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Home > Education > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is governance?

Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that you establish in an enterprise to guide, direct, and control how the organization uses technologies to accomplish business goals. Effective governance anticipates the needs and goals of both your organization's IT teams and its business divisions. Governance also provides policies and guidelines that make the deployment of products and technologies such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 both manageable for IT and also effective as a business tool. Governance can help protect your enterprise from security threats or non-compliance liability. It can also help ensure the best return on your investment in technologies, such as by enforcing best practices in content management or information architecture.

Every organization has unique needs and goals that will affect its approach to governance. No single approach will fit the cultures or requirements of all organizations. For example, larger organizations will probably require more governance than smaller ones.

Because deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007 introduces new ways of sharing information, collaborating, and implementing business processes in your organization, there are unique considerations for governing Office SharePoint Server that you may not have previously encountered. The content in these governance articles is provided to both promote the need for governance of Office SharePoint Server deployments and to provide example of the types of Office SharePoint Server activities and processes that your organization should consider governing.

In this article:

What should be governed?

Office SharePoint Server helps organizations gain control over their content, develop insights about their content, streamline their business processes, access information, and share information. For an Office SharePoint Server deployment to succeed, these organizational needs should be met in a way that is consistent with the constraints and policies of the organization's IT department. Governance is the method by which your enterprise balances these requirements. To keep solutions based on Office SharePoint Server both effective and manageable your organization should consider governing one or more of the following areas:

  • Information architecture

    A key contributor to an enterprise's efficiency and effectiveness is how quickly and accurately its information workers can find and use content and data. Without properly designed and governed information architecture, an enterprise's effectiveness can be diminished. For example:

    • Inconsistent use of metadata can make it difficult to search for and compare related items of information.

    • Poorly designed and managed storage of content can cause a proliferation of duplicate versions of documents. As a result, users cannot identify the authoritative version.

    • Poorly cataloged and managed storage of data can cause decision-makers to use the wrong data.

    • Poorly designed portal navigation can make it difficult to find work-critical sites and information.

    • Poorly presented information can reduce the ability of some users to access the information.

    Governing your enterprise's information architecture is a key to the successful use of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and requires the participation of business managers, content managers, information workers, site designers, and IT professionals.

  • IT Service hosting SharePoint Server

    A common problem in an enterprise is the proliferation of individually managed Web servers running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007. Although it is inevitable that individual teams will drive the adoption of one or more SharePoint products and technologies, ungoverned adoption can cause problems. For example:

    • Each server can become an island of information, forming a patchwork of sites that lack a common search index, navigation, or security scheme.

    • Some servers may host applications that are insecure and that compromise the enterprise.

    • Poorly trained users may create requests for support on local servers that are unknown to the support team.

    • Critical activities like regulatory compliance may be administered inconsistently across servers.

    • Regular maintenance activities, such as backing up and restoring data and installing product updates, may not be done correctly because of poor training or because servers are not configured consistently.

    • Site owners may switch teams or leave the enterprise, making it unclear who owns content or causing sites to be locked.

    The early adoption of Office SharePoint Server 2007 will often occur inconsistently in your enterprise as individuals or small teams deploy and start using it. As the use of the product in your enterprise increases, we recommend that your IT department plans and implements a set of well-governed hosting services that makes Office SharePoint Server 2007 available in a controlled way. Establishing and governing a SharePoint service
    Establishing and governing a SharePoint service (SharePoint Server 2010)

  • Customization policy

    Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes customizable features and capabilities across multiple product areas, such as business intelligence, forms, workflow, and content management. However, customization introduces new risks to the stability, maintainability, and security of the Office SharePoint Server environment. To support customization in a controlled manner, develop a customization policy that addresses the following:

    • The customization tools that are allowed.

    • The method for handling source code, such as how it will be maintained in a source control system, how it should be documented, and so forth.

    • Development standards, such as coding best practices.

    • Testing and verification standards.

    • Required packaging and installing methods.

    • The types of customizations supported.

    For more information on processes for managing customizations, see the white paper SharePoint Products and Technologies customization policy(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=92311&clcid=0x409).

  • Branding

    If you are designing an information architecture and set of sites for use across the enterprise, consider including branding in your governance policies. By implementing a branding policy, you help ensure that sites consistently use enterprise imagery, fonts, themes, and other design elements.

