SharePoint Governance Best Practices: Training and Implementation

Posted by Dan St. Hilaire  /  June 7, 2024  /  Microsoft 365, SharePoint   —   No Comments ↓

SharePoint Governance Best Practices - Training and Implementation

As organizations continue to embrace Microsoft 365 and SharePoint for their business needs, ensuring that their environments are well-governed becomes increasingly crucial. In this blog post, we will examine the best practices for SharePoint governance training and implementation, with a focus on training services that can help your organization get the most out of its Microsoft 365 investment.

While I am not a fan of letting governance slow down the deployment of Microsoft 365 because the collaboration features of the toolkit are so impactful for positive productivity, we are having more and more companies reach out to KnowledgeWave asking for help to “fix” their ungoverned sprawl of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Sites. Self-service is great when it’s governed with a guardrail approach, where you give users the ability to move forward, in a governed way. I’ll also share some tips for planning your governance. After all, you need governance defined before you can train your employees.  

The Importance of SharePoint Governance 

SharePoint governance refers to the set of policies, procedures, and guidelines that organizations establish to manage their SharePoint (and Teams) environment effectively. It encompasses everything from site and Teams creation and management to permissions and access control, to content management and compliance. 

A well-governed SharePoint environment ensures that your organization can: 

  • Maintain a consistent and efficient user experience 
  • Protect sensitive data and comply with regulatory requirements 
  • Mitigate the risk of data breaches and other security incidents 
  • Optimize the use of resources and reduce IT support costs 

Given the critical importance of SharePoint governance, organizations must invest in proper training and implementation to ensure the best possible outcomes. However, before the training, you should define your plan. In some cases, our clients have let governance planning halt a project, here are some tips to speed your governance planning.  (Or Jump to Training Best Practices) 

  • Develop a governance vision. This is not the IT department's job. It’s their job to implement and enforce governance policies. Develop a governance vision with your committee, IT can be on the committee but does not drive it. With your committee determine how SharePoint and Teams should be used and managed within your organization. 
  • Identify roles and responsibilities. There are various stakeholders, such as IT, HR, legal, and business users as well as considerations. Use this plan provided by ShareGate as a template.  




Governance Committee 

-Assign SharePoint roles and responsibilities   
-Evaluates objectives  
-Defines rules and processes 


SharePoint administrator 

– Creates and deletes sites  
– Manages site collections and global SharePoint settings 


User administrator 

– Adds users and groups  
– Assigns licenses  
– Manages most user properties  
– Creates and manages user views  
– Updates password expiration policies  
– Manages service requests  
– Monitors service health 


Helpdesk administrator 

– Resets passwords for all non-admins and some admin roles  
– Manages service requests  
– Monitors service health 


Message Center reader 

– Monitors and shares messages in the Message Center  
– Has read-only access to Azure AD services, such as users and groups 


Site owner 

Creates and manages subsites, lists and libraries, and security 


Business user 

Consumes and contributes across M365 



Creates training plans and implements all appropriate training 



When you have your committee formed, and your roles defined, you should review the following areas and define policy for each.  

Creating and Managing Microsoft 365 Groups: By default, any member of your organization can create Microsoft 365 groups, granting access to various collaboration tools and impacting their functionalities. To ensure effective governance, it's important to implement strategies for restricting and managing self-service group creation. Educating users about key Microsoft 365 concepts, establishing naming conventions, and implementing group expiration policies in Azure AD are some effective approaches to achieve this. You’ll later train your users on these policies.  

Site Templates and Settings: When developing a SharePoint governance plan, it is imperative to establish clear definitions for the types of sites, site pages, and subsites that can be requested or self-provisioned, as well as their respective characteristics. This involves specifying their intended purpose, features, and policies. To ensure consistency, many of our clients utilize templates when creating new Project Sites. These templates guarantee adherence to standardized formats. Templated sites can include mandatory subpages, secondary document libraries, and, in certain cases, initial documents based on a starting template, such as a project charter. More on Templates 

Retention Policies: If your organization places a high emphasis on security and compliance, retention policies can be a valuable tool. These policies address specific compliance requirements by preserving or deleting data based on predefined expiration timelines. Once a retention policy is applied to a SharePoint site, it will be enforced on all documents, even those created prior to the policy's implementation. This can be important for many of our clients that have to follow specific compliance requirements.  

