It was 20 years ago today…

Twenty years ago, a dot-com software development manager (me) and a publishing director (Judi Vernau) decided to form Metataxis. We both felt that this intriguing new discipline of “Information Architecture” was something that had promise for the future, and was something we could do well at given our backgrounds. 

Twenty years later we are still here with both Metataxis UK and Metataxis NZ. Along the way, Metataxis has had, and still has some fantastically talented individuals, who’ve delivered endless value to our clients in information architecture and information management. 

But enough of the self-congratulations! In a series of posts over the coming weeks, I’ll be looking back at how information management has changed over the last 20 years. I’ll even make some predictions about the next 20 years. Watch this space…

What’s involved in a SharePoint health check?

SharePoint Health Check

Many organisations think that Office 365/SharePoint deployment and configuration is both simple and quick only to find the reality quite different once the system is used in anger.  But a well-timed health check of SharePoint can save a lot a pain and stress down the road.

When to do a health check

A health check can be done at any stage of SharePoint implementation for many different purposes. For instance a health check may be done during a pilot or pathfinder exercise to check that the project is going in the right direction. Or the health check may be used for older implementations that may be experiencing issues for the purpose of root cause analysis.

It’s not just about the technology

The technical configuration of your Office 365/SharePoint system is important, but so too is how your information is organised within your implementation. Failing to understand your information management needs is often overlooked in Office 365/SharePoint deployments which can result in expensive, unusable, or even a failed system. We recommend any health check considers ongoing information management as well as the technical management.

What a health check should cover

With that in mind we recommend a SharePoint health check should consider both standard areas of functionality as well as information governance, management and strategies. The health check should consider the following aspects though depending on how SharePoint is configured may want more attention on some areas than others.

  • High-level Office 365 configuration
  • Site collection and site architecture
  • User permissions and user access model
  • Content types and columns
  • Term sets
  • Search configuration
  • Libraries, views and folder configuration
  • Navigation and high-level user interface
  • Usability and look and feel
  • Information governance and policies
  • Training and support
  • Culture and change management

Who should do the health check

Ideally a neutral third party should conduct a health check, so they can provide an independent and impartial assessment of the system. The third party may be a person or team within your organisation that has not been heavily involved in implementation. That internal resource would need to have the skills and expertise to complete a thorough health check. Alternatively external resource with the skills and experience may be contracted to do the work. The benefit of getting a health check from a skilled professional is assurance of quality of work as well as the ability to provide results quickly and accurately.

Metataxis SharePoint health checks

Metataxis can provide independent health check of your Microsoft 365 and/or SharePoint deployment to discover potential problems before they become actual problems. The Metataxis team has the unique skills and experience to bridge the world of technology and information management, to provide a unified and thorough analysis. Metataxis has a simple health check methodology that provides quick results. This is based on the many implementations we have worked on.

  • Analyse: A Metataxis consultant conducts an audit of your Office 365/SharePoint environment.
  • Document: The consultant documents their findings to produce an organisation specific set of recommendations.
  • Review: The consultant discusses the recommendations with the organisation, refining them as required.
  • Support: Follow-up advice is available via email or phone after the delivery of the recommendations.

We can scale any health check to the requirements of your organisation and point you in the right direction to give you the right information governance, architecture and strategy to help you on your way.  Get in touch with us today to talk using the contact form on the right.

Free webinar series offered with Leadership Through Data

Free webinars with Leadership Through Data

Metataxis is very pleased to be participating in a series of free webinars offered by Leadership Through Data (LTD). Metataxis Technical Director, Marc Stephenson will be talking about Information Architecture at 13:00 on the 4th of November 2021. The session is called Design of Information Architecture within Microsoft 365 & SharePoint where Marc will be discussing one of the most important but sometimes least understood aspects of ensuring a successful Microsoft 365 roll-out.

An information architecture is a crucial initial step to the successful implementation of any information system. You wouldn’t start building a house with an architecture and the same logic applies to building a system. A good information architecture requires that content, technology, people, business requirements, and cultural factors are all considered at the same time. To find out more about this you can book here.

This is just one of a series of exciting free webinars LTD are providing over the coming months. Focusing on topics relating to Microsoft 365 and Information Management, these webinars draw on the broad expertise of the trainers and partners working with LTD. This means that there are some fantastic opportunities to about anything from training methods with LTD Managing Director Jacqueline Stockwell, to hearing about the latest releases from M365 MVP Sara Fennah. A list of some of the webinars are listed below:

Or you can visit the Leadership Through Data site for a full list of webinars on offer.

 

A view from New Zealand

We are delighted to share that Judi Vernau, the director of Metataxis New Zealand, has just launched a new blog in collaboration with ISKO UK. Judi is a taxonomy and information architecture expert, and an ISKO committee member. A previous director of Metataxis UK, Judi is now settled in New Zealand, and her first blog entry sets the scene for discussing information architecture from a “kiwi” perspective. We look forward to future posts!

Read the first blog in the upcoming series here.