Soulsailor Consulting Ltd

Enabling organisational value by positively disrupting your technology projects

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The impact of EU Data Protection Regulation on your SharePoint Collaboration Solution

The purpose of this blog post is to open your eyes to the real challenges we face right now due to EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and our lack of knowledge of what is stored in our SharePoint collaboration systems.

This blog post only gives a cursory summary of the regulation and the challenges we face; as a topic it warrants further reading, exploration and understanding, but I hope this will be enough to get you going in the right direction.

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Guest Post: 3 tips to achieving a fully governed SharePoint platform

Getting users on board with an information governance strategy is difficult. In fact, it is nearly impossible unless it somehow brings a tangible benefit to their daily activity. They work, they collaborate, they drive the organisation’s results, wouldn’t it be great if all of this could be done in a single, familiar environment that is fully governed? In reality, for any organisation aspiring to maximise efficiency and productivity there is no other option. The great news is that organisations can take a number of simple steps in order to gain a fully governed platform that by nature will steer their users towards maximum productivity within Microsoft SharePoint. 

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The Unknown Unknowns - The Intro!

So I am back writing again, after the success (well over 500 copies have been sold) of The SharePoint Governance Manifesto I've started writing my second book, "The Unknown Unknowns - A disruptive guide to fun requirements gathering".

The following is the first draft of the books Introduction.

Let me know what you think, your feedback is vital:


"What do you want?" the suited and booted consultant asked again, with a hint of annoyance creeping into his tone.

"We dont know..." muttered a few of the stakeholders nervously from behind the solid oak boardroom table.

The consultant sighed, it was a sigh he had emitted far too many times in his career.

He dimmed the boardroom lights with one of the plethora of gadgets laid out before him and with a deft flick of a switch the projector screen slid slowly and ominously down from the ceiling behind me. Despite the subdued lighting he could see clearly the fog of requirements despair engulfing the minds of the attendees; the attendees that had gathered here today to talk about the requirements for their new IT solution. The problem they were trying to solve was clear to everyone present, but that was where the clarity ended.

The consultants desktop appeared at the front of the room on the huge projector screen, it was in glorious Technicolor; several virtual machines could imperceptibly be heard whirring into life as the consultant started up his demo screen.

It was difficult for any of the attendees to really fathom what happened in the next hour; the consultant proceeded to show them exactly what they thought they wanted, but that we now know they really didn't need.

An hour later and they had bought it all, every last shiny feature that the consultant showed them transformed into a business requirement that their organisation would depend upon for its success…

Three months later pretty much all the features they had so desperately wanted lay unused within the desolate confines of their would-be perfect solution that no-one really wanted…

This scenario is played out every day in organisations of every size in every sector across the globe, led by expensive consultants or internal IT teams and across countless technologies…

…and it pisses me off, it’s got to stop!

Why the hell do we waste so much time and effort delivering technically brilliant crap [solutions] that no-one actually wants?


If you like what you've read so far then let me know by registering your interest on the "The Unknown Unknowns - A disruptive guide to fun requirements gathering". web page.


IT Assurance - SharePoint Governance Guest Blog Series

Welcome to the first in the series of guest blog posts discussing alternative (well different to mine anyway) perspectives to the Seven Waves of SharePoint Governance that I define in my book The SharePoint Governance Manifesto.

For this post we have Hugh Wood talking about Code Governance which is an essential part of the IT Assurance Governance Wave and splashes into the Information Governance Wave too!


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Awesome SharePoint Governance workshop Announced

This 2 day collaborative training course will seek to open your eyes to a more appropriate, holistic and sustainable approach to delivering SharePoint Governance for your customers and in your organisation.

The course is based on the content presented in my book 'The SharePoint Governance Manifesto'.

You get 2 days of intensive, fun and collaborative theory and practical activities guaranteed to steer you towards your SharePoint vision.

As well as a positively disruptive course you'll get a copy of the paperback and eBook versions of 'The SharePoint Governance Manifesto'.

This course is not technical, we won't be building stuff on laptops, we won't be coding, configuring servers or even looking at SharePoint screens.

This course will not be boring, it won't just be me reading from slides, I want to discuss, collaborate, challenge and disrupt you.

We will be learning, listening, talking, sketching, whiteboarding and thinking...Most of all we will be positively disrupting the way you think about and implement SharePoint Governance.

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Hola... Holacracy and the SharePoint Centre of Excellence

This blog post is written hot on the heels of the latest internet buzz surrounding Zappos (sorry pun intended). The buzz is focussed this time on its CEO, Tony Hsieh’s highly publicised and critiqued decision to throw away traditional business management models, at the online shoe retailer and doing something, well something entirely different!

Zappos is in the process of implementing a non-hierarchical management model known as “holacracy”.

Wikipedia describes it as:

"...a social technology or system of organizational governance in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a fractal holarchy of self-organizing teams rather than being vested at the top of a hierarchy."

Holacracy isn't a new concept, with the term derived from the term holarchy, coined by Arthur Koestler in his 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. But Zappos is one of the first large organisations (circa 1,500 employees) to start to adopt the approach and to already be showing signs of success.

Interestingly, there are also some similarities with the culture and organisational structure of Gore (the designers of Gore-Tex etc.). Within Gore they have implemented what they call a team-based, flat lattice Organisation 'structure', but that’s not the focus of this discussion.

Why do I have an interest in these alternate management and organisational culture models?

Why do I think there is any relevance at all to SharePoint?

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2 New SharePoint Awesomeness Training Sessions - Disruption & Governance

This post has been a long time coming, I've had on my mind for the last 12 months that I want to bring my thinking and approaches out into the open in a more formal manner and run some 'training' courses in the key areas that I consult in. 

I'll have some news in the next month or so about a Requirements Facilitation course I'm planning, but for now I want to formally announce the birth of two new courses:

  • Disruptive SharePoint Approaches - 1 Day
  • Disruptive SharePoint Governance for the Masses - 2 days

The titles are subject to change but hopefully allude with sufficient clarity what the sessions are focused on.

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One Step Forward... A review of Microsoft's latest SharePoint Governance guidance

One step forward... No steps back.... <phew>

This is a good news blog post.

As you will undoubtedly know I have my own, very clear (I hope) perspectives about what SharePoint Governance really means.

Historically, Microsoft's guidance has been very IT and technical feature based and I have been unhappy with its contents and effectively the lack of guidance they have offered.

With this latest release of it's SharePoint 2013 Governance Guidance (November 19th 2013), things haven't changed as much as I would have liked, but there are definite significant signs of things moving in the right direction, it articulates Governance in a less techie way and I haven't found myself shouting at my screen quite as much!

The purpose of this blog post is to run through the contents and highlight my perspective of where it works and where it falls short and also, I hope, articulate some pointers to other content and approaches that will help you on your Governance journey.

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My View of SharePoint Saturday UK 2013


It was an awesome day.  It is always an awesome day!

It was great to meet old friends and make new ones. 

I give huge thanks to the person who wants to buy 10 copies of 'The SharePoint Governance Manifesto' as Christmas presents for their clients!

I think my session went well, I was really happy with the content and the audience participation (see below) .

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