An anonymous visitor asked “Did Microsoft release a project plan for SP2010 ? If so could you direct me to where I can download?”.


for can be difficult and find the right documentation to help you can even be harder to find. With , Microsoft has been pretty good about producing documentation. You will not find one document that explains start to finish how to go about your project. How to implemented is different for every company and its needs. The following are five general stages that every company should go through to properly plan and execute their SharePoint environment:

  1. : This stage involves installing a version of SharePoint 2010 to use and explore. You want to make sure that SharePoint is the right fit for your company and understand how it can be applied to help meet your strategy goals.
  2. Planning and Architecture: This stage involves creating the blueprints of how your SharePoint 2010 environment will be built, configured, and maintained. Planning and architecture is often over looked or simplified because companies have immediately needs they want to satisfy. I cannot express how important it is to properly plan your SharePoint environment. If you do not spend the time up front you will surely spend more time and money in the end when your environment crashes, has very poor performance, or has become too unwieldy to maintain.
  3. Configuration and Development: This stage involves building your SharePoint environment based on the documents produced from the planning and architecture stage. You want to have a good idea of the best practices you should follow while developing customizations to ensure long term scalability and maintenance. You should always have a development, staging, and production environment. Everything that is built by developers should be thoroughly tested in the staging environment before being deployed to the production environment.
  4. Deployment: This stage involves preparing and moving your code and configurations to your production environment. This can involve deployment of code, training of users, and content migration.
  5. Support and Maintenance: This stage involves administration of the infrastructure. You will want a back up and disaster discovery plan in place. Additionally you will want to schedules monthly outages to apply major code customization, software updates, and performance enhancements.

In case you have not evaluated SharePoint 2010 you should know that you can download a trail version of the software from the TechNet evaluation center that is good for 180 days. If you are thinking about running a virtualized environment you can download a demo Hyper-V image from the Microsoft Download Center that can be also used for 180 days and includes Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Office Web Applications, Microsoft FAST Search for SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Project Server 2010, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2. Please visit the for more information on SharePoint 2010 Editions, Hardware Requirements for SharePoint 2010, and Software Requirements for SharePoint 2010.

As for your question it sounds like you would like to begin stage 2. You should begin by downloading the Planning guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or the Planning guide for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 from the Microsoft Download Center. These documents provide a lot of useful information and guidelines on how to lead a team through the planning stage of a SharePoint 2010 deployment. Microsoft’s TechNet website also has a whole section devoted to planning and architecture at The TechNet website includes planning worksheets and technical diagrams that you will find handy. The Microsoft Download Center also has guides, worksheets, and white papers on SharePoint 2010 that provide a lot of useful information. Additionally, at I have a section in my right side of the screen with links completely devoted to resources for SharePoint 2010 planning that you may find interesting.

You should definitely do your own research, however I would also recommend talking to a SharePoint consulting firm in your area. SharePoint is a big product and good consultants can help you avoid common pit fall that they have learned the hard way through experience. To find a SharePoint consulting firm in your area please visit the SharePoint partner finder.

Thank you for asking your question and I hope my response has helped you. I plan to talk more about this particular topic in greater detail in future posts. Please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have. Good luck!



About Author

Christine Weaver has been the technical lead on projects designing, developing, deploying, supporting, and delivering solutions for SharePoint since 2003. Christine’s knowledge and experience leans heavily on her 10+ years as a software consultant and from being a Microsoft certified professional. Christine has been a regular presenter at TechDays Canada and runs the Halifax SharePoint User Group.


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