In this post, I want to tell you about a unexpected,but interesting journey I have made.
Recently I was asked to help “trim” a SharePoint site that had become overly complex. The site was going to be migrated to a different domain, and the goal was to tidy up the site.
On first glances the site look harmless.
But once I started delving deeper, I could see that it was a jungle of sub-sites, interlinked in a strange M.C. Escher way.
To really get to understand how everything was connected, I decided to map it all out.
Using MindManager (it could have been any mind mapping tool – or even pen and paper), I started with the top site.
The beginning was easy, the path was clear. Things were
L O G I C A L.
Then as I got deeper, things started getting more complex. And, now and then, there were tricky little bits where I would follow a path and suddenly find myself in a totally different area, feeling disoriented. Fortunately with the use of a good compass and a ball of string I had been unravelling as I went along, I was able to find my way back.
I made notes, I took photos, and I saw some amazing things. (Unfortunately, my camera was damaged when I tripped over some metadata in one of the fields, so you’ll just have to take my word for it). Slowly, over several days, I was able to map out the site (and sub-sites, and sub-sub sites).
The map was big, with lots of colorful lines showing relationships between the various parts, as well as highlights and comments. When you looked at it at its original size, it looked like some strange alien exoskeleton. It was not until you increased resolution that you got to see the fine workmanship.
My “client” was impressed with what I had done. The didn’t have MindManager installed, and when I tried to create a flash, or PDF version of said map, MindManager bailed on me. Thank goodness for the MindManager Viewer. At the time of writing, this had not been installed. I’ll know when it has been…I’ll hear lots of “Oohs” and “aahs” and other sounds one makes when one is impressed with something.
Note – artist’s rendition
Site Mapping Tools
Now, it may be that there are tools, or applications, out there that will achieve what I did, automatically.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
- SharePoint Sites, Growing Like Weeds, Need Governance (pcworld.com)
- AIIM White Paper on SharePoint Deployment (arnoldit.com)
- SharePoint: On Premises and in the Cloud (arnoldit.com)