  • Training

    Consider a training plan in your governance plans. Although Office SharePoint Server has an intuitive, Web-based interface and includes online help, using and especially administering sites based on Office SharePoint Server can be a challenge to some users. This can be further complicated by the set of capabilities available to various users based on their permissions levels. Additionally, the set of governance policies your IT and business divisions implement may require explanation. By properly training your user community, you can increase satisfaction with your SharePoint implementation and reduce support costs.

Who should determine governance policies?

A successful deployment of Office SharePoint Server must provide the functionality that the enterprise's business divisions require in a way that is manageable and sustainable by the enterprise's IT organization. It therefore requires an ongoing dialog and partnership between IT professionals, business managers, and information workers in the enterprise. To achieve this, effective governance of a deployment of Office SharePoint Server requires the participation of all of these stakeholders in a governance body.

Consider including the following roles when you create the body that will govern your enterprise's Office SharePoint Server services and information architecture:

  • Executive stakeholders Key executives should define the overall goals of the governance body, provide it with authority, and periodically evaluate the success of the implemented practices and policies.

  • Financial stakeholders The governance rules and processes should help increase the return on the enterprise’s investment in SharePoint products and technologies. To ensure this, financial officers should participate in the governance body.

  • IT leaders IT leaders must help develop their service offerings and determine how to achieve their IT responsibilities (such as providing security and maintaining reliability) while providing the features required by the business teams.

  • Business division leaders Business leaders represent the teams that do the primary work of the enterprise and drive the architectural and functional requirements of the Office SharePoint Server deployment. They should help determine the enterprise's information architecture and organizational taxonomy standards and work with the IT leaders to achieve service level agreements and other support policies.

  • Compliance officers Governance includes ensuring that an enterprise meets its regulatory and legal requirements and manages its corporate knowledge. If your enterprise has roles that are responsible for compliance or legal oversight, include representatives from those disciplines in your governance body.

  • Development leaders Leaders in your software development organization should help determine what customization tools should be allowed, how to verify code security, and other code-related best practices.

  • Information workers The members of your organization that do its day to day work should help ensure that the Office SharePoint Server services and information architecture meet their needs.

How should governance be implemented?

Every enterprise is unique and should determine the best way to implement its own governance plan. The following are suggested stages of a governance implementation for your enterprise to consider:

  • Determine initial principles and goals The governance body should initially develop a governance vision, policies, and standards that can be measured to track compliance and to quantify the benefit to the enterprise. For example, at this stage, the initial corporate metadata taxonomy could be determined along with the initial IT service offerings. The initial principles, goals, and standards should be published and publicized.

  • Develop an education strategy The governance policies that you determine must be publicized to your enterprise, and you should have ongoing education and training plans. Note that this includes training in the use of Office SharePoint Server and training in the governance standards and practices. For example, your IT department could maintain a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on its Web site to respond to questions about its Office SharePoint Server service offerings. Your business division could provide online training that describes the implementation and use of the document management system in the enterprise.

  • Develop an ongoing plan Because successful governance should be ongoing, the governance body should meet regularly. Ongoing activities include incorporating new requirements in the governance plan or reevaluating and adjusting governing principles or standards. Conflicts may need to be resolved as competing needs arise, such as between your IT department and one or more business divisions. Your governance body should report regularly to its executive sponsors to promote accountability and to help enforce compliance across the enterprise. Keep in mind that, although this sounds laborious, the goal is to increase the return on your investment in Office SharePoint Server, maximize the usefulness of your Office SharePoint Server solution, and increase the productivity of your enterprise.

2) What Is Anarchy?

I have mixed feelings about the use of labels to describe philosophical views, whether of myself or others. It is difficult to avoid doing so because our efforts to understand and communicate about the world necessarily involve the use of words and words are, as Alfred Korzybski warned us, abstractions that never equate with what they are meant to describe. His oft-quoted statement that "the map is not the territory" offers a caveat whose implications for confusion are further compounded when addressing such abstract topics as political philosophy.

One philosophical abstraction that seems to befuddle most people is "anarchy." To those challenged by complexity — such as radio talk show hosts and cable-TV "newscasters" who are convinced that all political opinions can be confined to the categories of "liberal" and "conservative" — the word anarchy evokes an unfocused fear of uncertain forces. Images of bomb-throwing thugs who smash and burn the property of others are routinely conjured up by politicians and the media to frighten people into an extension of police authority over their lives. "Disorder" and "lawless confusion" are common dictionary definitions of this word.

