business processes and trim costs

roomagitatedInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


Using SharePoint to re
engineer your
business processes and trim costs

A Best Buy Case Study

Defining the parameters…

Today you’ll get:

Background on my function/role

A detailed look at the SharePoint implementation for

Overview of benefits achieved and $$$ saved

Details on how we built our solutions

including total development

Overview of roadblocks we encountered along the way

Overview of our SharePoint development process

An information architecture perspective…


Answers from a system engineer or a MOSS system administrator

My personal bias

Businesses shouldn’t be run via spreadsheets stored on shared

Knowledge doesn’t exist unless you have an information retrieval

Left to their own devices, well
intentioned people will live in
information chaos

My job isn’t about giving users what they want. It’s about listening
and figuring out what they really need

SharePoint is great at what it can do…but if I find something better,
I’m jumping ship


Current role = dotcom Operations

Built new role for
Collaboration Management

Role of SharePoint in BBY enterprise

Personal history

Technical writing

Content Management System implementation & support

Knowledge management

Information architecture

Corporate librarian


Collaboration management

Design, implement & support collaborative toolset

Act as liaison between dotcom and enterprise
level social
networking teams

Act as a SharePoint consultant for other BBY teams

Advocate for new technologies & new integration paths

Current team members:

Sarah Haase (manager)

What are our key goals?

Enable quick/easy information sharing

Leverage all our knowledge assets

regardless of job title or role

Use technology to automate manual
tasks, thereby freeing up resources to
work on value
add tasks

Optimize information retrieval

Provide secure systems

What is Collaboration’s value?

Process optimization:

Eliminate redundant work processes

Store/use data efficiently

Build automated workflow processes

Reduce dependency on email

Enable better information retrieval

Provide just
time (JIT) information

Tailor data views to appropriate audiences

Create dashboards that display overall site/project/process health

What is Collaboration’s value?

Information architecture

Focus on obtaining structured data

Build taxonomies for effective information storage/retrieval

Tie dotcom initiatives to enterprise
level social networking tools

Information sharing

Build tools that people

to use

Evangelize social networking tools

(both internal & external)

Collaboration’s key toolset

The Brain

Wiki knowledge base

Confluence, powered by Atlassian

3,300+ articles

100+ authors

Key features:

based taxonomy

Boolean searching

Standardized authoring templates

Ability to comment on all articles

Ability to lock/secure articles

Ability to add folksonomy labels

SOPs for article reviews/updates

Parking lot

Collaboration’s key toolset


Ops issue tracking/ticketing system

Powered by Atlassian

Throughput = 150 tickets/week

Key features:

Automated filtering

Customizable metadata fields

Ability to assign issues

Ability to comment on issues and log time worked

Collaboration’s key toolset


MOSS 2007

Accenture provides farm administration

Additional tools used:

Most employees/contractors still on Office 2003

InfoPath 2003

SharePoint Designer 2007

Dotcom’s site collection “born” August, 2007

Annual ROI = $350,000/year and counting…

36 sites up and running to date

Controlled development/release strategy

SharePoint development process

All requests go through Collaboration

All requests = same process

Business owner required

All projects tracked in SharePoint

Weekly code reviews held for development team

Promotes development best

Provides weekly training for all team members

Provides cross
training for all team members who will be supporting
sites later on

Enables management to assess development capacity

Case studies built for all “trackable” projects

SharePoint development process

Development stages:

Stage 1 (Initial request received)

Stage 2 (Storyboarding in process)

Stage 3 (Development in process)

Stage 4 (Iterative review)

Stage 5 (Launched)

On hold (Waiting on requestor)

Priority level:

Estimated annual ROI (in $$$)

Estimated hours to implement

SharePoint development process

Key steps in the storyboarding/design process

Ask about their “vision” for the future

Find out what business need(s) they’re trying to solve

Get details on their current work process


Pain points


Get a wish list of things they dream about

Provide a demo of similar functionality already launched in SharePoint

Connect them with business owners that are up and running

Revisit the wish list

Present a new “vision” for their future (formal or informal)

Document requirements

Get management sign

Move on to development

Observational view:

SharePoint at work

Site collection overview

Initial design = flat

Hierarchical taxonomy put in place 6 months later site

(22 sites)

(8 sites)

(5 sites)

User interface design

heavy on the SharePoint blue

Project/team dashboards

Working queues

“Restrictive” security model

Most sites break inheritance

Standard permission groups used

Members, Visitors, Owners

Very few Designers

Restrictive overrides where necessary

Site collection taxonomy

Case Study 1: Manning the box


Online Tools was using ¾ of an FTE to manually transfer emailed
support requests to the JIRA online ticketing system


Built a web
based form to capture structured data on issues

generated issues in the JIRA ticketing system


Tickets created automatically within 1 minute

Requestors get to set their own priority levels

Requestors auto
notified that their request has been logged

allocated 30 hrs/week to providing support

Total savings = $1,500/week and $78,000/year

Case Study 1: Manning the box

Case Study 1: Manning the box

Case Study 1: Manning the box

Key design elements:

Multiple form entry points

Full trust certificate applied to InfoPath form

“Stalker” feature

Hidden required fields

SharePoint Designer workflow sends automatic email notification to
issue reporter

SharePoint serves as a backup for all form content

SharePoint stores document attachments (raising our size restriction
from 1 MB to 50 MB) per issue

