Welcome to this session on how to implement SharePoint as a strategic solution.Finally, this is a high level presentation and we will quickly go through the four steps on how to ensure a strategic implementation of SharePoint.Our objective is for you to come away from this session with at least one Ah, Ha, that you can take back and apply. If we are successful, then the session has been worthwhile.One study indicated that > 60% of organizations are implementing SharePoint, but how many do you think will be successful or for that matter strategic.Implementing the deep and broad functionality of SharePoint so that it has a strategic impact is not as simple as throwing up a few SharePoint sites.
The goal is for you to have a strategic implementation and one that is aligned with the business and IT objectives and will continue to be funded.The benefits are measureable.SharePoint is a strategic business oriented platform withpre-built sets of functionality that enables faster and less expensive creation of business solutions.
The challenge that faces many organizations is that they do not know where to start because:SharePoint is broad and deep in its functionality (even more so with 2010)Everybody wants a piece of the functionality NOW!Teams want to implement a bit of all of the functionalityLimited in-house expertise
The goalEverybody wants a successful implementation that produces measureable business benefits and that is sustainable from an ongoing funding perspective.The real question is how to get there.Remember successful means on-time, on-budget and on-spec.Projects can be on-time, on-spec and on-budget, but the project should also provide measurable business benefits.
We will lay out 4 key steps that you can take to ensure a successful strategic implementationOk, so let’s get started
Align Strategically: First, you have to determine how the project fits within the overall business and IT strategic plans. Jumping into a SharePoint project without having an understanding of how it impacts the business drivers is setting the project up to be less than optimal. Management needs to understand the importance of the project and potential positive impact on business processes so that they can champion and support the change management efforts that will be requiredWhere Is The Pain?: What business problems are to be solved. Identification of areas of improvement is key to solving the most painful issues.Bang For The Buck: SharePoint is deep and broad . It is often difficult for organizations to assimilate everything that SharePoint has to offer in one big project. Therefore, focus and prioritization are key.Flawless Execution: The first three steps concern planning and are not worth anything if the execution of the project is flawed. Keep the scope reasonable and implement with zeal, tight project management and complete business involvement.We are next going to go into more detail in each of the four key success factors.
Transition slide to first key point:Align the project with the Business Strategy, and the IT Strategy to achieve the biggest benefit.A project that is not aligned with the business and IT strategy, will have limited impact and therefore limited success and sustainability.In your organization, is SharePoint a pillar of the strategy or just a project?
Do you know your business drivers? What are the key strategies?How can the project impact the business strategy?:For example:Improved product development cycleFacilitate acquisitionsReduce marketing expenseImproved operational efficiency via improvements in business processesImproved internal communication and collaborationImproved business intelligence and reportingExamplesDistribution portal to improve efficiency in distributor relations. This is a business process change enabled by SharePointReplacement of expensive customized system to manage remote locations with SharePoint system with increase functionalitySupport for new product introduction Streamline business processes so that additional acquisitions can be made more easily.Improve global team effectiveness by improving the sharing of knowledge and best practices across a globally disperse organization
How does the project fit within the overall IT strategy.The enlightened organizations places SharePoint alongside their ERP, CRM and Messaging system to create a four legged strategy.If the project does not fit within the IT strategy, then funding will be difficult and the full potential of SharePoint will not be realized. We have seen where SharePoint has been implemented internally by an IT department, however, with limited success.Pillar or Project?
We keep talking about the business benefit. It is key to ;First define the business metrics, i.e. reduce customer call backs, quicker delivery of projects, less re-design.Then assign a value to what you think the improvement is worthLastly, measure it after implementationFor example:We will reduce the amount of time it takes to hire new consultants and integrate them within the organization by 25% with 50% fewer errors?We will reduce the cycle time on new product development by 10%.We will capture the total cost of quality from customer complaints.If you have identified a business metric and proven that you have significantly and positively impacted that metric, then on-going funding and support for the project will continue.
Transition Slide to next key point: Now that we have talked about alignment, we need to discuss identifying the opportunities. Many organizations just implement the SharePoint environment without doing the proper amount of planning. We need to first identify the pains points so that we can prioritize the implementationIt is good to look at the pain points through the lens of the capabilities of SharePoint. This is even more important with the new functionality and improvements of 2010. For example, knowing the capabilities of out-of-the box workflow, can help you identify an opportunity that could benefit from workflow enable process.How many of you are overwhelmed by opportunities?
What business processes are falling short of being as efficient as they can be?Are there many areas that require multiple layers of approvals and process flow steps.An example : We had one company that needed to implement a customer complaint / quality management system. However, they were not sure that they had a problem big enough to warrant a $50k system. We built a simple pilot using a SharePoint issues tracking list for just a couple of days of effort. The system is now part of their normal business process. It is strategic, because they can now identify the true cost of quality.
Collect anecdotal evidence from departments that say; If I could only share this excel file with multiple people, it would save me loads of time. If I could fill out this form electronically and send it to my boss for approval, that would save me a lifetime. If I could complete this policy and send it out for approval and once it is approved, then it is distributed to everyone automatically, then you would be my hero.However, your may not find these kind of remarks unless people are familiar with the “state of the possible”, so you may have to lead them.
