Starting SharePoint solution and planning your documentation

When a new SharePoint project is about to start I use the following steps to design and plan solution

  1. Creating Vision/Scope
  2. Site structure and Navigation
  3. Use Case Scenarios
  4. Data Flow scenario (create the infomation “map”  – where it locates and how it”s used. Usually you either consume or produce information from/to 3rd party sources – network folders, sharepoint lists, incoming emails, BDC connections  and etc. To plan you taxonomy and build good information structure you need to visualize all information on the single page, with direction where it flows. It helps you understand what happens with existing system)
  5. Content location (this is very close to the previous point, but you concentraces on actual location – where information stored, and the way to access it – file or network paths, IP and credentials to access external information)
  6. Site Collection Boundaries
  7. List of required features and site definitions
  8. Security: Roles and Permissions
  9. Page Wireframes: layouts and content types
  10. Targeting (how all content will be targeted  – metadata information, filtering. I usually use Personas to create several scenarios for content targetting)
  11. Search strategy (define search scopes,  define all external sourced,  defile “best bets” for the targetted content)
  12. Infrastructure Plan 
  13. Disaster Recovery
  14. Deployment plan

    Take into account that SharePoint SDLC differs from standard development, and not all projects require those steps.

    PS: consider building SharePoint Roadmap before starting the development phase.


    1. Alex Said,

      October 22, 2008@ 12:57 pm      Reply

      Hi there Michael,

      Thanks for your post, it”s interesting and very useful to me.

      Could you please send me some templates or smaple of documentation for SharePoint projects. As you its mnetioned above that “SharePoint SDLC differs from standard development”.

      Besides, I have done some researches on the Internet and I found plenty of templates such as RUP ( and others stuff, but I believe that they are not compatible with SharePoint projects and they do not fit together.

      The list mentioned above (Those 14 points) are really comprehensive methodology to create full SharePoint project from A to Z, I will owe you for life if you could provide me templates of documents or some samples of documentations which applies those 14 points in the list above.

      I truly need this help from you because it”s very urgent and so important to me and I will never ever forget this favor, I beg your understanding!

      My email is:

      I very much look forward to hearing from you soon!

      Thank you in advance.


    2. Albert Laudia Said,

      March 30, 2009@ 1:50 am      Reply

      Hi Michael & Alex,

      Do you guys have the Sharepoint SDLC documents and process that I could refer to since we are new in the SharePoint.



      — Albert

    3. laflour Said,

      March 30, 2009@ 2:01 am      Reply

      There are not public templates for SharePoint SDLC, unfortunatelly. Few people tries to create them, but I can”t find any good templates.
      I would recommend to google:
      Sample and

    4. Paul RYan Said,

      July 7, 2009@ 12:37 pm      Reply

      hi, i love your blog. can you please expand on: To plan you taxonomy and build good information structure you need to visualize all information on the single page, with direction where it flows. It helps you understand what happens with existing system).

      Do you mean a single page – ie: a single Visio diagram. And would you do a single page for each information module, or just one single page for the entire site collection? (as a general rule of course)
      can you please elaborate?

    5. laflour Said,

      July 7, 2009@ 12:45 pm      Reply

      usually it”s a single Visio diagram depicting all information that come in|come out, to get the whole picture quickly, but making accents on how it “flows”

      “content location” will detalize it to the specific level (either site or site collection)

    6. Jyothi Said,

      October 23, 2009@ 6:53 pm      Reply

      I liked your blog. Definately I would like to see the templates. Can you please send the templates or give some india what all it should contain. Here”s my e-mail id

    7. laflour Said,

      October 23, 2009@ 11:38 pm      Reply

      I”m going to publishing templates on my portal soon

    8. Rav Said,

      October 27, 2009@ 3:16 am      Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the details. I”m in development but never did documentation due to timelimits. It would be a great help if you can update this page when u update your portal.


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