How SharePoint Governance is like a moose in a swimming pool

How SharePoint Governance is like a moose in a swimming pool

I was watching the news last night and a story came on about a man in Manchester, NH (about 30 minutes from my house) who heard a noise that was coming from his backyard, and when he turned on this lights he found a Moose in his backyard.  The moose was spooked by the sudden flood of light and charged through his fence and directly into the man’s swimming pool.


The man from didn’t have many options going in to the situation, it just descended upon him from nature and he was forced to simply deal with the situation.  He went from having a nice quiet evening at home to needing help from 12 people to get a moose out of his pool, having a shredded pool cover, and ending up with his saga documented on the evening news.

How this relates to SharePoint

Lying in bed after fasting all day for Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of Atonement, all I could think was how similar this man’s scenario was to all too many deployments of SharePoint: Someone hears something, starts to investigate, the next thing they know they have a 2000 pound angry animal on their hands.

In our many cases we have the ability to hold off the animal and redirect its efforts into something more productive and healthy with governance and proper planning, however many times the beast barrels through our defenses and we are dealing with a world of trouble that we didn’t intend on.

The man in the story had many options:

  1. ignore the situation and hope it clears itself up
  2. grab a gun and shoot it himself
  3. call a local hunter to deal with it for him
  4. calmly call the police and figure out how best to deal with the situation with expert assistance

I sincerely hope that when faced with situations like this we deal with things as well as the man from the news story did because in the end, all that was really lost was part of a fence, a $200 pool cover, and some time.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind, whether you are dealing with an angry moose, or an impending SharePoint deployment:

  1. Find out what you don’t know
  2. Stop and determine the correct plan of action before proceeding
  3. Understand what the drivers of your situation are
  4. Get control over an out of control situation

When it comes to SharePoint deployments, whether properly conceived or not, it is always best to stop and examine your options.  It is always going to be best to take a bit of time up front to save a complete rebuild later.

The moral of the story

When cooler heads prevail, everyone comes out alive, and with a reasonably interesting story to share.  Think before you act, and in our world, before you implement.

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