Saturday, June 25, 2011

What is a SharePoint Architect?

I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a position with a consulting firm near Washington, D.C., as a SharePoint Architect. I will be interfacing directly with a federal government agency, helping them create a new robust SharePoint 2010 environment and migrating content from thousands of SharePoint 2007/2003 sites to this new environment. I'm very excited!

One of my closest friends just commented on Facebook chat: "I really have no idea what you do." I replied "You are not alone"! So just what is a "SharePoint Architect"?

A few years back, Joel Oleson wrote a post entitled "Depth and Breadth in a SharePoint Architect Skillset" in which he outlined his view on the required skill sets for this role. Below is my take on the skill set required for today's SharePoint Architect.

First, the elevator pitch:

A SharePoint Architect is a high-level Information and Technology expert who evaluates an enterprise's information, content, and records management; business processes; core values, mission, and vision; organizational structure and culture; IT infrastructure; and operational, legal, and regulatory risks, and then creates and implements a comprehensive plan for creating information governance, business processes, and SharePoint (and third-party) infrastructure to meet the assessed needs. It's about Enterprise Information Architecture and Enterprise Content and Records Management.

The required skill set includes much more than technical skills. You must have real depth of "information" skills and "soft" skills as well. And after visiting with companies all over the U.S. looking for just such a person, I can testify that a true SharePoint (or any other ECM system) Architect is a rare animal.

SharePoint Architect Skill Set

The following list assumes SharePoint 2010 to keep this list manageable. I don't pretend that this list is exhaustive, but I feel it's a good starting place.

  • Enterprise Information Architecture Skills
    • Information Strategy
    • Information Governance (not your typical "I.T. Governance")
    • Taxonomy & Ontology
    • Enterprise Metadata Management
    • Master Data Management
    • Findability
    • Accessibility (including Section 508)
    • Usability
    • Security
    • Information Infrastructure
  • Enterprise Content and Records Management Skills
    • Capture
    • Document Management (DM)
    • Records Management (ERM)
    • Digital Asset Management (DAM)
    • Business Process Management (BPM)
    • Web Content Management (WCM)
    • Collaboration
    • Web 2.0
    • Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0)
    • Content Interoperability Services (CMIS)
    • Case Management
    • eDiscovery
    • Enterprise Search
    • Enterprise Portal
    • Email Management (it's more than archiving!)
    • Business Intelligence
    • Information Organization & Access (IOA)
    • Information Change Management
    • Information Security
    • Some knowledge of these are helpful:
      • Documentum
      • WebSphere
      • OpenText
      • Alfresco
      • Other major ECM platforms
  • Enterprise Information Technology Skills
    • Networking
      • TCP/IP
      • DNS
      • Ports & Protocols
      • Switches
      • Cabling
      • Network Load Balancing
      • NAT
      • Firewalls (particularly MS Forefront)
      • DMZ
      • Network Security
    • Servers
      • Server Hardware (Processors, RAM, Disk I/O, SANs, etc.)
      • Virtualization Platforms (VMware, XenServer, Hyper-V)
      • Windows Server 2008 R2
      • IIS
      • SharePoint Server 2010 & SharePoint Foundation 2010
        • Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
        • Visio Graphics Service
        • PerformancePoint Service
        • Excel Services
        • Access Services
        • Web Analytics
        • My Sites
        • Site Collections
        • Solutions & Features
        • Content Types & Lists
        • And many other SharePoint-specific skills...
      • SQL Server 2008 R2
      • Active Directory
      • Some knowledge of these are helpful:
        • Exchange Server
        • Windows & SQL Server Clustering
        • FAST Search Server 2010
        • Dynanics AX, CRM, etc.
        • Project Server 2010
    • I.T. Change Management
    • I.T. Service/Help Desk
    • I.T. Infrastructure Security
  • Enterprise Application Architecture Skills
    • SharePoint Application Architure
      • ASP.NET 3.5
      • C#
      • XML
      • GAC
      • web.config
      • Web Parts
      • Event Receivers
      • JavaScript
      • Workflow
      • Object Models
      • schema.xml
      • Forms
      • Master Pages
      • Etc.
    • Tools
      • SharePoint Designer 2010
      • Visual Studio 2010
      • PowerShell Scripting
      • InfoPath 2010
      • Office Professional 2010
      • Visio Professional 2010
      • Adobe Acrobat Professional
      • Expertise in these are very helpful:
        • Adobe Illustrator
        • Adobe Photoshop
    • Service-Oriented Architecture
    • Design Patterns
    • URI Namespace Management
    • Search-Engine Optimization
    • Branding & UI Design
    • Application Security
  • Web Standards Skills
    • XHTML & HTML
    • XML
    • DocTypes
    • XSLT
    • CSS
    • JavaScript (jQuery helps, too, and will surely be critical to future versions of SharePoint)
    • RSS & ATOM feeds
    • Microformats
    • Intelligent UserAgent Targeting
    • Mashups
  • Marketing, Communication, and Design Skills
    • Single-Source Authoring
    • WORM (Write Once, Read Many)
    • Blogging
    • Public Relations
    • Graphic Design
    • Publication Design
    • Copywriting & Technical Writing
    • Digital Media
    • Social Media
  • User Experience Skills
    • Forms Design
    • Usability
    • Information Architecture (the kind focussed on navigation, tagging, and UI design)
    • Findability
    • Accessibility (including Section 508)
    • Mobile & Alternative Device Design
  • Research & Authoring Skills
    • Ethnography
    • Survey
    • Wireframing
    • Use Cases
    • UML
    • Workflows & Diagrams
    • Usability Testing
    • Scope
    • Business Requirements
    • Business Process Management/Improvement
    • Local Regulations
    • I.T. Maturity Auditing
    • Business Case
    • Statement of Work
    • Functional Requirements
    • Technical Requirements
    • Logical Requirements
    • Onotology & Taxonomy
  • Business Leadership Skills
    • Executive Communication, Interviewing & Presentation
    • Business Values, Mission, Vision & Strategy Communication
    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Return on Investment & Value on Investment
    • Conflict Management
    • Project Management
    • Program Management

I'm certain there are skills I'm leaving out here. I invite you to share your ideas for what is missing.

1 comment:

  1. Good blog..! one important skill is definitely missing and that is company resource skill training and enhancements.

    ReplyDelete