SharePoint Roles & Responsibilities – A Quick Overview

It is often not fully recognised how many different roles need to be appointed to manage a SharePoint deployment. Below is a quick list of common roles and responsibilities:

Role Responsibility Comments
SharePoint System Administrator Responsible for SharePoint Farm administration, including installation/deployment, managing Web Apps, Content Databases, Site Collections, Security, Backups etc. Typically a 1FTE IT function specific to SharePoint administration.
Active Directory (AD) Administrator Responsible for managing Active Directory OU’s, User & Groups, Distribution Lists etc. IT function – an existing role that is involved in the planning and administration of AD for SharePoint. The role may extend to security management in general using products like Microsoft’s Forefront Identity Manager (FIM), Claims-based authentication, and Anti-Virus protection.
Database Administrator (DBA) Responsible for managing SQL Server environment, including creation and monitoring of content databases, log files etc. IT function – typically an existing role that is involved in the planning, administration and monitoring of SharePoint SQL Server database tables.
Infrastructure Administrator Responsible for servers and network infrastructure. IT function – an existing role that is involved in the planning, administration and monitoring of SharePoint servers and network infrastructure.
Business Analyst Responsible for defining business requirements. IT or Business function – produces functional requirements.
SharePoint Architect Responsible for designing and configuring SharePoint site structure, metadata architecture, page layouts, security model etc. Works closely with SharePoint Developers translating requirements to solutions. IT function – needs a thorough understanding of SharePoint (admin, developing functions) including when and how new components and web parts should be developed.
Technical Architect Responsible for designing and configuring SharePoint server farm to support business requirements. IT function – performance monitoring, capacity planning, server maintenance etc.
Search Administrator Responsible for administering SharePoint Search – including content sources, result sources, search schema, index crawls, Search Centre configuration etc. IT function – may be part of SharePoint System Administrator role (depending on scale and type of deployment).
Backup/Restore Administrator Disaster Recovery Planning – Management of routine database backups, monitoring and database restores. May extend to management of file systems if Remote Blob Storage (RBS) is used. IT function – may be part of SharePoint System Administrator role, or DBA, or Infrastructure Administrator role (depending on scale and type of deployment).
SharePoint Developer Broad software development role – including custom application development for sandboxed solutions, systems integration, custom web parts and component development. IT function – experience typically includes Asp.Net, C#.Net, Ajax, JavaScript etc.
SharePoint Web Designer Customization of the SharePoint solution such as re-branding, using products such as SharePoint Designer – some programming skills. IT function – experience typically includes HTML, style sheet, CAML, XML, XSLT, JavaScript etc.
Site Collection Administrator Responsible for administering site collection – may include management of permissions, web design, search, content types & columns, monitoring/reporting, functions etc. IT or Business Function – requires Site Administration and Governance training.
Site Owner Similar responsibility as Site Collection Administrator, but specific to the site or workspace. For example, Site Owner may be a Project manager responsible for their project workspace. Typically a Business Function – may be the same person as Site Collection Administrator.
Power User Creates and configures lists, libraries, web parts, permissions, features etc. Good all-round knowledge of SharePoint product capabilities. Often allowed to create sub-sites or workspaces. Typically an IT savvy Business user, who acts as a local department or team “champion”. Fully conversant in SharePoint Governance policies & standards.
End-User Information workers. Those who use SharePoint on a day-to-day basis, also working with other products & technologies such as MS Office and scanning solutions. Business users who adopt SharePoint for the collaboration and sharing of information.
Trainer Responsible for training different roles how to administer and use SharePoint, in line with agreed SharePoint Governance directives. In-house trainers or external training organisation, such as Combined Knowledge or Learning Tree. Tailored training programmes for different roles is normally required, backed up by related media.
Tester Responsible for testing custom developed solutions on a Sandbox, Development/Staging environment. Authorise deployment to SharePoint Production system. IT or Business function – depending on who has defined the requirements.
Support Responsible for providing support to different roles, including help Desk support to end-users, floor-walking etc. Usually share knowledge in FAQ forums and feedback to Training/Governance process. Commonly work to agreed SLA’s to provide efficient response to requests or queries.


For smaller deployments one person may wear several “hats”, but it remains important that each individual understands their responsibilities and governance controls are in place to help protect SharePoint’s evolvement, in alignment with business needs.

A SharePoint Governance Board should also be appointed, with contributors from IT and the business – including senior stakeholders. The Governance Board should meet regularly to review how SharePoint is being used, address new requirements, and update standards, policies and procedures. It is recommended that the Board includes a rotating membership from the Business, so that an effective feedback loop can be incorporated into the governance process.

I usually define an organisation’s roles & responsibilities in a RACI Matrix and map particular activities or tasks to defined Governance Standards and Policies, using a SharePoint Governance Team Site I have developed over the years.

See Combined Knowledge’s SharePoint training programme here: