Identify users and analyze document usage (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

The first step to plan your document management solution is to identify users and analyze how documents are used. This article provides guidance to identify users and analyze document usage for your solution that is based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

In this article:

  • Identify users

  • Analyze document usage

  • Worksheets

Before reading this article, you should understand the document management planning process described in Document management overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

Identify users

To identify the stakeholders and participants in your document management solution, you can use a survey to collect this information. For example, your survey might contain the following questions:

  • Who in your organization creates documents?

  • What kinds of documents do they create?

  • What role does the user of the document have?

    • Who reviews documents?

    • Who edits documents?

    • Who uses documents?

    • Who approves the publication of documents?

    • Who designs Web sites used for hosting documents?

    • Who sets guidelines and policies for managing documents?

    • Who manages records in your organization?

    • Who deploys and maintains the servers on which documents are stored?

Identifying content stakeholders can help you ensure that your document management solution is comprehensive and that you design sites and document libraries that suit your enterprise's content needs and processes.

Analyze document usage

After you identify your content stakeholders, collect information from them that will help you analyze how documents are used in your organization. This is an important part of the planning process because the analysis helps you determine the following:

  • How document libraries should be structured.

  • Which site templates to use.

  • How many sites you will need.

  • Which information management policies to apply to the sites.

  • Which physical server topology you will need to implement your solution.

The information to collect includes:

  • Document type, such as equity research note, employee performance review, internal memo, or product specification.

  • The purpose of each document type, such as "provides customers with recommendations about equities along with supporting data."

  • The author of each document type (it is helpful to list the role of the author — such as "financial analyst or "product manager" — rather than individual names).

  • The users of each document type, such as "customers" or "team members."

  • The format of the document. If the document has to be converted from one format to another at any point in its life cycle, record that information.

  • Other roles that apply to the document's life cycle, such as "technical reviewer" or "copy editor."

  • Location of the document, such as "client computer," "Web server," or "file server." Note that this question could have multiple answers, for example when a document is authored on a client computer and then published to a Web server.

The following are examples of information that might be collected and recorded in the worksheet from two different organizations in an enterprise.

Type Purpose Author User Role Format Other Roles Location

Equity research note

Gives premium customers of a financial service guidance on whether to buy or sell one or more stocks

Financial analyst


DOCX (for authoring); PDF (for publishing)

Reviewer (technical); reviewer (legal); approver; copy editor; records manager; site administrator

  • Authoring site

  • Testing site

  • Records repository

Analysis   The separate authoring and publishing formats require a format conversion. The large number of reviewers requires one or more workflows (business processes implemented on the server). The three sites (authoring, testing, and records repository) require mechanisms for moving the content from one site to another. The need to manage the content in place or move the content to a corporate records repository and the regulatory implications of publishing equities advice require corporate policies and best practices, such as content auditing and retention.

Type Purpose Author User Role Format Other Roles Location

Employee performance review

Evaluates the performance of an employee — including self-evaluation and manager's evaluation

Information worker; manager

Managers; human resources specialists


Reviewer (human resources); reviewer (legal); approver (upper manager); records manager

  • Client computer

  • E-mail server (as attachment)

  • Corporate Web server

  • Corporate records repository

Analysis   Two authors and multiple reviewers require one or more workflows. The document is handled by many different people, then resides in a corporate Web server (presumably highly secured) and is managed in place or moved to a records repository. The sensitive nature of this content requires Information Rights Management (IRM) on the desktops and servers, in addition to corporate policies and best practices (such as auditing) that protect the employee's privacy and the enterprise's legal standing.


Use the following worksheets to record the information discussed in this article:

See Also

Other Resources

Resource Center: Enterprise Content Management in SharePoint Server 2010