SharePoint Identity Crisis _Dallas


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The key to discovering SharePoint’s power, scope, and effectiveness within an organization is not in the clear cut yes and no answers but in the series of questions put to the organization and to SharePoint itself.
Many times even successful SharePoint Implementations lack an open and completed conversation with the Business End User’s point of view.
A key player or leader can be found in the Business Super End User. Someone who is not the classic Administrator, but is nestled just under the Admin and the End User.

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  • The key to discovering SharePoint’s power, scope, and effectiveness within an organization is not in the clear cut yes and no answers but in the series of questions put to the organization and to SharePoint itself.

    Many times even successful SharePoint Implementations lack an open and completed conversation with the Business End User’s point of view.
    A key player or leader can be found in the Business Super End User. Someone who is not the classic Administrator, but is nestled just under the Admin and the End User.

    This session will help formulate that role and provide the questions they will need to answer in order to help cure the SharePoint Identity Crisis.
  • What is SharePoint?

    Note: View responses & comment
  • I came across this quote in CMS Watch’s 2009 SharePoint report.

    So let’s look at an IT and Business scenarios based on this quote.

    IT: Hey we already have SharePoint with our licensing, it’s collaborative, offers a lot OOTB stuff, we’ll just install it and support it just like we do with servers and shared drives. The business will figure out what they need to do with it. Hey, it may even cut down on trouble and help tickets.

    Business: What is this? How do you use it? Call IT and figure gat an answer would you.

    We did sir and they only install it.

    Well who does that leave to sort things out?
  • We’ll perhaps you can start by asking yourself Athens or Sparta? Long before people defined society by the Stones vs. the Beatles, mankind teetered on the Athens vs. Sparta question and SharePoint is no exception.
    For this argument I borrowed liberally from the first paragraph of Hendrik van Loon’s The Story of Mankind.
    SETTING: Ancient Mediterranean
    Athens and Sparta were both Greek cities and their people used a common platform, SharePoint. In every other respect they were different.
    Athens rose high from the plain. It was a city exposed to the fresh breezes of open office structures and telecommuting. They willingly looked at the world with the eyes of a happy child.
    Sparta, on the other hand, was built at the bottom of a deep locked down facility valley, and used the surrounding cubicle mountains as a barrier against foreign thought.
    Athens was a city of collaboration.
    Sparta was a city of read only access and permissions.
    The people of Athens loved to sit in the sun and discuss versioned poetry files or listen to the wise words of open blog and wiki dialogues.
    The Spartans, on the other hand, never wrote a single line of dialogue that was considered public. But they knew how to execute, they liked to execute in read only, and they sacrificed all human emotions to their ideal of permission driven preparedness.
    Arguments can be made by both sides, but the environments and audience are what dictate the choice. 
    Athens rose high from the plain. It was a city exposed to the fresh breezes from the sea, willing to look at the world with the eyes of a happy child. Perhaps Athen’s SharePoint and knowledge strategy did not risk anything by allowing collaborations and free flow of information. Athens’s business model is to innovate, research, create, and sell.  Web entrepreneurs and companies looking to be the first to come to market seem logical choices for the Athenian model.
    Sparta, on the other hand, was built at the bottom of a deep valley, and used the surrounding mountains as a barrier against foreign thought. Sparta may risk too much by opening procedures to interpretation. As with soldiers, if anyone strays from the group plan in battle it puts lives at stake. In technology, hard coders or even banks would be a good example for the Spartan model. Code and client data must be protected, compliance measures must be kept in place, and brokers shouldn’t get creative and create mortgage backed products that are not sound…
    As with any grand argument the answers certainly are to be found somewhere in the middle, after all Athens and Sparta had a war that costs the power and resources which left Philip of Macedonia and eventually Alexander the Great to combine a little of both models to conquer the known world.
  • Collaboration Maturity
    (Lee Reed’s series on EUSP)
    Info lock down
    Individualist or group minded
    Are you ready for Social Media?
    How much of business critical software can interface easily with SharePoint?
    Remember people are not going to just magically pick up SharePoint start pushing it limits for the best of the organization, it is work after all.