That there have been some, calling themselves "anarchists," who have engaged in violence on behalf of their political ambitions, is not to be denied. Nor can we overlook the provocateuring occasionally engaged in by undercover policemen — operating under the guise of "anarchists" — to justify harsh reprisals against political protests. But to condemn a philosophic viewpoint because a few wish to corrupt its meaning for their narrow advantage is no more justifiable than condemning Christianity because a man murders his family and defends his acts on the grounds "God told me to do it!"

As long as a president continues to rationalize war against the Iraqi people as "operation freedom"; as long as the Strategic Air Command insists that "peace is our profession"; and as long as police departments advertise that they are there "to serve and protect," intelligent minds must be prepared to look behind the superficiality and imagery of words to discover their deeper meaning. Such is the case with the word "anarchy."

The late Robert LeFevre made one such effort to transcend the popular meaning of the word when he declared that "an anarchist is anyone who believes in less government than you do." But an even better understanding of the concept can be derived from the Greek origins of the word (anarkhos) which meant "without a ruler." It is this definition of the word that members of the political power structure (i.e., your "rulers") do not want you to consider. Far better that you fear the hidden monsters and hobgoblins who are just waiting to bring terror and havoc to your lives should efforts to increase police powers or budgets fail.

Are there murderers, kidnappers, rapists, and arsonists in our world? Of course there are, and there will always be, and they do not all work for the state. It is amazing that, with all the powers and money conferred upon the state to "protect" us from such threats, they continue to occur with a regularity that seems to have increased with the size of government! Even the current "mad cow disease" scare is being used, by the statists, as a reason for more government regulation, an effort that conveniently ignores the fact that the federal government has been closely regulating meat production for many decades.

Nor can we ignore the history of the state in visiting upon humanity the very death and destruction that its defenders insist upon as a rationale for political power. Those who condemn anarchy should engage in some quantitative analysis. In the twentieth century alone, governments managed to kill — through wars, genocides, and other deadly practices — some 200,000,000 men, women, and children. How many people were killed by anarchists during this period? Governments, not anarchists, have been the deadly "bomb-throwers" of human history!

Because of the disingenuous manner in which this word has been employed, I endeavor to be as precise in my use of the term as possible. I employ the word "anarchy" not as a noun, but as a verb. I envision no utopian community, no "Galt's Gulch" to which free men and women can repair. I prefer to think of anarchy as a way in which people deal with one another in a peaceful, cooperative manner; respectful of the inviolability of each other's lives and property interests; resorting to contract and voluntary transactions rather than coercion and expropriation as a way of functioning in society.

I am often asked if anarchy has ever existed in our world, to which I answer: almost all of your daily behavior is an anarchistic expression. How you deal with your neighbors, coworkers, fellow customers in shopping malls or grocery stores, is often determined by subtle processes of negotiation and cooperation. Social pressures, unrelated to statutory enactments, influence our behavior on crowded freeways or grocery checkout lines. If we dealt with our colleagues at work in the same coercive and threatening manner by which the state insists on dealing with us, our employment would be immediately terminated. We would soon be without friends were we to demand that they adhere to specific behavioral standards that we had mandated for their lives.

Should you come over to our home for a visit, you will not be taxed, searched, required to show a passport or driver's license, fined, jailed, threatened, handcuffed, or prohibited from leaving. I suspect that your relationships with your friends are conducted on the same basis of mutual respect. In short, virtually all of our dealings with friends and strangers alike are grounded in practices that are peaceful, voluntary, and devoid of coercion.

A very interesting study of the orderly nature of anarchy is found in John Phillip Reid's book, Law for the Elephant. Reid studied numerous diaries and letters written by persons crossing the overland trail in wagon trains going from St. Joseph, Missouri to Oregon and California. The institutions we have been conditioned to equate with "law and order" (e.g., police, prisons, judges, etc.) were absent along the frontier, and Reid was interested in discovering how people behaved toward one another in such circumstances. He discovered that most people respected property and contract rights, and settled whatever differences they had in a peaceful manner, all of this in spite of the fact that there were no "authorities" to call in to enforce a decision. Such traits went so far as to include respect for the property claims of Indians. The values and integrities that individuals brought with them were sufficient to keep the wagon trains as peaceful communities.

