Gathering Requirements

sharepoint comments edit

Here’s my issue of the day:

I’m working on this huge project - a full Knowledge Management Initiative - within the company, the prime result of which is the rollout of SharePoint Portal Server 2003. I’ve been working on this project for… I don’t know, like nine months now. It takes pretty much all of my time.

At the outset, Microsoft was paying some contractors to help us organize things, define requirements for what needs to be done, and implement the stuff. That was good, because I’m the only Corillian developer working on this thing, and it’s a pretty huge task.

Bad project management reared its ugly head and we ran out of contracting hours with the folks organizing things. Twice.

What did I net from them? A couple of 90% complete web parts. A half-complete requirements document for a portion of our extranet and a mostly complete infrastructure document for our intranet. Nothing about the front end. Nothing about the programmatic elements that have to be developed.

These people spent hours in meetings with the key players in the company gathering requirements. What happened to all of that work?


Just goes to show you can’t count on anyone but yourself.

[Side note: I just got an email in my inbox from one of the guys in my department that begins, “I have received approval to approve the following…” Approval to approve? Does he read the shit he sends out?]

So, anyway, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve been going back and forth trying to gather requirements on my own, but it’s been difficult at best.

It’s sort of like writing a paper in school. Your teacher says you need to write 200 pages on some nebulous topic that you don’t particularly care for or have anything to say about. No guidelines on points to cover in the paper, no discussion of style or structure. Go. That’s what this is like - “You need to roll out a new extranet and an intranet. Go.” Huh?

I’m sure I’ll look back on this (at some point in the distant, distant future) and say, “Holy shit, I’m still working on this project?”

Seriously, though, I know I’ll look back on this thing and say, “Wow, that was a huge project and we (reads: I) did a great job rolling that sonofabitch out. Glad that’s over. Moving on to bigger and better things now.” But that day is a long time from now and it doesn’t seem to be approaching at any measurable pace.

Supposedly this thing needs to be out in “Q4.” Um, yeah.