    Some of the first things you need to ask of you and your org is What is the level of collaboration maturity.
    Lee’s levels
    Level One – Document Storage
    Level Two – Information Creation
    Level Three – Leveraging
    Level Four – Sharing
    Level Five – Process Enablement

    Once you start sketching this then ask yourself…

    What groups/dept would resist?
    How hard?
    Provided solutions off the bat
    How hard is change management going to be?
    What will it take to get people away from START/Programs/MS Office/MS Word/File/New to

    * Content Type based
  • Your SharePoint vision may begin to take a bit of form now but it is still not a firm developed idea, so I suggest pausing and approaching from a different.

    Look for any savings with
    SharePoint vs. Shared Drives
    Calculate Data recovery situations
    Printing costs saved (newsletter to blog)
    Email storage saved by instilling a culture of no attachments
    Freeing up people by developing a help center
    Remember to check charge backs
  • Remember like DR Spock said you know your organization better than anyone else.

    Politically speaking...
    Who would benefit from SharePoint
    Who in their structure is keen to technology, hint they are on Twitter, LinkedIn, and probably can’t stay off the Blackberry or I Phone.
    Who else in your organization has SharePoint sites
    Get a clear idea of the background IT structures
    Who installed it
    Who supports it
    Who will recover it
    Who will fix it
    Who will admire it
    Who gives access to server or SharePoint Designer

    Remember the investment in time and $ it would take while always keeping an eye on savings
    Libraries vs. Shared Folders space, not to mention time vs. $ savings
    Placing existing apps in SharePoint
    Costs of consultants and 3rd party solutions
  • Correct people so they get the SharePoint sense correct
    “We can upload our purchasing doc to a site”
    Do they mean in a library on a team, to a blog sub site?
    So at this point you know a bit of what your org can handle, what you want to do, and who you need to influence.

    Let’s get into the how of it all…

    How are you going to communicate this

    Translating is a vital skill. Taking Business centric terms, flows and filtering them thru the dialects of MSFT and SharePoint to arrive at a full translation to IT , consultants, 3rd Party or developers.
  • Always address business problems