Sensitivity Labels: Sensitivity labels provided by the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solution enable the classification and protection of your organization's data while ensuring user productivity and collaboration remain unhindered. By leveraging sensitivity labels in Microsoft 365, you can classify data across your organization and enforce appropriate protection settings based on the assigned classification. Like retention policies, this often is an industry compliance requirement.

Monitor and audit your SharePoint environment
: Regularly monitor and audit your SharePoint environment to identify any potential risks or issues. This will help you stay proactive in addressing any governance-related challenges, ensuring the ongoing health and security of your environment. You can do some of this in Microsoft 365, and there are third-party tools such as ShareGate.  

Do you need help with your plan, KnowledgeWave can help with our governance workshop. 

Best Practices for SharePoint Governance Training 

Now that you’ve defined at least the fundamentals of governance listed above it’s time to build a foundation in SharePoint governance for your users. You will need to train them and have a strong communication plan in place. Consider the following best practices for training your users: 

Invest in training: Ensure that your organization has access to in-depth training that covers all aspects of your SharePoint and Teams governance, including site and content management, permissions and access control, and compliance and security. This policy should be documented and made available to all users, probably on SharePoint.  

Tailor training to your organization's needs: Make sure that the training materials and training sessions are customized to your organization's specific requirements and use cases. This will make the learning experience more relevant and engaging, and ultimately more effective. Your policies are likely unique, so customized delivery is important.  

Provide ongoing support and resources: SharePoint and Teams governance is not a one-time activity but an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and improvement. Ensure that your organization has access to ongoing support and resources, such as webinars and best practice guides, to stay up to date on the latest developments in SharePoint Teams governance at your organization. Even if things don’t change regularly, reviewing policy is a good idea. Many of our clients host annual governance and compliance training in a webinar format where they can log attendance and even poll users to acknowledge they understand and accept the policy. Someone who misses a session can capture the recording. These webinar recordings and any other recordings that our clients have can be stored on the KnowledgeWave Learning Site (KLS).

Adopt a blended learning approach: Effective SharePoint governance training often requires a combination of different learning modalities to cater to diverse learning styles and preferences. Consider incorporating a blend of instructor-led training, self-paced e-learning courses, video tutorials, hands-on workshops, and job aids or quick reference guides. This multi-faceted approach ensures that learners can reinforce their knowledge through various channels, increasing retention and application of governance best practices.

Leverage real-world scenarios: To enhance the relevance and applicability of your SharePoint governance training, incorporate real-world scenarios and use cases that align with your organization's operations and challenges. This approach helps learners better understand the practical implications of governance policies and how to apply them in their day-to-day work.

Foster a culture of continuous improvement: Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement within your organization. Regularly solicit feedback from users, monitor adoption and compliance metrics, and use these insights to refine your governance policies and training programs. This iterative approach ensures that your governance efforts remain aligned with evolving business needs and technological advancements.

Investing in SharePoint governance planning and training is essential for organizations looking to maximize the benefits of their Microsoft 365 investment. Following the best practices outlined in this blog post, your organization can build a strong foundation in SharePoint governance and create an environment that is secure, efficient, and compliant.

Read more about SharePoint Training:

Leverage KnowledgeWave's Expertise for Seamless SharePoint Governance

At KnowledgeWave, we understand the complexities involved in implementing and maintaining effective SharePoint governance. As a Microsoft Certified Partner and a leader in business software training, we offer comprehensive services to help organizations establish robust governance frameworks and empower their teams with the necessary knowledge and skills.

Our team of experts can assist you in:

  • Conducting Governance Workshops: We facilitate interactive workshops to help you define your governance vision, identify stakeholders, and establish clear policies and procedures tailored to your organization's unique needs.
  • Developing Customized Training Programs: Our instructional designers collaborate with you to create customized training programs that align with your governance policies, organizational culture, and learning objectives.
  • Delivering Blended Learning Experiences: We provide a range of learning modalities, including instructor-led training, self-paced e-learning courses, hands-on workshops, and on-demand resources, to cater to diverse learning preferences.
  • Ongoing Consulting and Support: Our experts are available to provide ongoing consulting, support, and guidance as you navigate the evolving landscape of SharePoint governance, ensuring your policies and training remain up-to-date and effective.

By partnering with KnowledgeWave, you gain access to a wealth of expertise and resources, empowering your organization to unlock the full potential of SharePoint while maintaining a secure, compliant, and well-governed environment.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, SharePoint