All coding done in C#

Coding support outsourced after launch

.NET Framework v2.0 required (and not standard)

Case Study 1: Manning the box

Tools used:

Microsoft InfoPath 2003

MOSS 2007

1 form library

2 custom lists

Business data connector

KPI list

Key Performance Indicators web part

SharePoint Designer 2007

Custom email workflow

kicks off when a new item is created

JIRA (enterprise edition, version 3.9.1)

Case Study 1: Manning the box

Time to develop:

Project length = 5 months

Outstanding factors:

Major delays with holiday

Major roadblock = JIRA web service

2 week beta test

Staff/expertise needed:

1 Microsoft developer = 60 hours

1 Collaboration SME = 150 hours

2 part
time form testers = 40 hours

Case Study 2: Weekly lockdown


Content teams used multiple versions of a single Excel spreadsheet to
submit, track & assign key issues for Sunday turnovers


Moved data online to SharePoint

Built an automated work queue. When team members log in, they see
a list of tasks assigned to them


No more work compiling & sharing multiple spreadsheets

Everyone can add/view issues simultaneously

No more duplicate reporting of identical issues

Cuts a half a day off the weekly lockdown process

Total savings
across Dotcom

= $13,867/month and $166,400/year

Case Study 2: Weekly lockdown


Content team SharePoint site

Case Study 2: Weekly lockdown

Key design elements:

Data stored online

No more copying and pasting

Everyone can work simultaneously

No more duplicate issues reported

Automated work queue

Ability to assign issues to multiple people

Conditional formatting

Ability to save list as template

Involuntary participation model

No coding needed

Case Study 2: Weekly lockdown

Tools used:

MOSS 2007

1 custom list

Current User Filter web part

List view web part

SharePoint Designer 2007

2 data view web parts

Conditional formatting

Time to develop:

out for initial team = 30 hours

out for additional teams = 5 hours each

Staff/expertise needed:

1 Collaboration SME

Case Study 2: Weekly lockdown

User testimonials:

“We *love* the Movies lockdown tracker

it’s working really well. It’s
easy, interactive, and very collaborative. From the PM side, it saves us
a lot of time just with not having to manage, compile and share out
spreadsheets. Everyone has visibility to all the issues, not just theirs,
and not one person has really had issues with managing the
SharePoint site. I’ve noticed that we’re locked probably half a day
earlier just due to this.”

“It helps to clarify what's going on, because everyone can comment on
anyone's comment or questions. It's a way to sort of have a discussion
with the other reviewers, rather than just having everyone blindly dump
their comments onto the project manager, who then had to sort them
out. I think that issues are cleared up more quickly now with everyone
being able to see and respond.”

Decision time…

Go on to Case Study 3

Skip ahead to what we've learned

Case Study 3: Application testing


Ops teams needed a good long
term strategy for testing in


Created template SharePoint site

Built in a test case repository, test execution space, and project tracker


No more time spent hunting for old test cases

Complete list of test cases now available (they double as requirements)

Enables BBY to hire outside testers & perform full regression tests

Automated test queues & custom dashboards for testers and PMs

Incorporates Google Charting API for quick reporting

savings per application = $30,000/year

Case Study 3: Application testing

Bulk test case selector

Case Study 3: Application testing


Testing SharePoint site

Case Study 3: Application testing

Key design elements:

Multiple list design that incorporates a secure test case repository, test
project tracker, and test execution area

Bulk edit ASPX page that allows easy test case selection

Create a multiple item form to expose editable field for all rows

JavaScript function that powers the “Select all” checkbox

Custom SharePoint Designer workflows that automate the test case
migration process

Current vs. archived test views in the test execution area

Unique dashboard display for project managers

Case Study 3: Application testing

Tools used:

MOSS 2007

3 custom lists

1 document library

3 list view web parts

SharePoint Designer 2007

Custom ASPX page set up as a Multiple Item Form

Custom JavaScript code that enables the “Select all” checkbox

Custom workflow that copies test cases over for execution

jQuery & Google Charting API

“Almost” no
code solution provided by End
User SharePoint

Case Study 3: Application testing

Time to develop:

Project length = 3 months+

Outstanding factors:

Lower priority project

Wait time for test case development and data standardization

Research & development time for me

Staff/expertise needed:

1 Microsoft support analyst = 1 hour

1 Collaboration SME = 120 hours

1 Application project manager = 75 hours


What we’ve learned

Key lessons learned (so far…)

Site design

Users will always take the path of least resistance

We can’t afford to hand out open access

Yes, SharePoint can be used as “just” an online file repository

You have to force people through the information architecture process

Savings add up quickly (so don’t forget the little things)


SharePoint evangelizes itself…once you land a few key projects

It’s great to start at the grassroots level…but don’t forget the higher

Think outside your department. What kind of boat are you building?

Key lessons learned (so far…)

Site collection administration

You need a taxonomy

You need a defined development process (or you risk getting buffeted
by strong winds)

You need a support COE


Things are moving too fast to not plug in

Blogs; Twitter; LinkedIn


Sarah Haase

Collaboration Manager at Best Buy


YouTube overviews of Web 2.0

User SharePoint

Top 101+ SharePoint people to follow on Twitter

Fortune article

“Web 2.0 is over. Welcome to Web 3.0”

Jakob Nielsen’s report

“10 Best Intranets of 2009”

Twitter and the real
time web

Nick Grattan’s SharePoint Blog entry on creating bulk edit screens