    Don’t get too caught up in the coolness of the technology
    Remember when to say no
  • The answer to this will undeniably help you figure out your organization’s identity to SharePoint.
  • The other day I was hungry and needed to eat. I didn’t have time nor desire to sit down and enjoy a full blown meal, yet I knew I didn’t want anything fast food. I needed to refill but didn’t want a poorer quality substitute. In a local market I found the grab and go case full of salads, soup, sushi, meats and vegetables. Not the one off quantity of a 4 course meal yet I had the options of one.
    Why can’t SharePoint the do the same?
    The scope of all things that SharePoint can offer an organization can be overwhelming. No wonder if not implemented correctly things can go from confusing to bad. Any implementation needs to be planned, discussed, phased and have governance. This is something we all know and have heard; yet still see not done. And that’s just the on the IT and business need level.
    Let’s not forget the human end user side of things. SharePoint may compete against resistance to change and other systems. Even though efficacy of effort and costs should be the decider, many times other factors come into play. You have to throw in the organization’s culture and political climate. Bad PR kills any initiative, SharePoint or not. So perhaps an inroad for SharePoint is to get its functionality out there a container at a time and not on a full blown implementation.
    Maybe instead of a winner take all mentality you need to think of partnerships. How can SharePoint help if accompanying a system, not replacing it?
    Case in point, a ton of money was spent last year for a client case and workflow tracking system where I work. Could SharePoint do the same with development? Possibly, but as a Super Business End User I am not at a position to suggest that especially in the face of the millions spent. But what I can do is look for what the system lacks and try to have SharePoint fill that need.
    What was missing was a clear and perspective view and access to support files such as procedures, FAQs or any other satellite support documentation. What the system did support is url links.
    So why not grab and go so the user can grab and go? The solution was simple; provide a SharePoint library. Just like large implementations take forethought so should small ones. Instead of creating a library within an exiting site, why not create a new site and make that home page a web part library with few links outward. Users would reference when needed to satisfy that need. The grab and go case/site is still full and waiting for its next grab and go functionality option.
  • Use SharePoint to advance your pain points
    Small and easy to execute pilots
    Don’t try workflows off the bat
    Add SharePoint Intro help docs and files as beginning content
    So much of what you do off the bat will dictate perception
    Tone, force and presence
  • In other identity sessions, patients are often
    Notes and step guides
    Make sure to document
    Even if they are just screen shots, just make sure you have good bullet points to go along with them
    You will be surprised how cherished and important this documentation will be to others who are going thru imps
    Blog sphere: List of Go to sites
    Screen Capture Software: Captivate or Camtasia
    Project Management basics
    Launch docs and change orders
    Will help you if you get too much sprawl
  • Governance
    People love to see permission levels
    Content lock downs
    Remember to explain the need to have this structure in place from the start, this will take time and thought
    Notification automation - workflows
    The idea of automatic reminders will spark the fantasy of efficiency
    Remember to keep these to a process critical minimum, people will get annoyed very soon if too many of them show up in in boxes
    Project Management terminology and concepts
    People love trackers and requestors, remember to keep them at a high enough level that people
    Have a minor branding solution ready to go
    Simple icons that you can easily drop into with Content web editors to help the end user SEE where they are in a sea of similar SharePoint locations.
    Get multi media on your site
    Whether your screen shots tutorials or embedded youtube videos, MSFT
  • Where does one start First of all I would start out with the foundation of my site i.e., the Planning Spread sheet as the seed to your site and roll out strategy. This file will be the answer to keep your support materials from growing and morphing into the monster movie marathon of huge user guides and FAQs.
    Once you have that planning sheet in place you then want to give your users a clean and simple definition of what SharePoint is, it should be just the common dictionary entry.
    Wikipedia offers this:
    Microsoft SharePoint enables groups to configure portals and hierarchies of websites without specifically requiring web-development. This allows groups of end users, as participants, to have much greater control in finding, creating, collecting, organizing, and collaborating on relevant information, in a browser-based environment. It also allows views of the different collections of information to be easily filtered, grouped, and/or sorted by each consumer according to their current desire.
    It has a robust permissions structure, allowing organizations to target users’ access and capabilities based on their organizational role, team membership, interest, security group, or any other membership criteria that can be defined.
    For the average user this is too much. For now all they need to know is that SharePoint is a web browser-based collaboration and a document-management platform.
    The next step is to take that definition and mold it into what your site is. I explained my site as a Knowledge Repository. My site’s main goal was just “something for training”, but as the site content grew it was clear that it was much more than a training resource and more a place to access, filter and disseminate knowledge.
