where to draw the line between customization and development?

In response to this article by Jeremy Thake I replied some thoughts of my own..(well, not really my own, just some things I picked up during work last few years)

I think Jeremy’s conclusion says it all. I ‘ve had a couple of customers who chose SharePoint “because all features they want are available out-of-the-box in SharePoint”..until they start using it, resulting in days/weeks/months of writing code.

The goal is to set the expectations of the business owners at the earliest stage (presales)! Yes, SharePoint is an awesome platform and you can do a lot of amazing things with it, BUT it is not the holy grail that will solve all your problems. Be prepared to look for
a) customisations
b) development
c) buying 3d party tools

Next to that, to choose customisations vs development you have to look at a number of items: what is the client’s budget? how many people are going to use this? how big are the changes?

Another way to look at this is: how 2.0 do you want to go?
Do you want an analist to gather functionalities and write them down, so IT can create solutions and deploy them?
Or do you want creative solutions that emerge from you end-users?

Personally I believe there has to be a mix from these 2. Let end-users create their sites and workspaces, while important stuff (like workflow, search, structure) should be created by IT.

This article is by far not complete. Every case is different and you really should look at a case-to-case base.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 12 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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