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8 steps to leading a successful SharePoint project

Sharon Richardson
Sharon Richardson
Sharon RichardsonIndependent Consultant at Joining Dots

Eight steps to leading a successful SharePoint project. Based on the article 'Leading Change' by John P Kotter with examples based on experiences with SharePoint projects over the past decade. Focused on business value, not technical fe

8 steps to leading a successful SharePoint project

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8 steps to leading a successful
SharePoint project
…and why so many fail to deliver the value expected

Sharon Richardson
Joining Dots

@joiningdots
www.joiningdots.com
ReadMe.1st
•

This presentation was delivered at the London SharePoint User
Group meeting on 28th November 2013

•

This is a modified version to accommodate Slideshare
formatting limitations and some notes have been added to not
quite make up for the lack of a presenter (a picture may be
worth a 1,000 words but it’s still easier to talk…)
Notes look
Notes look
like this…
like this…

•

Content is based on ‘Leading Change’ by John P Kotter with
examples taken from experiences with SharePoint projects over
the past decade. This talk is business-focused, not technical

•

Usual disclaimers apply - all product names, images, trademarks
and logos are the property of their respective owners.
Information is provided without warranty or guarantees etc. Use
at your own risk :-)
“40% of our client base using SharePoint are
not getting the value they expected from it
- Gartner, November 2012”
Is this a technology problem? Most people
Is this a technology problem? Most people
underestimate the effort required beyond
underestimate the effort required beyond
installation
installation
Step 1.
Establish a sense of
urgency
Over 50% of companies fail at
this stage. Management need to
be convinced of the urgency and
need to change.
Be in a hurry. Because projects
Be in a hurry. Because projects
with deadlines get done. Excuses
with deadlines get done. Excuses
are less likely to be tolerated
are less likely to be tolerated
“We have the licenses.
We want to implement SharePoint”

The reality facing many SharePoint
The reality facing many SharePoint
projects. May be the case but find a cause.
projects. May be the case but find a cause.
Find and solve an urgent business problem
Find and solve an urgent business problem
“We have the licenses.
We want to implement SharePoint”

This is just a platform reality,
This is just a platform reality,
SharePoint is the dominant player
SharePoint is the dominant player
so gets the most headlines
so gets the most headlines

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8 steps to leading a successful SharePoint project

