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SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated
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SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated



Delivered at the 4/30/2011 SharePoint Saturday event in St. Louis, MO

Delivered at the 4/30/2011 SharePoint Saturday event in St. Louis, MO



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  • When I meet with users, a very high percentage of users aren’t aware of the most basic concepts in SharePoint like Views…
  • This session is lesson #1… We’re not talking about how to navigate or how to upload and download documents, but we are talking about how to be more effective at these things.
  • With just a few minutes and a few examples, you’re going to have users that are a lot more effective and excited to use the platform.
  • Oops, not clarity or direction… This is a debated topic with some strong opinions

SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated Presentation Transcript

  • Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated
    Wes Preston – Senior Consultant
    SharePoint Lists
  • Outline
    No Code Customization
    Lists are used as the core of many things SharePoint but they are rarely used as well as they can be. Learn the top tips and tricks for getting the most of your lists: How to build them smarter, how to display them more clearly, and how to use them in your environment for effectively. Also see how these practices evolve from 2007 to 2010.
  • Wes Preston
    Independent SharePoint Consultant
    Based in Minneapolis, MN
    Twitter: @idubbs
    MVP – SharePoint Server
    MCITP – SharePoint Administrator 2010
    MCTS - SharePoint 2010, Configuration
    MCTS - WSS 3.0 and MOSS Configuration
    Author: SharePoint 2010 Six-in-One
  • Lists (andLibraries)
    Things to take away that you can use NOW
    It’s all about raising the bar. The baseline for business-user and end-user knowledge is too low…
    If you use SharePoint, these should be core concepts
    Other concepts build on these for more robust solutions, dashboards, etc…
    Also applies to the Cloud
    SharePoint Online: BPOS, Office365*
  • Best Practice #1 – Training
    Users don’t know the baseline capabilities of SharePoint lists and libraries
    “What’s a view?”
    “What are properties?”
    Too common of an issue
    Easy to mitigate
    BPC Survey Results: Less than 40% of organizations using formal SharePoint training is NOT going to work…
  • Training: Why
    The Bottom Line – Users will be more effective
    Realize the ROI of the SharePoint platform that you’ve already implemented/invested in
    Empowered users are happy users
    The more they know, the less time they’ll take to manage
  • Training: Different Audiences
    Understand the capabilities
    Start to align business needs with solutions
    Power Users:
    Decision matrix – when to use which method
    How do I do it?
    All Users:
    How to, tutorials, examples
    Structured and unstructured training
  • Training: Starter Topics
    (These are just ‘list’ starter topics…)
    2007 and 2010
    Columns, Properties, Metadata
    New w/2010
    Easier form management
    Inline editing
  • Training: Options
    Have a Training Plan (governance)
    Train the trainer
    Online materials, products
    Handout materials
    Home-grown, BrainStorm, etc…
    User groups, Brown bag sessions, Labs
    Internal and regional
    Newsletters, FAQS, Tips and Tricks…
  • Best Practice #2 - Use Columns and Views
    Views provide a cleaner, more effective user experience
    Effective views rely on useful columns to filter and sort on
  • Columns and Views: Why
    Default views, especially libraries are just like file shares – We can do better
    List by name, date, author
    As libraries fill up, they’re just as confusing as file shares to navigate
    Out of the box fields can be a step up
    Modified date vs. Created date
    Modified by vs. Created by
  • ‘My’ Files and Items
    Different reasons
    Issues or Tasks Lists -> ‘My items’ that were submitted
    Issues or Task Lists -> Items assigned to me
    Doc Libs -> Items created, owned or last modified
  • File Naming -> Properties
    Don’t keep those crazy file naming conventions
    Titles may not be indexed the way you think they are
    Implement properties to replace them
    If they’re strict, migration can be scripted
  • Groups vs. Views
    Different ways to display the same information
    When to use each method is dependent on the specific scenario, but there are pros and cons that might help shape the decision
  • Groups vs. Views
    Straight up groups…
  • Groups vs. Views
    Separate Web Parts
  • Groups vs. Views
    Group By
    Can do sub-totals, etc…
    Separate Web Parts
    Status or Category
    Display different fields depending on the group
    Different controls if desired
    Cleaner look – no goofy automatic headings
    Can ‘fake’ headings with CEWP
  • Edit the current view
    Available with List Views on pages
    Use on pages to limit the number of views displayed for the list
    Better user experience
  • Folders
    Users are comfortable with them
    Views can be created to ignore folders
    2010 allows default values based on rules
    Ease some user input
  • ‘My’ Files (and ‘Flat’ folders)
  • Best Practice #3: Intake List
    Email sent to a single person is not scalable
    Email sent to a group isn’t measurable
    Content submitted isn’t standardized
  • Intake List
    Can put a link from anywhere to ‘Add Request’ location
    Can still be submitted via email
    Can still be notified by email
    Tasks can be assigned
    Mitigates single person issue
    More structured than email
    Can use Views!!
    More options for automation
    Metrics are easier to capture
  • Intake List
  • Intake List
  • New Tidbits for Lists in 2010
    External Lists
    Multi-select items
    Much easier to change the forms
  • Recap: Best Practices
    Set users up for success – Train them
    Use Columns and Views
    Replace the Email queue with a list
  • Recap: Worst Practices
    Don’t keep obnoxious file naming conventions
    Don’t create long lists of views if Edit the current view can be used
    Don’t use item-level permissions unless needed
    Don’t display every column in every view
    Avoid the document library list view or educate around it
  • References and Resources
    Productivity Hub 2010http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=4aaa9862-e420-4331-8bc3-469d7bae0ff1
    BrainStorm quick cardshttp://www.brainstorminc.com/for-business/train-by-type/quick-start-cards/microsoft/sharepoint-2007.aspx
  • Minnesota SharePoint User Group (MNSPUG)
    Available via Live Meetings
    Recordings and Presentations
    2nd Wednesday of every month
    9:00 AM Central Time
  • Housekeeping
    Please remember to submit your session evaluation forms after each session you attend to increase your chances at the raffle
    Follow SharePoint Saturday St. Louis on Twitter @spsstl and hashtag #spsstl
  • Thanks to Our Sponsors!
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