I am spending a lot of time with our customers these days. In particular, I am working with many Service Delivery Managers. They usually own the application side of SharePoint (vs. the infrastructure) and serve the role of supporting the user community and delivering solutions to their customers. They are in a pivotal role to add business value to the organization. Many of the solutions they deliver are CorasWorks based. However, in this article, I’ll cover the Top 10 uses of CorasWorks to create “tools” that they use in their work.
NOTE: In large enterprises, you often have a core SharePoint team working globally with SD teams for different business groups. In this article, I am focused on the local SD teams tied to a Business Group or an SD team in a smaller organization that serves both the end-user community and the business group requests. (addition 7-22) – Increasingly, these SD teams are becoming Application Service Delivery Teams leveraging the enterprise’s private cloud offering.
Servicing the Customer
These tools are used to support and interact with their customers.
Site Request System – this is a high-volume system for users to request new standard sites (such as a Team Site) and then allow the Service Delivery team to review, approve, and manage the requests.
Change Request System – this system is used by users that want changes to sites or applications. It can be combined with the one above, but, this is usually for larger application.
App Request System – this is really a project proposal system where business groups request project-based custom apps. Typically, these apps go through a stage-gate review and approval process.
End-User Support Community – our best practice is to use a CorasWorks Cim community to make it easy to provide information as articles and provide a collaborative experience where articles can be rated and commented upon
Learning Center – like our CorasWorks Community Learning Centers, this system provides a more structured experience for users to learn. These are also typically based upon Cim providing users with access to structured and community information. In addition, it is a great place to surface the Request options, Support Options, and, examples of delivered apps with videos or even links to the apps.
The Work of the Service Delivery Team
This category consists of the tools that Service Delivery Teams use to manage their work and insure that they are prepared to deliver.
Work Request Management console – behind the Site Request system, the Change Request System and the App Request system is your teams Work Request Management console. These requests flow into your team. Via this console you manage the request process – review the requests, decide whether to them, interact with the user, delegate the task, track the tasks, let the system update the requestor, get reports, etc…etc
Task Management – a great number of items can be acted upon directly via the Work Request Console above. But, some require that you assign a number of tasks to one or more people. Using a CorasWorks-based task management solution, you can track the tasks and automate the work of people on them such as updating requestors and close out.
Project Management – some requests turn into projects that span weeks or months and require detailed task and resource management. Leveraging CorasWorks PPM SDM’s are managing those projects that are big enough to require it. A key element is that the SDM can track tasks, resources, issues across the projects as a portfolio. In addition, the users can use see their tasks from projects as part of the day-to-day task management above.
App Catalog – this is a structured Cim-community based catalog of applications that you have delivered, can deliver, and want to be able to deliver. It serves as both a knowledge base and the site to store and manage app templates, delievered apps, and published solutions. It gives you a rich collaborative environment with as much structured taxonomy as you need.
Knowledge Base/Lessons Learned Catalog – again a Cim-community to capture knowledge. There are lots of little tid-bits of useful knowledge. This site serves as the grab bag. Got some info, drop it in. DO NOT worry about organizing or perfecting this knowledge. Just collect, collaborate, and consume. The knowledge will get better as people comment, enhance, and collaborate. It is a resource. From here, you may and will end up publishing finished product to the App Catalog.
Best Practice: Weekly Programmatic Reviews
All of the “tools” above effectively provide you with plenty of ways to track the flow of work and what assets are created. So, each week do a checkpoint and leverage the tools to give you the answers – easily and quickly.
In addition, with SharePoint and CorasWorks, Service Delivery teams have a great capacity to reuse knowledge and “artifacts” (templates, components, features, web parts, etc.). To be most effective, you should measure each week what assets your team has created AND captured, in addition to, what work got done. If you do this, after three months you will have a vast catalog and set of skills and your work should be a) more manageable, b) faster to deliver, and c) more robust because you will be better prepared to deliver more value.