Business Analysis and Custom Design for a SharePoint-based Intranet
- Thorough analysis of business requirements for a Microsoft SharePoint-based portal
- Detailed project specification for IT professionals and business users
- Design and implementation of a branded home page and team site templates
Iflexion helped a large IT corporation define requirements for a SharePoint corporate portal, designed and implemented a custom homepage and team site templates to foster the end customer’s internal collaboration.
The Customer is a large IT corporation providing companies of all sizes with hardware and software solutions. The company automates business processes, improves IT infrastructure of their clients and completes thousands of complex and geographically distributed projects each year. One of these projects required an immediate help of IT specialists.
A large drilling company with 13,000+ employees turned to the Customer to develop an enterprise portal. The solution was to unite information, people and processes, allowing all employees to get corporate information and additional data from external resources, as well as submit requests to the in-house IT support department. The organization planned to use the portal as a consolidated information area and a single access point to corporate resources.
The Customer decided to outsource business analysis to prepare requirements and a functional specification of the portal development project. The Customer was also looking for assistance of SharePoint consultants well-versed in SharePoint intranet development to design and implement a custom homepage and several custom team site templates for their client's corporate portal. The Customer chose Iflexion as a reliable, long-term partner that was able to take up the challenge.
Objectives and Challenges
Taking into consideration the project scope, Iflexion offered the Time and Material collaboration model as the most suitable and cost-effective.
Our team had to perform an in-depth analysis of the end customer’s initial requirements and to create a detailed project specification. Our activities included:
- Investigating existing business processes and documenting the findings
- Developing a homepage layout according to the client’s corporate identity
- Designing several team site templates for different internal teams
- Implementing a branded homepage and custom team site templates
The major challenge was to collect and make the system requirements consistent, as they differed a lot in format and level, as well as represented different business needs; thus, some of them conflicted with each other. Iflexion’s business analysts collaborated actively with the Customer, which allowed clarifying all the questionable points within a short timeframe.
Leveraging a solid experience in business analysis and understanding the out-of-the-box capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint, our team identified the business needs and mapped them to the SharePoint 2013 functionality.
After that, Iflexion’s specialists presented the research results in a uniform document for IT staff to understand the platform’s capabilities and for business users to see SharePoint’s advantages.
According to the prepared specification, a SharePoint-based solution supported 4 user roles provided with the following capabilities:
The end customer also planned to integrate the portal with several services and systems, including Active Directory, an accounting application, and an IBM Lotus Domino solution. The integration allowed the company to ensure:
- A centralized secure user authentication
- Automatic import of HR data to the accounting system
- Ongoing support of the IT infrastructure
Having finalized high-level requirements, our business analysts cooperated with designers to deliver a detailed homepage layout, which became an integral part of the intranet development plan. In collaboration with representatives of internal teams, Iflexion’s SharePoint consultants offered possible team site templates with different designs, team project management, and team collaboration features.
Once all the custom layouts were ready, our SharePoint developers helped the Customer to implement them. The branded homepage now welcomes users and accumulates corporate news and announcements, shows weather and currency rates, hosts quick links to important resources (for example, corporate wiki, time tracking system, corporate archive) and leads to team sites. While launching a new team site, team members now can choose among several templates to build a team workplace that suits their team collaboration needs best.
To ensure uninterrupted collaboration with the Customer, Iflexion used various communication mediums, including emails and everyday calls, which allowed all the involved parties to keep in step with the analysis process. Initially, the Customer set clear objectives that remained unchanged in the course of the collaboration. This enabled Iflexion to complete all the assigned tasks ahead of the schedule and helped the Customer to cut the project costs.
Extensive experience in business analysis, SharePoint consulting and development, as well as excellent communication and presentation skills, allowed Iflexion’s team to complete the project successfully. We examined thoroughly the system requirements and translated them into an extended specification of the SharePoint intranet development plan. We also designed a custom homepage and team site templates and helped the Customer to implement them successfully. The Customer was satisfied with the project results and invited Iflexion to cooperate on future projects.
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