Warts and all SharePoint caveats in Melbourne and Auckland

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Hi all

There are a couple of conferences happening this month that you should seriously consider attending. The New Zealand and Australian SharePoint Community Conferences. This year things have changed. There are over 50 Sessions designed to cater to a wide audience of the SharePoint landscape and the most varied range of international speakers I have seen so far. What is all the more pleasing this year is that aside from 20 sessions of technical content, the business side of SharePoint focus has been given greater coverage and there are over 20 customer case studies, which give great insight into how organisations large and small are making the most of their SharePoint deployments. This stuff is gold because it is what happens in the trenches of reality, rather than the nuanced, airbrushed one you tend to get when people are trying to sell you something.

My involvement will include some piano accompaniment while Christian Buckley hits the high notes Smile, and in terms of talks, I will be “keeping it real“ by presenting a talk called “Aligning Business Objectives with SharePoint“. I will also be running a 1 day class on one of the hardest aspects of SharePoint delivery: Business goal alignment. This is workshop is the “how” of goal alignment (plenty of people can tell you the “what”). If you are a BA, PM or recovering tech dude, do not miss this session. It draws a lot of inspiration from my facilitation and sensemaking work and has been very well received wherever I have run it.

The other session I am really looking forward to is a talk called SharePoint 2010 Caveats: Don’t get caught out! Now anybody in SharePoint for long enough has learnt the hard way to test all assumptions. This is because SharePoint is a complex beast with lots of moving parts. Unfortunately these moving parts don’t always integrate the way they one would assume. Usually the result of such an untested assumption is a lot of teeth gnashing and heavily adjusted project plans.

I mentioned airburshed reality before – this is something that occasionally frustrates me, especially when you see SharePoint demonstrations full of gushing praise, via a use case that glosses over inconvenient facts. Michal Pisarek of SharePointAnlystHQ fame, is a SharePoint practitioner who shares my view and a while back, we both decided to present a talk about some of the most common, dangerous and some downright strange caveats that SharePoint has to offer. The session outline is below.

"Yes but…" is a common answer given by experienced SharePoint consultants when asked if a particular solution design "will work". One of the key reasons for this is that SharePoint’s greatest strength is one of its weaknesses. The sheer number of components or features jam packed into the product, means that there are many complex interactions between them – often with small gotchas or large caveats that were not immediately apparent while the sales guy was dutifully taking you through the SharePoint pie diagram.

Unfortunately, some organizations trip up on such untested assumptions at times, and in turn it can render the logical edifice of their solution design invalid. This is costly in terms of lost time to change approaches, but increased complexity since sometimes workarounds are worse than the caveats. In this fun, lively and interactive session, Michal Pisarek will put his MVP (not really) on the line, and with a little help from Paul Culmsee, examine some of SharePoint’s common caveats. Make no mistake, understanding these caveats and the approaches for mitigating them will save you considerable time, money and heartache.

Don’t miss this informative and eye opening session

Now let me state up front that our aim is not to walk into a session and just spent all of the time bitching about all the ills of SharePoint. In fact the aim and intent of this session was from the point of view of “knowing this will save you money”. To that end, if there is a workaround for an issue, we will outline it for you.

Now just about every person who I have mentioned this talk to, have said something along the lines of “Oh I could give you some good ones”. So to that end, we want to hear any of the weird and wacky things that have stopped you in your tracks. If you have any rippers, then leave a comment below or submit them to Michal (michalpisarek@sharepointanlysthq.com)

We will also make this session casual and interactive. So expect some audience participation!

Thanks for reading


Paul Culmsee



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One Response to Warts and all SharePoint caveats in Melbourne and Auckland

  1. Jean Lee says:

    Great information, thanks for all 🙂

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