One of they main reasons for implementing SharePoint is to avoid the “one off” solutions that many users are requesting and in some cases provisioning themselves. Often times IT is so constrained with resource limitations, that users create their own solutions.How often have you heard, If I could have an access data base?Once properly implemented with the right amount of governance, then users can create their own solutions within a controlled and secure environment. The benefits are that IT backlog is reduced and business users have their solution.
Identify those processes that seem to take way too much time. For example, it takes too much time for capital expenditures to get approved because the document is stuck in someone’s inbox. Or it takes too much time for me to work with all of the people who need to have input on the policy .Every time we update our marketing collateral, we have to burn CDs and send these our to our sales force and distributors.I do not like pushing technology onto a business solution, however, much of the time, the business people are not even aware that there is a better alternative.Again, you may have to lead them to the “state of the possible” through targeted pilots.
Transition Slide:Now that we have: 1.) Aligned with the business and IT strategy, and 2.) identified all of the opportunities; it is time to sift through those opportunities and prioritize those that generate the largest business benefit for the least amount of effort.
Because with SharePoint, there is so much out of the box functionality, it is easy to identify opportunities that can be solved with very little effort.Examples: Document libraries with simple approval workflows and document versioning. Convert excel files updated across department into SharePoint Lists. Updating policies and procedures manuals. With versioning, only the most recent updated version is available for public consumption. Marketing collateral with properly maintained file properties (metadata) Simple project management with issues and task list
Focus on the key opportunities and do not let scope creep get you off track .Do not try to capture all of the opportunities. Focus on those that drive business value.I t is really hard to stay focused when there are some many opportunities available. I have seen implementations that were not as successful as they could have been, because they wanted to do to much
Ultimately, you want to come up with a list of opportunities and then prioritize those opportunities based on those that provide the most business value for the least effort.This slide shows how many organization align their opportunities by looking for those that provide the biggest business impact with the least amount of effort. This chart is similar to “portfolio charts” used in managing a portfolio of projects. That is exactly what we are doing here. Upper right corner are the opportunities to tackle first.Now this can be customized to meet your organization’s strategy. You may have a burning need in one department or maybe you want to focus on a particular cross departmental process.
Transition Slide to last key point:So far, we have talked about : 1.) Alignment, 2.) Identifying the opportunities and 3.) Prioritizing which opportunities can be solve with SharePoint. These are all planning task and help set up a project for success. However, ultimately, the implementation must be flawlessly executed. I can’t tell you how many projects I have seen that had the best alignment and prioritization, but we not well executed.
Change Management: Simple concept but hard to do well.Everybody talks about change management, but few control it properly, and therefore, project success is limited. A lot of time and money can be spent on project implementation. It is sad when the project benefits are not fully realized, due to the simple problem of getting people to change their behavior and to change the way they do their day to day work . Day long courses have been developed for this topic alone. In my opinion, it is the most important aspect of a flawlessly executed project. A good book is Switch by Dan Heath.
Don’t try to boil the ocean. Implement in phases Start off with a small focused project that will provide cross functional benefits and that can showcase the basic capabilities.A phased approach will also help you control the “change management” aspects of convincing people to do something differently, and to control the assimilation of the new functionality. How often have projects failed because it was just too big to be assimilated within the current processes and work load.Get something up and running within 3 months!
This is a little used phrase of building a successful pilot or small focused project and showcasing the functionality and business benefit. Typically, we talk about pilot projects.If done well, other departments will want the same functionality and will be willing to support it for their project.Be sure to have a business partner involved that can help drive the success of the pilot and can expound upon its virtues to their colleagues.
User involvement is paramount especially during implementation. Many times a user thinks that they have done their job once they have described their requirements. They have to be involved in the iterative development so as to ensure their needs are met.I can’t tell you the number of times that users will ask for something, but then will not have time to flesh out a prototype to ensure it meets their needs.Get their commitment up front. This is a partnership!
Governance is like change management. It is one of those words or phrases that everybody talks about , but few do well.Because of the ability for users to have a certain amount of control over their own SharePoint environment , governance is even more important for a SharePoint project than other projects. Governance includes such concepts as:Do we implement MySites or not?How to manage the request for new sites or new functionality?How to manage content approval?How to manage user security?Can users customize their pages?How to handle document libraries that are owned by one department, but need to be shared across departments?How to manage the different metadata or column properties? Are departments, divisions, business etc. units that same across the entire environment? In one implementation we saw the recreation of the same metadata many times, because the team wanted to move fast and not wait on the other departments to agree.How to manage the underlying infrastructure?We have some good government checklist available as SharePoint list to help you manage governance efforts.
Finally, validate that the business benefits mentioned in the first section are realized.One thing that I always wanted to do but never found the time was to generate internal case studies for business/IT projects. You know when you are checking out a new product or supplier, you ask for case studies. Wouldn’t it be great if we did that for internal projects. I know that the more mature organizations may do this within their portfolio management process, however, I think that it would be good to have a success document library in the SharePoint site so that others can learn from your success.
Transition Slide to the RecapWe first started talking about the challenges of how best to implement the breadth and depth of the SharePoint functionality in a manner that has a strategic impact on the organization.
We introduced the Four Key Steps to Success and then went into detail on each one.
And if followed, you will have a completed project that provides the business with the benefits to help them meet their strategic objectives. In other words, a strategic implementation.