Who used to play with lego? I did. We had boxes of the stuff. Lego is such a fantastic toy because it has so much potential. If you give someone a box full of mixed lego bricks, they could build just about anything.
But sometimes that freedom seems too much. You could sit there staring at a pile of bricks in all shapes, sizes and colours, knowing that you build something incredible, but not know where to start. This is why so many lego sets come with instructions. You know that you can follow these steps and come up with something that works and looks like the picture on the box. Maybe once you’ve had a go at a few of those, you’ll feel like taking on the challenge of building something custom.
And there are some experts out there who’ve spent years playing with lego and now have the ability to create things that are spectacular.
But why am I talking about lego on a Microsoft blog? Because I think it’s quite a good analogy. Just as lego provides an incredible range of pieces in the form of long bricks, short bricks, roof bricks, base plates, flowers, trees, wheels, people and so on, SharePoint provides a range of pieces in the form of content management features, social networking, process automation, search, BI, etc. For the inexperienced, it can be bewildering to look at the huge mass of capabilities and have to work out where to start.
There is guidance to help, just as there are instructions to help build common lego models. There are Microsoft partners who have developed processes and steps to deploy SharePoint as a solution to common business problems. There are also guidance and best practice documents available on TechNet and IT pro blogs.
Finally, there are the experts who can take this mass of pieces and turn it into something completely custom and potentially massive that can transform the way of working for a specific organisation.