Innovation Architecture to Offer Fail-Safe Service for Decommissioning SharePoint Sites

Doug Collins - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

From: the chairman of the board, Innovation Architecture Industries of America

To: our esteemed friends and erstwhile creditors

Let it never be said that we here at Innovation Architecture Industries of America do not enjoy what some describe in the most prosaic of terms as “a nose for business.”

Our proboscis remains gainfully employed.

After numerous client engagements good, bad, and indifferent, the principals of the firm, through careful observation and thorough study, have discovered that what the titans and chiefs of corporate America seek the most and yet, inexplicably to our minds, are unable to secure at any price is, to paraphrase one tortured soul, “a proven, repeatable, and ultimately final means of decommissioning SharePoint sites—and now let me emphasize the final part.”

We sympathize to the point of empathy.

Over the past decade, the proliferation of these tall, slender weeds in the information technologist’s garden has—up until now—defied all attempts at extraction or in situ annihilation. One site is pulled. Three others sprout to replace it.

Applying the collective wisdom and considerable resources of our enterprise to the challenge, we report with confidence, combined with no small measure of pride, that we have cracked the code that, up until now, has refused to yield its secrets to the sharpest minds of the corporate world.

Our patented three-step process, guaranteed to halt the proliferation of SharePoint sites once and for all, consists of the core activities of assessment, remediation, and resolution.

Confess: Does it not strike you, dear reader, that our thorniest problems seem ultimately to succumb to the most seemingly simple solutions? Occam’s parsimonious razor reasserts its wisdom.

In the assessment phase, we seek to identify the root cause of the problem: Who made the mess?

Assessment consists of two questions, one fill in the blank and the other multiple choice.

  • Q1: Who decided that creating the SharePoint community in question was a good idea? (Please provide the person’s first and last name)
  • Q2: Where is this person now? (Please check the one that applies most).

Moved family to Dubai in the penultimate re-organization. Said to be thriving in the dry air of the desert.

Recruited away in 2011 to manage sales for a local start-up. Works in an office with exposed brick walls and wood beam ceilings. Struggles to manipulate the single-serve coffee machine.

Took the early retirement package. Manages several Steak-n-Shake franchises near the interstate with significant other.

Moved laterally in the organization. Claims no knowledge of having requested said SharePoint community. Requests no further communication on the matter.

Our beta-stage research indicated that the four choices offered in the second question cover 97% of use cases.

Once we complete the assessment phase, we move with unseemly haste to remediation. Remediation enjoys in its own way the many benefits of simplicity: we turn off the SharePoint site and see who complains.

The key to remediation—our “secret sauce”—is not to let this part of the process drag on for all eternity. Our experience tells us that 90 days of hibernation is sufficient.

Some of our more frugal clients question the per diem attached to this phase. In time, however, they come to see the wisdom of having a team of our most senior consultants on call 24/7, should members of the now-shuttered community inquire as to what happened. We happily report that we can scale fully to handle the call volume tied to this critical phase of the engagement.

The last step in the process is, as stated, resolution. After ninety (90) days have passed without protest from the defunct community, our most senior consultant boards a plane for a final, on site visit. Once there, our consultant performs the final, critical step: they unplug the server from the electrical outlet.

We pause here in our elaboration of the process to observe that many clients report feeling a new-found peace from the quiet gained from one less computer fan whirring at their facility.


May the time come when we can help you find this peace.

That’s it, friends. To say, with the prodigious benefits of hindsight, that the solution is simple would, of course, be a grave disservice to the creators of said decommissioning process. We console ourselves with the thought that inventors of other breakthrough process—the creators of the dry photography process or the rotary engine, for example—have endured similar slights.

We acknowledge, too, the enormity of the task ahead of us. SharePoint has proliferated with the ease of a family of bunnies living in a field of clover. Rest assured: we will not rest until all the unused, ungoverned, and otherwise desolate SharePoint sites of the world have been put to rest. Our resource planners tell us that, with our book of business serving as the yardstick, we will be chipping away diligently in this particular coal mine until 2107.

We look forward to hearing from you. We remain your most obedient servants. 

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