Know your SharePoint retention options!

a-sharepoint-information-architecture-recipe-2Blog post: 3 minute read

I’m working on a scrum team to migrate an entire organization’s file structure off a shared network drive. There’s likely similar stories playing out across many organizations today – years of accumulated “stuff” you somehow need to parse down and move to SharePoint in a structured and organized way.

Rule # 1 of any SharePoint migration? Clean up the content prior to starting. Although it may be tempting to just migrate exactly what you have (it’s generally quicker in the short-term), you will no doubt pay a heavy price for that decision down the road. The problem may manifest itself in many ways. Here are a few: Continue reading “Know your SharePoint retention options!”


A SharePoint Information Architecture recipe

Blog post: 5 minute read

I recently received a request to prepare an Information Architecture(IA) plan for an organization. This organization plans to migrate from a legacy version of SharePoint, SharePoint Server 2010, to the newest version of the on-premises software, SharePoint Server 2016, and decided a prudent first move would be to redefine their IA for the new environment. Smart!

I suspect there are other organizations out there in the same position who may be dissatisfied with the way their current SharePoint environment is functioning for one reason or another and want to do a course correction. Perhaps there was no IA plan prior to implementing SharePoint in the first place and over the years it has organically grown into an ineffective environment. Perhaps even if there was an IA defined it may have outgrown its effectiveness over time due to re-orgs and acquisitions, or just plain lack of attention to the original IA plan. I believe these are common scenarios for many organizations having deployed SharePoint. Without experienced and knowledgeable SharePoint staff being involved right from the beginning, many organizations don’t often realize what they’re “getting into” and neglect to lay the necessary groundwork to leverage the platform over the long haul.

Fast forward several years and organizations like this may find themselves at a cross-roads. Should they take a “lift and shift” approach and migrate the mess from the old to the new platform (rhetorical question, please don’t do this) OR should they take the time to rethink the underlying information architecture, take stock of their current environment, do some housekeeping and start new? Yes!

I call this a golden opportunity – the chance to learn from past mistakes and improve on the things you’ve done right. IA is a critical and necessary step in the planning and preparation phase of any SharePoint implementation whether you’re moving to an on-premises or online environment. Some things can be difficult to change after-the-fact so it’s best to do IA planning up-front prior to any content being added. Continue reading “A SharePoint Information Architecture recipe”

DLP leverages search in O365

d-1Blog Post: 3 minute read

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) helps organizations comply with business standards and industry regulations by protecting sensitive information and preventing its inadvertent disclosure. Although DLP has been around for awhile I can only assume there are others, like me, who have never used it before and are unaware how it leverages search.

DLP is part of the larger Security & Compliance Center in O365. As more and more organizations are moving their data to the cloud, they are turning their attention to these features within O365. I’m encouraged to see the inclusion of content from Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business all through one unified compliance experience in the Security & Compliance Center… a “One-stop Compliance shop!”.

With a DLP policy you can identify and prevent sharing of sensitive information across Exchange Online (including O365 Group conversations), SharePoint Online (including O365 Group sites), and OneDrive for Business. Its capabilities also reach into the desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to identify and prevent the same sharing of this sensitive information right at the source.

You might be wondering what are some of the “brains” behind DLP. It’s one of my favorite parts of SharePoint…Search!! Continue reading “DLP leverages search in O365”

Speaking at MVPDays Roadshow in Edmonton!

mvpdaysedmontonI have the good fortune of  joining fellow SharePoint geek @DavidMDrever at the MVPDays Community Roadshow in Edmonton Alberta on March 13, 2017.

MVPDays North American Roadshow is a technical event that is delivered by industry leading expert Microsoft MVP’s and prospective MVP’s. These sessions are not geared around Vendor Marketing fluff and have real content based on the deep expertise of our world class speakers.

Dave and I will be doing 2 presentations that day:

The two sessions play off each other and cover what you need to know to deliver an effective search experience in SharePoint. If you use Office 365, we’ll also talk about Delve and why we feel, as awesome as it is, it doesn’t replace the need for a traditional search experience in SharePoint.

If you’d like to attend, you can register for the event HERE.

Links to the presentations will be posted here after the event.

Hope you can join us!


Demystifying titles in SharePoint search & Delve

where-does-the-search-title-come-from-5The other day a user asked me why a document was appearing in Delve with a title different than the actual name the user had given when uploading it.

My answer surprised them. If you’ve been around the SharePoint space for awhile you’re likely already aware of these rules but it’s a good idea to share these with users throughout your organization so they can control the title if they need/want to. In my opinion, these rules are certainly not obvious and may cause confusion for some users if they’re looking for a document by its title in Search or Delve and can’t find it. Continue reading “Demystifying titles in SharePoint search & Delve”

Modern UI Recycle Bin Missing Files!

modern-ui-recycle-bin-missing-filesWhile troubleshooting a support incident in an O365 tenant today, I discovered a confusing bug while working with a SharePoint site collection recycle bin in a Modern UI SharePoint site.

If you are using the Modern UI (instead of the Classic experience) while in the site collection recycle bin, you may not be seeing all of the files! Confused? Well I sure was.

I was tasked with restoring a large number of files accidentally deleted by a user who was unable to perform the restore for themselves. I knew there were ~700 files deleted by running an audit report from the Security & Compliance Center with the FileDeleted and FolderDeleted actions logged.

Being a site collection administrator, my first response was to sift thru the site collection recycle bin and restore the accidentally deleted files. The problem is I only could see about 10% of the ~700 files I was expecting. Needless to say, this stumped me for quite a while…hours actually. Continue reading “Modern UI Recycle Bin Missing Files!”

Getting to the “right” solution in Office 365


I work on an O365 Productivity and Collaboration team which means change is our “norm”. When you’re part of a team like this you must be adaptable to the changing landscape of O365 and adept at selecting the appropriate solution for various business needs across the organization at any given point in time.

When someone approaches the team with a business problem and asks “how can O365 help?”, it can sometimes be a challenging response. I say this not to mean there aren’t great options available, but rather there are so many options to choose from. How do we go about parsing down the options to the most appropriate ones and then communicating them to the business users so they can pick the one most suitable?

There is a smorgasbord of options available in O365 with new ones being added at a rapid pace. For example, the options for group collaboration within O365 today are: O365 Outlook Group, Yammer Group, Planner Board, standalone SharePoint Team Site, and recently Microsoft Teams. Each offers its own unique style of collaboration for a group with seemingly similar capabilities and nuanced differences. Continue reading “Getting to the “right” solution in Office 365″