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March 4, 2011 / red1s

Training your organizational End Users to Adapt to SharePoint


 

In my last non technical based post I covered the topic of why as a company should you choose SharePoint. Discussing the pros and cons of various ECM solutions and how various companies have deployed this technology and encountered success along the way by doing so.

In this post I’d like to look at it taking the approach that you’ve decided to go ahead and adopt SharePoint within your corporate environment, the next big thing which would come to mind is how do I go about getting the best out of SharePoint.

In my recent years I have seen SharePoint become more and more of a success across the globe with greater exponential numbers of licenses being sold each year, but the actual purpose is only solved when people know when to do what with it. In this article I shall cover a few of the general topics on how to train necessary people to work with SharePoint. How to start off with it slowly keeping in mind the technological and cultural changes that people and organizations might face.

The first thing in this regard is to plan your training. You need to judge which users will be using this technology within your Organization and what tasks will they be completing and how will this streamline business processes? Segregate different users based on the tasks they perform and start the training in batches of similar type group. The groups can also be formed based on priority. Some tasks users need to start with the training earlier than the rest of employees. The third way will be to target people who are fast learners or good trainers (departmental champions); once they are trained they can go back and train their colleagues (train the trainer methodology). This process usually works the quickest, having a chain reaction effect amongst motivated departmental champions eager to learn and pass on their skills to like-minded individuals.

 

Training end users for SharePoint or any other new technology is not normally an easy task if it is considered solely as to train them for new software/technology. Employees are usually reluctant to bring in changes in technology and processes into their day to day tasks. The right approach would be to employ training methodologies connected to familiar work environments. For example if the employees make use of content storage techniques look at starting off with document libraries training and new methodologies in this same or similar context.

Starting with small ECM projects within the organization using SharePoint is a usually a good idea. Collaboration, workflow ,business process etc. changes can then slowly be looped into training and features by the company along with SharePoint sites and overall greater SharePoint concepts included in the technology. At this point the approach will highly depend on whether you have any existing ECM systems or whether this will be an altogether new step. You’d need to analyse the level of compliance from business needed to integrate a new business program and assess the system and its effects on any current ECM’s that exist within the environment. Records management information architecture should also be reviewed which is another crucial category to design around your internal ECM system.

 

SharePoint consists of two main site types – the websites and Sub Sites and the site collections. Web/SubSites are the best way to start with internal collaborations. Meetings, document sharing and internal announcements can be placed on the team site, and other general easy to use tools to get general users up and running quickly)This way the end users within your organization will become more familiar with SharePoint tools and functions without getting involved in too many technicalities and becoming frustrated. (However it would be a good idea to have a departmental champion available for queries around site functionality – remember if users become frustrated with the product they will tend to disregard and eventually the technology will become an unused dinosaur)

 

A complete training module will consist of training materials, brochures and active electronic/physical hand-outs or reminders. The designing of such material will be based on the roles, responsibilities and policies which you want the end user to consider while complying with the usage of SharePoint. This approach would be called (and not in entirety) your Governance model. Constructing a Governance model is a sure fire way of answering many of your organizational sites developmental and architectural questions. The governance model plan should be answerable by following questions: the sole importance of site creation, its storage space, its lifecycle, Information building, its classification, and architecture, site security, protection and lastly site search and navigation. Imbibing the governance model as a part of your training will ensure your site roles and responsibilities are perfectly adhered to.

 

The governance model should be planned by the project leader so that they clearly understand the viability of the project and what information is crucial to the project. A strong and well researched model will solve many of the training obstacles that you might have while introducing SharePoint to your workplace or organization.

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One Comment

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  1. sreekanth / May 12 2011 8:53 pm

    hi its very nice & useful

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