Having spent many years driving on California freeways, I have observed an informal order amongst motorists who are complete strangers to one another. There is a general — albeit not universal — courtesy exhibited when one driver wishes to make a lane change and, in spite of noncooperative drivers, a spontaneous order arises from this interplay. A major reason for the cooperative order lies in the fact that a driving mistake can result in serious injury or death, and that such consequences will be felt at once, and by the actor, unlike political decision-making that shifts the costs to others.

One may answer that freeway driving is regulated by the state, and that driving habits are not indicative of anarchistic behavior. The same response can be made concerning our behavior generally (i.e., that government laws dictate our conduct in all settings). But this misconceives the causal connections at work. The supervision of our moment-to-moment activities by the state is too remote to affect our actions. We are polite to fellow shoppers or our neighbor for reasons that have nothing to do with legal prescripts. What makes our dealings with others peaceful and respectful comes from within ourselves, not from beyond. For precisely the same reason, a society can be utterly destroyed by the corruption of such subjective influences, and no blizzard of legislative enactments or quadrupling of police forces will be able to avert the entropic outcome. Do you now understand the social meaning of the "Humpty-Dumpty" nursery rhyme?

The study of complexity, or chaos, informs us of patterns of regularity that lie hidden in our world, but which spontaneously manifest themselves to generate the order that we like to pretend authorities have created for us. There is much to discover about the interplay of unseen forces that work, without conscious direction, to make our lives more productive and peaceful than even the best-intended autocrat can accomplish. As the disruptive histories of state planning and regulation reveal, efforts to impose order by fiat often produce disorder, a phenomenon whose explanation is to be found in the dynamical nature of complexity. In the words of Terry Pratchett: "Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized."

"Anarchy" is an expression of social behavior that reflects the individualized nature of life. Only as living beings are free to pursue their particular interests in the unique circumstances in which they find themselves, can conditions for the well-being of all be attained. Anarchy presumes decentralized and cooperative systems that serve the mutual interests of the individuals comprising them, without the systems ever becoming their own reasons for being. It is this thinking, and the practices that result therefrom, that is alone responsible for whatever peace and order exists in society.

Political thinking, by contrast, presumes the supremacy of the systems (i.e., the state) and reduces individuals to the status of resources for the accomplishment of their ends. Such systems are grounded in the mass-minded conditioning and behavior that has produced the deadly wars, economic dislocations, genocides, and police-state oppressions that comprise the essence of political history.

Men and women need nothing so much right now as to rediscover and reenergize their own souls. They will never be able to accomplish such purposes in the dehumanizing and dispirited state systems that insist upon controlling their lives and property. In the sentiments underlying anarchistic thinking, men and women may be able to find the individualized sense of being and self-direction that they long ago abandoned in marbled halls and citadels.

3) What is Globalization?

Globalization is a difficult term to define because it has come to mean so many things. In general, globalization refers to the trend toward countries joining together economically, through education, society and politics, and viewing themselves not only through their national identity but also as part of the world as a whole. Globalization is said to bring people of all nations closer together, especially through a common medium like the economy or the Internet.

In our world, there are few places a person can’t get to within a day of travel, and few people a person can’t reach via telephone or Internet. Because of modern modes of travel and communication, citizens of a nation are more conscious of the world at large and may be influenced by other cultures in a variety of ways. Time and space matter less, and even language barriers are being overcome as people all over the world communicate through trade, social Internet forums, various media sources, and a variety of other ways.

Arguments for globalization include the following:


  • It is reducing poverty worldwide.
  • It is allowing access to technology in developing countries.
  • It promotes world peace.
  • It has benefited women and children’s rights.
  • It raises life expectancy.


Arguments against globalization are likely to come from people or nations who wish to resist trends in the global society. For instance, a Fundamentalist Islamic country may resistglobalization because they see it as equivalent to westernization—weakening the religious strength of a country and exposing its people to corrupting ideas. Similarly, globalization may be feared or a matter of a concern to any country with strong isolationist policies. In the US, much of the arguments for resisting globalization come from conservative groups.

Some people worry about how certain trends, such as outsourcing, might affect the nation. Concern exists that while outsourcing might benefit a nation which gets jobs, this takes jobs from the country or company that outsources. In this way, though the economy of the world is more globalized, the economy of an individual nation might suffer.

