I woke up this morning with a fascinating thought – Does the perfect SharePoint solution exist and are SharePoint consultants ever WRONG?
Well, the simple answer is – “it depends”.
I just have to chuckle when I read this intro as it is so typical of the industry we operate in. An outsider might be reading this thinking, “But wait, there are best practices?”, which is true, but again, they apply to scenarios with a Brazilian “what-if” factors attached to it.
See we operate in an arena where you are constantly trying to solve the “now”, but also keep the “just now” in consideration.
The following scenario happens daily (exaggerated here of course):
“Our site has 100 users now, but we need to scale to 5000”
Ermm, okay, let’s put down 6 servers at a cost of “X”.
“Okay, perhaps we should only discuss the 100 users thingy now then”
No problem, but just remember, your single server operation is not going to support 5000 users.
“But, what happens when we acquire a new company and they want workflow?”
The simple fact of the matter is that consultants can get it wrong, and sometimes do, but more often than not there are mitigated circumstances for the decisions made.
FACT: It is impossible to build a SharePoint farm that will cater for all scenarios.
The above mentioned fact is important to keep in mind when entering into complex design sessions. At times, you simply have to concentrate on the now. By trying to bring in too many “what-ifs” you could reach a uncomfortable place where decisions are made, that are simply “okay” for now and “okay” for later as the SharePoint farm needs to live in a hybrid state being. For example, Creating an environment that is too large for the initial hit and slightly to simply for the future monster rush of user adoption.
So after this made ramble, what am I actually saying?
My point is that SharePoint is a fluid platform. It gives companies & consultants alike the ability to change their minds or adapt based on new factors, requirements or constraints.
Don’t try and factor in too much of the future, before you know it, the new version of the platform is in beta, something like gamification comes around, mobile takes off (even more than now) and who knows what else is in the pipeline?
Change is as sure as death and taxes, plan for what you know NOW and consider a bit of the future, but don’t try and get it 100% perfect, because that solution simply doesn’t exist.