More on the Best Practice SharePoint Conference – Feb 2-4 2009 in San Diego!

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Hi all

I have been extremely quiet on the blogging front lately, because I have been extremely busy, splitting my time between working on my two presentations for the up-coming Best Practices SharePoint Conference, as well as wearing my undies on the outside (ala superman), deep in the bowels of some unhealthy SharePoint farms, nailing various technical and governance issues and helping organisations regain some lost assurance. On top of that, I’ve also been doing a lot of non IT related work in a group facilitation discipline.


I thought it’s about time I emerged from this big mushroom I find myself under to let you know more about what I will be speaking about, as well as some of the other speakers and topics that I really looking forward to. Seriously, we are in the company of giants with this conference. The caliber and quality of the speakers has me wondering what the hell I am doing there!

I mean we have all the "A list" big kids of the SharePoint world there. Gary Lapointe is a freakin’ bona fide superstar! – via his STSADM extensions, he has saved the asses of more SharePoint admins and developers than even Joel has. Robert Bogue is an even better all-rounder than Andrew Symonds (sorry non cricketing countries you won’t get that analogy) and touches on a wider variety of topics than anyone else I have ever come across. Then there the likes of Andrew Woodward, Ben Curry, Bob Mixon, Eric Shupps, fellow metalhead Mike Watson, Ruven Gotz and Todd Bleeker just to name a few!

Somehow I have to squeeze in a beer with all of them yet stay sober enough to present. That’s a tough ask!

Anyway, both of my sessions are in the CIO stream and I think are rather topical given the current financial crisis crap that is happening around the world.

My first session is called "How to avoid SharePoint becoming a wicked problem". This is a pet topic of mine – something that I have spent a lot of time on, and developing new skills in (hence the aforementioned facilitation work). For the record, I didn’t make up the term "wicked problem" – its been a subject of academic research since the term was first coined in the early 1970’s. This session is going to cover a lot of what I have learned on this topic including how to spot SharePoint wickedness early, recognise it for what it is, and apply the *right* sort of tools and techniques to mitigate it.

I do worry that people will find some of my stuff a little too left field, but I do have the results to attest to the value and power of these techniques and I am really looking forward to sharing my methods and comparing with what has worked for other presenters and attendees.

The second topic is on the topic of good old SharePoint Return on Investment (ROI). I’m one of these people that believe most things can be measured or quantified. I’ve always wanted to return to my series on "How to Speak to your CFO" and continue down that road. Given we have entered once in a lifetime era of falling profit, plummeting asset prices, reduced budgets, costlier finance and great uncertainty, my quest for bringing a lasting peace to the cold war between managers and geeks moves to San Diego 🙂

My aim for this session is to allow non SharePoint people to understand where some of the hidden costs are SharePoint, as well as show SharePoint people the basic financial tools for ROI modelling and secondly, I will explain how to build an ROI decision model and provide a scenario that we will try out some different assumptions with.

As for the rest of the veritable *buffet* of topics – where do you start? First up, I am torn between Bill’s "Aligning your Information and Findability Architectures using SharePoint Server 2007 Technologies" and Yoda Bogue’s "Selling Governance in your Organization". If I go to Bill’s session, then I’ll definitely be attending Robert’s Governing Development in SharePoint session.

In the afternoon, it gets even harder! You have "Transform the My Site into an Information Hub" by Mark Eichenberger, Bob Mixon’s "Learn why Taxonomies are the Most Important Part of any Document or Information Asset Management System, How to Facilitate the Government out of Governance by Virgin Carrol and Nuts and Bolts Governance- Practical Application of the Concepts

.. and that’s just day one!

Seriously people, no matter that sort of SharePoint sub disciplines push your buttons, you are going to get extreme value for money here. You will come away with an amazing amount of material that will result in real and tangible cost savings across various areas of the SharePoint realm.

If you live in California or anywhere in the US – there is no excuse 🙂 If *I* have to spend 25+ hours cooped up in  plane just to get there and survive the jet-lag to present, then you should come on down and join the fun.

Hope to see you there!

Paul Culmsee

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