11.1. Analyzing the Needs

When building a software solution you need to know two things: What is the current situation, and what is your objective? To answer that you must analyze what you have today and the needs of your users. The more time and energy you put into this analysis, the greater the chance that you will do the right thing and avoid costly mistakes. A golden rule when analyzing this is to ask the right people, check the answers, if possible, and never accept a vague answer, like "I think we have enough free disk for your new SharePoint server." If you are even the slightest bit unsure about some answers, make sure to start a thorough investigation to get the truth. This does not necessarily mean that you have to do everything yourself; it could also mean that you delegate tasks to reliable people.

Another golden rule when you start designing the SharePoint environment is KISS — Keep it simple, stupid! If you can make it with just one SharePoint server, then do so; if the intranet will work with just one SharePoint group, then use one; if one document library will be enough for storing all documents, then use one library. Every time you add more servers, more SharePoint groups and more document libraries, you also add to the complexity of the SharePoint solution. And more complexity means more time spent on administration and management, plus a more complex environment to analyze if something goes wrong. So please, remember KISS. It will make your life easier, both ...

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