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Announcing The SharePoint Shepherd’s Video Academy for Planning and Governance

I’ve been pretty transparent that I’ve been working on a video studio. What I’ve not been transparent about is why. For several months, I’ve been developing and refining a set of content around planning and governance. The intent is to deliver this content as a DVD or set of DVDs which will be sold to individuals who feel like they need more help with planning and governance but don’t have a huge budget to hire in an army of consultants to help them. I made this decision because I realized that most organizations are struggling to do their governance and planning in usable chunks. Today we have to be focused on what we can return to the business quickly.

Because of that I didn’t feel like doing an online class is the best answer. I felt like a DVD set would be the best way to get the content to everyone struggling with this issue while allowing folks to consume the content on their time and schedule. However, I didn’t want to make just another DVD with some monotone content delivered without any emotion or timbre. I wanted to produce a tool that would be nearly as value as me being there.

Help Your SharePoint User

In order to facilitate the use of the material, I’ve had a Silverlight player developed. That player has a set of key features including a hierarchy of content that you can select and automatically be positioned to the correct spot in the video. This helps you navigate so that you can get or review just the content that you want. It also provides links to other content that relates to the current topic both inside the video as well as external reference links like white papers, articles, and blog posts that relate to the current topic. The video itself is designed so that you see both the slide text and graphics as well as my “talking head” so that you can see the emotion on my face (and in my arm movements.)

So what’s in the DVDs? Well there are seven key modules: An Introduction and Orientation to Governance, Project Management, Operational Management, Infrastructure, Development and Configuration, Information Architecture, and Education and Training. How much content are we talking about? I have over 1,000 nodes in my outline (mind map) of the content. I have over 250 slides of content. I don’t have a specific amount of video that it will be — yet. I haven’t finished shooting and doing post production.

When will it be available? My intent was to be able to announce availability of the project today, I just ran into too many production issues. My current estimate is that it will be available in 30 days. (Around March 1) I’ve got completely produced models and I believe that all of the production issues have been identified and resolved. I’ve still got a ton of video to repack as well as the XML to stitch the outline to the video but those should be achievable in the next 30 days.

What will it cost and where will you be able to buy it? I’ll be offering the video academy for planning and governance on the SharePoint Shepherd web site. It will be offered for a price of $995. That’s the best value for this kind of content you’ll fine. While you can get training on these topics, you’ll not find any training (online or face-to-face) for less than $1,450.

Here’s what I need from you today. If you think that you are interested — and you believe you can scrounge up the budget — please email me. I need to know how many copies of the DVD I should make in the initial run and I also need a small number of beta testers who can commit to watching the video and making sure that the tree and video sync up correctly. As a way of saying thank you — I’ll give you 30 minutes of one-on-one time to talk through your specific planning and governance needs. (If I select you to beta test, I’ve got a much better deal for you.) That’s all if you contact me before the general availability of the product on the web site.