    So think about what your site is: Document library? Collaboration tool to hold versions of works? List and report generator? or Combination of all of the above Remember you will need to roll out a mixture of marketing and training. Plan on creating a series of either screen captures in animated form or file to be used as job aids. Once you have this defined you can begin to create the first piece of your roll out deliverables, the overview. Once you have opened with your definitions you can either demo live in SharePoint or screenshot via ppt the where’s of your site.
    Explain and show basic navigation: Such as the Home Page and its web parts and then go over the main navigation via the left navigation bar. “Here is the link to the Sales Reports list, Expense Reports list, Product Spec library, etc.”
    Once you have named the main sections of the site you then can show them at face value what they do. “Here at the Sales Report we can input new deals with their various variables and view them in perspective according to the filters we have in place. And here we can view all the reports that have been entered.”
    Make sure to address each section by its SharePoint name. If the Sales Report is a list, call it a list, the same applies to the Products Specs library. Don’t refer to it as a folder or page, it is a library.
    Even though people will recognize SharePoint to be an internet site and gravitate towards browser metaphors, you should stick to the SharePoint terms. If anything it will help future users understand functionality better and also drive home the concept of each page or section. “Libraries have items that can be checked in and out.”
    A SME hearing this may not need as much training since he gets the name and concept right then and there.
    Avoid all the extras that your users’ permission levels don’t need to know: A Read Only user has no need to know what hides inside Site Settings. Just like the basic user of the internet does not need to know or understand JavaScript.
    Likewise if you create a contributors group of SMEs and editors their training should be based on their content creation not the fact that they can create mini-sites and new pages for their work.
    For SMEs I would run separate live demos where they do all the work. I would mock up files and have them check in and out. This will get them used to the libraries and it also allows you to set rules right away.
    For any other super user site, I would have them practice setting up libraries and lists using the end user documentation you are planning to write and publish.
    Produce modular task by task documentation and files: The classic user manual or long FAQ doc can lead to more frustrations than positive buy ins. If you have a clear goal to who the users are and what their functions will be you can write these tools accordingly.
    One of the major components of SharePoint is to rope off users from certain abilities (delete, create, upload). If your basic user only needs to access files for information and input data into lists don’t suggest to them that there is a world of possibilities using wikis.
    When it comes time to put the show on the road, roll out as many sessions as you see fair. There is no need to over do it and run the risk of being labeled that “Share-something freak”. Investigate if you have access Live Meeting or Web Ex. In these online conferencing tools you can record and post the overview on the site.
    Once the initial rounds have been made and the launch has come and gone: Make sure you prep yourself to be in help desk mode. Depending on the tech skills of your group you may have to hand hold and drill people especially when it comes to checking in and out of materials. Your general end user will mostly contact you asking if you have anything regarding…
    In this case you have to play librarian. When this happens to me I send out the link to the main page and then write out the path to the content but not the link itself. This should encourage users to look around as they navigate to there destination.
    By the time questions begin to slow down you’ll be ready to start experimenting with all those Phase 2 plans….calculated tables, multimedia library, the blog, the wiki….
  • Boxers train and train and train. Their fights are won not in the ring, they are won months before in the gym and on the road, or so said Ali.
    But what do you do when you are it the middle of a fight? You’ve been studying your opponent and you see the weakness. Next round when he drops that left as he steps in he’s yours. But then boom, you get a silly cut by an elbow when you’re tied up. It’s gonna swell and bleed. You have him, just need to get through to the next round.
    Problems back in your corner. They’ll call the fight on the count of the injury. What can be done? In this case it time for your cutman to come in; stop the bleeding, keep the swelling down, leaving you with time to finish things up when the bell rings for the next round.
    A similar situation can come up in SharePoint as well. What happens if you didn’t do your Information Architecture work? Didn’t set up groups, content types, or columns?
    You may not have had the experience or the tools (planning spreadsheet). You didn’t even know that content came in types.
    Well you do now and you recognize your SharePoint site’s weaknesses. You know what you would do if you were to start over. Problem is your users love your site, but you’re bleeding by the constant updating of that swelling library.
    It’s time for you to be your site’s cutman.
    First thing to do is get back to your corner and think things out. A cutman has certain tools to fix lacerations, swelling, etc and so do you.
  • Who owns 2.0?
    Especially underlying SharePoint and content infrastructures
    What areas of 2.0 governance should be approved?
    What regulations are relevant and how do we comply?
    What stimulus would push for people to post?
    Examples of what to do and not do
    Where do we want 2.0 champions to focus on?
    Phases 1, 2, 3

