respected (played by the rules)
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
 Project member had only 2 simple, unchanging “plays” to learn:
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Results…
Project Management is all about Collaboration
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SharePoint was built for Collaboration
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Collaboration is only partly “communicating”
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Collaboration is only partly “sharing”
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Collaboration is mostly “tasking”
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Success does not require perfection
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Complete process automation is not always achievable – but process management automation is
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Process Management automation can be just as valuable as automating the process itself
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Seek solutions which distribute & delegate development
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Seek solutions which are intuitive & inheritable for clients
SharePoint-powered project management can be very effective…
(you simply need to be working with people who can show you how)
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved

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Lessons...
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
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Discussion…
Netrix LLC
2801 Lakeside Drive
Bannockburn, IL 60015 USA
 [email protected]
Copyright © 2013 Netrix LLC. All rights reserved
 Kirk Fallbacher – Director, Software Group
 Dave Durbin – Manager, SharePoint Practice
 Team SharePoint
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Netrix’s Team SharePoint…

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