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The Making of Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Content Management Implementers Course

I’m happy to report that the Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Implementer’s course is live. I wanted to take a moment and talk about the course that is 15 modules long – and designed so that you can consume it via the videos that are posted or as an instructor lead class. The work done on the course has spanned a year, has involved MVPs, Microsoft product and program managers, and a host of experts to design the course content and to provide feedback along the way.

A year or so ago, Paul Andrew, and I started talking about a ECM course that was 300 level. We created an engagement to build the course outline for the course which included several brainstorming and review sessions. During that scoping and design engagement we had meetings with SharePoint experts – including both MVPs and non-MVPs, product team members, and members of Microsoft Consulting Services. It wasn’t one meeting but a set of meetings starting with brainstorming and a set of meeetings to refine the outline. Once we got to an outline of topics we designed a set of instructional modules to support that outline.

The process we used leveraged the best things of what we had seen with the Microsoft Learning process, while recognizing that the course was designed to educate the market – not to drive to certify people for a technology. I sincerely believe the process for developing the outline lead us to a set of important activities for anyone implementing an ECM system.

Help Your SharePoint User

The writing was a separate engagement and as the lead author I was thrilled that the authoring team we put together for the course included four MVPs:

I also got some help from Kevin Dostalek for one of my modules. In addition, Spence Harbar was our technical editor. Spence is both a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Certified Master – not to mention one of the most knowledgable people on SharePoint on the planet.

The immense amount of talent I was able to draw from for writing the course was awe inspiring. I can’t tell you how big a deal it is for me to get such a talented team on the project. There are two challenges you have in assembling an authoring team – experience with the topic and experience with writing. The team is comprised of accomplished authors and communicators and with the editing team – including myself – I believe we ended up with some truly great content.

In short, I feel like we got the right topics in the course and we created the instructional content to make sure that the topics are covered well. I won’t tell you the course is perfect – no course ever is. However, I will tell you that there’s a great wealth of experience that’s been poured into creating the content.

As a point of clarification, the course is an implementers course – that means server administrator (or records manager) – it’s not a development focused course. In 2009 and 2010 I worked with the Patterns and Practices team on the SharePoint Guidance which is all for developers. There’s absolutely a developer story for ECM, however, there’s a ton of things that need to be done on the server administrator side of things – these feel like the more critical items for most ECM implementations.

I am absolutely commited to the quality of the course. If you’ve got feedback about the content you’re welcome to send it to me. If you’re looking for an instructor for the content for your organization, please let me know. I’ll be working with selected clients to teach the course in its 5 day instructor lead form.


  1. Congratulations on the course, Rob. Looks like an amazing amount of content, and I’m looking forward to learning a lot from the modules!

  2. Rob, i am currently taking this course and i am finding it very helpful. Could you offer any suggestions about how we could assign metadata to specfici site collections or sites. Currently the only metadata we have is the title and site admins. I’d like to be able to assign some additional metadata such as business unit, market sector, purpose, security level, etc but i don’t know how to do something like this. I assume that it will require custom code, but i’m not even sure if it is feaasible.
    TIA for any suggestions you may have.

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