Post by: Heather Macintosh
Posted on: 7/29/2015 8:56:00 PM
With the release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft introduced a new site template called the Product Catalog. This template uses the Cross-Site Collection Publishing Feature to allow for content to be created in one site collection and consumed by other site collections. There are numerous blogs that detail how to set up the Product Catalog and how to connect to the Product Catalog from other site collections.I was recently playing around with these and discovered there are a couple of quirks to be aware of when configuring both the Product Catalog and the connection to the Product Catalog.Setting up the Product Hierarchy Term SetOne of the steps in setting up the Product Catalog is to set up the Product Hierarchy Term Set. In the ever-popular Electronics catalog, the Product Hierarchy tends to look like thisElectronicsAudioCamerasSLRDigital CamerasComputersLaptopMonitorsSetting up the Term Store then looks like this The nice thing about the Product Catalog though, is that it doesn't need to be restricted to a catalog of items. It can be used anywhere that you want to separate content creation and content consumption. You can enable any list or library to be a catalog. Let's suppose we wanted to create an Announcements list as a Product Catalog and then connect to this list from a Publishing Site to display the announcements. And let's suppose that we don't have categories for our Announcements, so there is no hierarchy. Our "Product Hierarchy" might look like thisAnnouncement TitlesThis weekend is a Long WeekendBoard of Directors meeting has been scheduledWe're moving to the Cloud!Which would result in a Term Set looking like thisWhen we hook up the Publishing Site to the Product Catalog, take a look at the "Navigation Hierarchy" section. I can't select a "Root Term" because the Root is "Announcement Title" The ProblemWith this set-up, everything appears to be working great, our Announcements are displaying on our Publishing Site. But wait and see what happens when we add a new Announcement to our Product Catalog. It doesn't show up in the Publishing Site, nor does the Announcement Title get pinned to our Navigation Term Set. Even if we Re-index the Product Catalog and run a Full Crawl. The FixLet's go back and reconfigure our Announcement Title term set to include a root term Re-connecting to the Product CatalogNow let's reconnect the Product Catalog to our Publishing site. This time we can select the Root term of the hierarchy and we will also include the root term in the site navigation Once we have everything connected we can and add new Announcements to the Product Catalog and they will show up in our Publishing Site.SummaryIn order for your Product Catalog to work properly, the following conditions must be metThe Managed Metadata Term Set that you are using as your Product Hierarchy must have a Root Term.When you are connecting your publishing site to your Product Catalog you need to check the "Include root term in site navigation" checkbox.Post by: Zeshan Randhawa
Posted on: 7/21/2015 9:42:00 PM
Categories: Business;Office 365;SharePoint
Description: A couple of years ago at a conference, I came across the concept of gamestorming. Gamestorming encompasses a facilitator leading a group of people through a game to gain some kind of insight.
One of the major elements of my job is getting information out of people, whether it be understanding what an organization's goals are for their SharePoint environment or gathering functional requirements. Getting information out of people isn't always an easy task. I've run into people not wanting to share information because there were colleagues in the room and they didn't want to step on any toes. And then I've run into some that simply don't know what they don't know. A couple of years ago at a conference, I came across the concept of gamestorming. Gamestorming encompasses a facilitator leading a group of people through a game to gain some kind of insight. The games and rules can be found through some great resources such as www.gamestorming.com and the book Gamestorming A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, just to mention a few. Different games help in different kinds of tasks such as goals discovery, UX design and decision making. Choosing which game to use for your specific scenario can be a daunting task as well. There is no way to tell which game will work best for you and the wide variety of personalities/people that will be in the room with you to play. For your first, I suggest choosing a game that seems relatively simple and one that you feel the most comfortable in facilitating. The key is COMFORT, the people in the session with you will sense how comfortable you are with what you're doing and if they get the slightest hint that you aren't, you risk losing them. As a facilitator you need to do the following Be Prepared!Many of the games require some artifacts to be prepared ahead of time including things such as game boards, posters, and additional supplies. Ensure you know the flow of the game well, again you don't want to be second guessing what the steps are or how to play in front of your group. Know When to Listen and When to SpeakYour job as a facilitator is to ensure that everyone knows what they're doing and that you listen in on what the issues, goals, and ideas are. The group isn't there to learn from you, rather it is you that is trying to understand and gain a deeper insight into their world, which means you need to listen more than talk! Control the RoomYou need to listen however you have to make sure you know when to push the group along if they're getting stuck on a particular detail or topic, which may overtake the whole session. Ensure that everyone knows that you are going to be leading the session and ultimately guiding everyone to ensure that this is a successful gamestorming session. I recently ran a gamestorming session in which I needed to get an insight into an organization's ultimate direction and goals for their current SharePoint environment. I knew going in that there were going to be some stakeholders that were unhappy with the current SharePoint implementation. I chose the game called Cover Story. There are some variations of this game but essentially, you break the group up into teams and each team must imagine that it has been a year since their new SharePoint portal has been running and it has been so successful that a magazine is going to be doing a cover story on it. The team members must work together to establish the magazine cover story, sidebars and headlines. With a group of 10, the teams worked together on the cover story brainstorming and then we came together and reviewed everyone's work. Everyone in the room was able to get a sense of what others wanted and naturally some common goals began to emerge. See below for an example of one of the cover stories. Now, it's always a bit nerve-racking going into a meeting with group of executives or high level stakeholders and telling them that today we will be playing a game. And most definitely some will question its efficacy, but in my experience, as soon as they start working together on a task, people start to quickly see how something like gamestorming naturally brings answers to questions you never thought of asking.