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June 27, 2011 / red1s

6 Strategies to make users more SharePoint friendly


It does not matter if your company is large or small, if you are looking to have all of your team members to take advantage of some of the really great SharePoint tools you are going to have to promote its use. That, however, is not what most organizations have experienced. I suggest that you draw up a plan for a smooth and successful adoption of SharePoint.

Here are a few strategies I use to facilitate the adoption of SharePoint:


1. Use SharePoint  

Do your best to ensure that you are personally using SharePoint’s Task List to monitor and manage yourself and all of the projects and personnel in the organization. I understand that will be a losing battle to get team members to adopt SharePoint I am not displaying its usefulness in my own work habits. When I instruct team members that I will be their tracking progress through SharePoint’s Task List and require them to record their progress on that same tool, they will be motivated to learn the quickest and most efficient ways to use it. When I have one on one chats or meetings with team members, I take the opportunity to show them additional SharePoint tools I employ during by workday. Leading by example goes a long way in creating early and efficient use of SharePoint.


2. Send an Email Newsletter

Each week send send out an email newsletter to team members. Highlight one of the many of the key SharePoint functionalities, giving examples of how its use will make their work easier and produce quality outputs. If available, include links to in-house examples. There are enough useful functions and tools available in SharePoint to provide plenty to bring to their attention; however it is best to point out what tools can have great impact on specific projects in which they are currently engaged.

A secondary section of the newsletter is a column containing links to further information. Here is where more, in-depth explanations can be made available. Links to past issues of the newsletter will also remind them what you showed them in the past.

Newsletters that are brief are more often read than more verbose ones.


3. Offer Tutorials

Some of your team members learn best when they work step-by-step through tutorials, so these SharePoint tutorials need to be easily accessible to all potential users. Ensure that the tutorials are available in written and online formats, as well as videos. The best types of tutorials are those that are made in house, showing how to implement SharePoint in tasks specific to your organization.

We have some great tutorial in this blog. Refer especially to the “how to” and “solutions” categories.

Here are some other helpful tutorials:

ñ SharePoint’s own video tutorials

ñ Window’s SharePoint How-to section.


4. Use Case studies

Case studies show how SharePoint has aided organizations and individual team members to accomplish important projects. Begin an in-house collection of novel implementations of SharePoint in your particular workplace. Interesting case studies most often are highly successful in motivating and assisting team players to use SharePoint’s.

Periodically include links to pertinent case studies in correspondence with team members, especially at the beginning of a project. It is very possible that team members will immediately begin use the SharePoint tool implemented in the case study.


5.Use Posters

Put up a few posters that highlight key uses of SharePoint in strategic locations. Break rooms are a great place to hand a poster or two. Without there computer monitors in front of them, team members often look at eye catching posters on wall the walls. Posters can be miniaturized and made into table tents placed on tables or on top of water coolers. Halls are also excellent, high visibility locations to hang posters.

Posters and table tents need to be change periodically so that their newness draws attention to them. These informal inputs sometimes produce great outcomes.

There are loads of SharePoint posters available on the web.


6. Offer Assistance

Sometimes all it takes for a team member to begin to increase their use of SharePoint is to ask if you can help them see how SharePoint will favourably impact a project they are presently involved in. When you see a team member not using SharePoint effectively or not at all, explain to them how SharePoint can make work easier and more efficient for them and offer to walk them through becoming accustomed to using it.

Offering and giving such personal assistance take time away from your time own work, but it is time well spent. The investment of five to fifteen minutes of assistance could pay huge dividends in improved efficiency.

I am sure you can come up with many more creative ways to introduce and promote SharePoint in your organization, I only offer these as a starting points and a mill for grinding out your own ideas.

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