26th August 2013
SharePoint can be a big investment for an organisation and so it is absolutely key that you see as big a return on it as possible. Just installing and setting SharePoint up, however, won’t predicate its use amongst your staff. The introduction of SharePoint to an organisation required that working practices are changed. Staff need to understand what the benefits will be to them and be trained on how to use the platform.
According to a recent Forrester survey, 54% of organisations who began using SharePoint did not see the level of adoption expected. The main reasons for this were, “Users don’t like the SharePoint experience” (51%) and, “The product is not meeting functional expectations” (46%). Ultimately, these sort of problems with SharePoint adoption will impact the bottom line, but with good planning, problems with SharePoint adoption can be minimised. Here are three big areas that can help to ensure successful SharePoint adoption:
Ideally, the person running your SharePoint project will have plenty of experience working with the platform. Whilst a consultant may be able to do the job, a staff member with SharePoint experience will understand both the requirements of your organisation and the platform itself. This means they’ll be able to really get to the bottom of whether SharePoint is right for you and, if so, how it should be set up. SharePoint is a big platform, so it’s essential to understand exactly what is required by the organisation and how SharePoint can service that.
There are many features of SharePoint, only some of which you will likely need. Some organisations will only use it for simple Intranet functionality while others will use it as their central tool for communication and collaboration. Once you have a really deep understanding of what your organisation requires then you should tailor the platform to as great an extent as possible. Areas in which you might tailor SharePoint include setting different permissions for staff members (e.g. making certain documents available to only some staff) or extending its functionality with web-parts, plugins and apps (e.g. adding a tabbed user interface, adding bulk email functionality or integrating Yammer).
Good SharePoint training for your staff is absolutely critical. If your staff do not buy into the platform, then you’re going to have a very expensive piece of kit gathering dust. Firstly, you must explain why SharePoint was chosen for the organisation and what the benefits are to staff members. This will help to encourage uptake. Secondly, and as you would expect, staff must be shown how to use it. The key here, though, is to make sure that training is tailored to the department and/or roles with your organisation. Generic training often doesn’t stick because employees can’t relate it to their day-to-day work. If you can provide practical example of how they can apply the training then you’ll stand a much better chance.
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