  • 1. 8 steps to leading a successful SharePoint project …and why so many fail to deliver the value expected Sharon Richardson Joining Dots @joiningdots www.joiningdots.com
  • 2. ReadMe.1st • This presentation was delivered at the London SharePoint User Group meeting on 28th November 2013 • This is a modified version to accommodate Slideshare formatting limitations and some notes have been added to not quite make up for the lack of a presenter (a picture may be worth a 1,000 words but it’s still easier to talk…) Notes look Notes look like this… like this… • Content is based on ‘Leading Change’ by John P Kotter with examples taken from experiences with SharePoint projects over the past decade. This talk is business-focused, not technical • Usual disclaimers apply - all product names, images, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. Information is provided without warranty or guarantees etc. Use at your own risk :-)
  • 3. “40% of our client base using SharePoint are not getting the value they expected from it - Gartner, November 2012” Is this a technology problem? Most people Is this a technology problem? Most people underestimate the effort required beyond underestimate the effort required beyond installation installation
  • 4. Step 1. Establish a sense of urgency Over 50% of companies fail at this stage. Management need to be convinced of the urgency and need to change. Be in a hurry. Because projects Be in a hurry. Because projects with deadlines get done. Excuses with deadlines get done. Excuses are less likely to be tolerated are less likely to be tolerated
  • 5. “We have the licenses. We want to implement SharePoint” The reality facing many SharePoint The reality facing many SharePoint projects. May be the case but find a cause. projects. May be the case but find a cause. Find and solve an urgent business problem Find and solve an urgent business problem
  • 6. “We have the licenses. We want to implement SharePoint” This is just a platform reality, This is just a platform reality, SharePoint is the dominant player SharePoint is the dominant player so gets the most headlines so gets the most headlines
  • 7. Step 2. Form a powerful guiding coalition You will need allies high-up to overcome resistance from those who don’t want to change for personal or political reasons. Line up your allies or you will face Line up your allies or you will face resistance alone. Good luck when you resistance alone. Good luck when you meet the predictable ‘I hate meet the predictable ‘I hate SharePoint’ crowd SharePoint’ crowd
  • 8. Replacing Physical Changing Behaviour Expect resistance from two camps. 1. Roles that exist to support traditional Expect resistance from two camps. 1. Roles that exist to support traditional methods. They’ll either fight you or worse, try to help --they will want to replicate the methods. They’ll either fight you or worse, try to help they will want to replicate the current process ‘as is’. Bad idea 2. Beware transferring workloads --who benefits current process ‘as is’. Bad idea 2. Beware transferring workloads who benefits from the change, effort-wise? from the change, effort-wise?
  • 9. Step 3. Create a vision In failed projects, you will find plenty of plans and programs. But no vision. Go beyond the numbers. Tell a story. A strong vision will guide all decisions. “1,000 A strong vision will guide all decisions. “1,000 songs in my pocket” focused priorities -songs in my pocket” focused priorities sourcing the storage form factor and the sourcing the storage form factor and the mechanism for getting songs onto it… mechanism for getting songs onto it…
  • 10. How not to do it. Use words like ‘SharePoint’, ‘Collaborate’, How not to do it. Use words like ‘SharePoint’, ‘Collaborate’, ‘Strategy’, ‘Governance’. Their time will come but start with a vision. ‘Strategy’, ‘Governance’. Their time will come but start with a vision. What will change? Why will that matter to people? Articulate What will change? Why will that matter to people? Articulate outcomes in business terms outcomes in business terms
  • 11. Step 4. Communicate the vision Use every possible channel. Communications will fail if senior managers act in ways that are the anti-thesis of the vision. Don’t just leave it to internal Don’t just leave it to internal communications to send out a newsletter communications to send out a newsletter update. Passionate leaders make all the update. Passionate leaders make all the difference difference
  • 12. Classic scenario – populating profiles with photos, Classic scenario – populating profiles with photos, or not. For adoption to scale across the or not. For adoption to scale across the organisation, management must participate --lead organisation, management must participate lead by example by example
  • 13. Step 5. Empower others to act on the vision Remove all obstacles. Including those who make demands on their staff that are inconsistent with the vision. Beware the reluctant middle manager -Beware the reluctant middle manager “Just print me out a copy…”. “I’m not sure “Just print me out a copy…”. “I’m not sure that comment was appropriate…” that comment was appropriate…”
  • 14. "Locks just keep honest people out." Do not over-engineer designs. Just because you can, doesn‘t mean you Do not over-engineer designs. Just because you can, doesn‘t mean you always should… Simplify everything: processes, classification, security. Let always should… Simplify everything: processes, classification, security. Let people take responsibility and be involved in choices. Say No! to people take responsibility and be involved in choices. Say No! to bureaucratic demands from managers (a lot harder to do than to say…) bureaucratic demands from managers (a lot harder to do than to say…)
  • 15. Step 6. Plan for and create short term wins Don’t just hope for them! Every project in every sphere is a journey. Every project in every sphere is a journey. You build up to the ultimate goal. Through You build up to the ultimate goal. Through planning, not by accident. Make every planning, not by accident. Make every step count step count
  • 16. To create a sense of urgency, you need those big hairy audacious goals for To create a sense of urgency, you need those big hairy audacious goals for projects. But don’t ignore the smaller requests. They quickly create and projects. But don’t ignore the smaller requests. They quickly create and maintain momentum maintain momentum
  • 17. Step 7. Consolidate and produce more change Don’t declare an early victory based on initial improvements and move on to something else. Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Keep adapting and Don’t be a one-hit wonder. Keep adapting and growing the platform to create more value for growing the platform to create more value for the business. Takes more effort than most the business. Takes more effort than most people are prepared to commit to… people are prepared to commit to…
  • 18. This is when governance becomes the critical success factor. Not to justify This is when governance becomes the critical success factor. Not to justify the initial investment but to ensure SharePoint keeps producing value for the the initial investment but to ensure SharePoint keeps producing value for the organisation as usage grows and priorities shift organisation as usage grows and priorities shift
  • 19. Falling at the final hurdle --failing to Falling at the final hurdle failing to embed new ways of working into the embed new ways of working into the culture of the organisation. It took a culture of the organisation. It took a long time to make smoking long time to make smoking unpopular… unpopular… Step 8. Institutionalise new approaches Show the benefits of change. Don’t leave people to make their own judgements. A change in leadership can undo everything.
  • 20. Don’t underestimate the power of the humble ‘like’. Promote constantly Don’t underestimate the power of the humble ‘like’. Promote constantly what is working well and acknowledge contributions. We all get a huge what is working well and acknowledge contributions. We all get a huge morale boost from being appreciated. Make the old ways unpopular. morale boost from being appreciated. Make the old ways unpopular. Don’t assume people are aware of what benefits are being achieved. Don’t assume people are aware of what benefits are being achieved. Communicate! Communicate!
  • 21. 8 steps to a successful SharePoint Project 1. Establish a sense of urgency 2. Form a powerful coalition 3. Create a vision 4. Communicate the vision 5. Empower others to act 6. Create short term wins 7. Consolidate and grow 8. Institutionalise new methods Success will be dependent on Success will be dependent on three core factors and SharePoint three core factors and SharePoint is only responsible for one of is only responsible for one of them… them…
  • 22. “Leading Change” 8 steps to a successful transformation and why most transformation efforts fail By John P Kotter Published 1995 in the Harvard Business Review If the steps sound familiar, it’s because they are not mine. The article was originally If the steps sound familiar, it’s because they are not mine. The article was originally published nearly two decades ago. We keep making the same mistakes. It’s easier published nearly two decades ago. We keep making the same mistakes. It’s easier to blame technology when systems dependent on how people behave fail to deliver to blame technology when systems dependent on how people behave fail to deliver the expected business benefits the expected business benefits
  • 23. Flickr Images • Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina by NASA http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4923521946/ • Diplomatic briefing by the Coalition for the ICC http://www.flickr.com/photos/coalitionforicc/9260181447/ • An iPod in your pocket by Mayhem Chaos http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayhem/2868599662/ • Richard Branson launches Virgin America by Cynthia Smoot http://www.flickr.com/photos/cynthiasmoot/5224684638/ • Madonna - Vogue by Gustavo Duran http://www.flickr.com/photos/67662120@N00/8427897891/ • Smoking alone by Sergio Morchon http://www.flickr.com/photos/smorchon/2279443485/
  • 24. Feedback and questions are always Feedback and questions are always welcome… as are new clients! :-) welcome… as are new clients! :-) Sharon Richardson Independent Advisor sharonr@joiningdots.com www.joiningdots.com