Even though globalization may be a subject of argument, it’s highly unlikely to end any time soon. It would take mass destruction of all modern methods of communication and transport, in addition to all countries taking strong isolationist policies in order to reverse theglobalization trends in the world. This doesn’t mean that some nations or people won’t resist what they view as globalization, but you could compare this trend to a runaway train. At this point, there is little to do to stop the communication of minds all over the world through vehicles like the Internet. Even teens and kids are communicating with children from “the four corners” of the globe. It’s therefore unlikely that globalization will experience a downward trend, and will likely continue to influence our world in myriad ways.

4) What is Revolution?

A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution:

  1. Complete change from one constitution to another
  2. Modification of an existing constitution.[1]

Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivatingideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.

Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution center around several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analyzed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociologyand political science. Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to the current understanding of this complex phenomenon.




A Watt steam engine in Madrid. The development of the steam enginepropelled the Industrial Revolution inBritain and the world. The steam engine was created to pump water from coal mines, enabling them to be deepened beyond groundwater levels.

There are many different typologies of revolutions in social science and literature. For example, classical scholar Alexis de Tocqueville differentiated[2] between 1) political revolutions 2) sudden and violent revolutions that seek not only to establish a new political system but to transform an entire society and 3) slow but sweeping transformations of the entire society that take several generations to bring about (ex. religion). One of several different Marxist typologies divides revolutions into pre-capitalist, early bourgeois, bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic, early proletarian, and socialist revolutions.[3]

Charles Tilly, a modern scholar of revolutions, differentiated[4] between a coup, a top-down seizure of power, acivil war, a revolt and a "great revolution" (revolutions that transform economic and social structures as well as political institutions, such as the French Revolution of 1789, Russian Revolution of 1917, or Islamic Revolution of Iran).[5]

Other types of revolution, created for other typologies, include the social revolutions; proletarian or communist revolutions (inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism); failed or abortive revolutions (revolutions that fail to secure power after temporary victories or large-scale mobilization); or violent vs. nonviolent revolutions.

The term revolution has also been used to denote great changes outside the political sphere. Such revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed in society, culture, philosophy and technology much more than political systems; they are often known associal revolutions.[6] Some can be global, while others are limited to single countries. One of the classic examples of the usage of the word revolution in such context is the industrial revolution (note that such revolutions also fit the "slow revolution" definition of Tocqueville).[7]

Political and socioeconomic revolutions

Perhaps most often, the word "revolution" is employed to denote a change in socio-political institutions.[8][9][10] Jeff Goodwin gives two definitions of a revolution. A broad one, where revolution is

any and all instances in which a state or a political regime is overthrown and thereby transformed by a popular movement in an irregular, extraconstitutional and/or violent fashion

and a narrow one, in which

revolutions entail not only mass mobilization and regime change, but also more or less rapid and fundamental social, economic and/or cultural change, during or soon after the struggle for state power.[11]

Jack Goldstone defines them as

an effort to transform the political institutions and the justifications for political authority in society, accompanied by formal or informal mass mobilization and noninstitutionalized actions that undermine authorities.[12]
The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789 during the French Revolution.
Sun Yat-sen, leader of the Chinese Xinhai Revolution in 1911.

Political and socioeconomic revolutions have been studied in many social sciences, particularly sociology, political sciences and history. Among the leading scholars in that area have been or are Crane Brinton, Charles Brockett, Farideh Farhi, John Foran, John Mason Hart, Samuel Huntington, Jack Goldstone, Jeff Goodwin, Ted Roberts Gurr, Fred Halliday, Chalmers Johnson, Tim McDaniel, Barrington Moore, Jeffery Paige, Vilfredo Pareto, Terence Ranger, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy,Theda Skocpol, James Scott, Eric Selbin, Charles Tilly, Ellen Kay Trimberger, Carlos Vistas, John Walton, Timothy Wickham-Crowley andEric Wolf.[13]

Scholars of revolutions, like Jack Goldstone, differentiate four current 'generations' of scholarly research dealing with revolutions.[12] The scholars of the first generation such as Gustave Le Bon, Charles A. Ellwood or Pitirim Sorokin, were mainly descriptive in their approach, and their explanations of the phenomena of revolutions was usually related to social psychology, such as Le Bon's crowd psychology theory.