    How do we get funding for this new project?
    Who needs to approve this project?
    Who is accountable for 2.0 results?
    What should be spent on 2.0 this year?
    And we haven’t event addressed content flows...

    Who Supports this?
    Who/How are people going to be trained?
    Should 2.0 and Business centric sites be incorporated together or left to exist on their own?
    What happens when pilot budget runs out?
    Requests for site configuration and space

  • Infrastructure was not addressed and as bugs between native SharePoint and the 3rd Party add-ons began to pile up it became clear the whole project would have to be Phased.

    So all the hype and promise of one system to rule them all began to seem very human.
  • Do what they do on police shows, map out the landscape.
    If all of this seems a bit of overload, well it is, if you view all this information as just random pieces.

    Ask yourself this “If you want get a good viable site on the radar and more importantly get people to use it and talk about it, then maybe just all these pieces will serve as foundation pieces. At the very least if the site does get popular and crashes they will be coming to you and you will have all these IT contact and responsibility structures on sticky notes right?
  • Highway graphic
  • SharePoint Identity Crisis _Dallas

    1. 1. Slides before 1st Section Divider Intro What Does Culture Have to Do With it? It’s a Matter of How You Look at it What’s Your View From the Corner Like? Look At The Case And 2010... Unused Section Space 1 Unused Section Space 2
    2. 2. SharePoint Identity Crisis... The Questions the Business Super End User Need to Ask of their Organizations and of SharePoint
    3. 3. 4 SharePoint in 20 words or less • Better yet 140 characters and I’ll spot you # (hash marks)
    4. 4. 5 CMS Watch ‘09 SharePoint Report SharePoint is not a product that can or should be “turned over to business” in a tactic conspiracy between IT and business units so they don’t bother each other.
    5. 5. 6 Who are you? Business Super User – Think like the biz – Talk like IT – Understand SharePoin – Act on it
    6. 6. Sparta or Athens?
    7. 7. Sparta
    8. 8. Athens
    9. 9. 11 What is the change culture like?
    10. 10. 12 What do we stand to gain?
    11. 11. 13 Who are the players? Remember you know your organization better than anyone else.
    12. 12. What language does SharePoint speak? 14 Be a translator! • Learn: – Microsoft-ish, – Business terminology – SharePoint-ish?
    13. 13. 15 IT Business Needs SharePoint
    14. 14. Exactly What Kind of SharePoint Are We Talking Here? 17
    15. 15. Follow the Licensing 18
    16. 16. Platform? or Product
    17. 17. 20 Grab & Go
    18. 18. 21 Start off being selfish
    19. 19. Stay very close to the OOTB solutions at first 22
    20. 20. Doesn't mean the box can’t fit your needs 23
    21. 21. 24 Good tools • Notes and step guides • Blog sphere • Twitter • Screen Capture Software: – Captivate or Camtasia • Project Management basics
    22. 22. What deciders want to hear or see • Governance • Notification automation – Alerts and workflows • Project Management terminology and concepts • Have a minor branding solution ready to go • Get multi-media on your site
    23. 23. 26 Getting Buy in from End Users • Don’t tell people what SharePoint is tell them what your site is ! • Be ready to explain and show basic navigation, over and over again. • Translate SharePoint-ish
    24. 24. 27 More good ideas • Build up a repository of content & rotate highlighting them – Interview blog posts (Parts 1-3) – Existing help tutorials, glossaries, procedures – HR or New Hire forms, docs, compliance trainings – Look to replace existing solutions: • LMS & Newsletters
    25. 25. 29 Being SharePoint’s Corner
    26. 26. 30 I just put the reflexes in the proper direction. Angelo Dundee
    27. 27. 32
    28. 28. 33 Web 2.0 Case
    29. 29. 34 Transform work environment by connecting employees and enabling an environment for increased productivity and transparency through enhanced social communication and collaboration. Focus + Communication Collaboration Innovation Productivity Governance Enablers Business Needs People Web 2.0 Trends Strategy Technology = Business Value Discover & connect with biz & IT Share tacit knowledge Capture organic growth Organizational transparency Broad participation
    30. 30. 35 Result Infrastructure was not addressed and bugs between native SharePoint and the 3rd Party add-ons began to pile up
    31. 31. 37 Political Landscape Org’s Culture Easy SharePoint Wins IT players Business Players OOTB Solutions Blog sphere 3rd Party Vendors End User Analysis Governance Support Tools SharePoint-ish Taxonomy Self Sufficiency
    32. 32. The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. Muhammad Ali
    33. 33. Twitter: @SharPtContender Blog: Email: LinkedIn: