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SharePoint|The Reality Series 7
To upgrade or not to upgrade

Most organizations hold governance at arm’s length. No one identifies lines of ownership or defines the boundaries or roles and responsibilities for designing the architecture, executing priorities and answering to the users. A hasty introduction splits into inconsistent environments with disparate interfaces, shifting functions and unclear user requirements.

At Pfizer, a watchdog committee dispensed with redundant features by tracking the code foundation for each development team. The knowledge gained from so many implementations is consolidated by the rollout process at Pfizer. Wanting to apply code that was proven and worked before is one thing. Deploying 15 daily implementations that leverage the lessons learned is continuous improvement worth building on.

To Mongell, the Pfizer team embraced the right balance of project management and innovation. The team found a blend of unified governance and disciplined development. That winning mix helps organizations to push boundaries without tripping over complex and untested upgrades.

When hindsight is 2010

So, fence sitters unite. There’s a lot to recommend with SharePoint 2010. There’s also ample pause about throwing the migration switch too early, especially in enterprises with substantial investments already committed to workflows and other MOSS-built customizations. For those enterprises, a SharePoint migration will never truly be an out-of-the-box experience. That said, the timing of any upgrade path rests less on Microsoft engineering, Gold Partner interventions or even the extent of one’s internal SharePoint talents and resources.

The real tipping point is the laundry list of ECM projects swept under the recession rug. It’s jumpstarting a change management initiative and tearing down the walls between e-mail and more open collaboration. It’s the long-delayed merger integration, the dormant BI dashboard and that single platform for providing enterprisewide visibility to a far-flung and fluid user base.

Will SharePoint 2010 be that breakthrough? If so, the question of upgrading to 2010 will turn on the advancement of your own organization—not about keeping pace with someone else’s.

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